Hello Grain Train Community! Here we are in a new month, a quarter of the way through 2020. It has not been an easy start to the year and we know that the road ahead will have many challenges. Despite that, we are taking the cue from Mother Nature who is coming out of her winter rest and bringing forth spring. We are moving forward despite uncertainty, and we are grateful you are here with us.

In unsettling times comes stress, worry, fear, and all of the faces they wear, but there is something else that grows out of each of us and weaves its ways through our communities when times are tense—HOPE. Hope can bring out the best in us and tie us together. It grows compassion and support between people. It inspires resources like the Emmet and Charlevoix Helping Hands Facebook pages where people are coming together to support one another. Hope nudges us to check in on our neighbors before we head to the store, or it pulls us towards joining one of the many online community gatherings like the weekly virtual Thursday night  Poetry in the Wild reading, brought to us by the Bellaire Public Library and Crosshatch. Even though we are physically distanced, there are many, many different ways to connect and foster hope.

For all of us at the Grain Train, hope manifests itself in doing everything we can to keep our stores open and continue to be that trusted source you rely on us to be. It also comes in looking forward. There is no denying spring is here. Easter is taking place next Sunday. For some, this is not a day they celebrate. Others will be gathering in their homes around screens for services that are near and dear to their hearts. Easter egg hunts will be a smaller family gathering—each of us finding ways to participate in life while sheltering in place. 

We thought you might like a few resources to look over while you are at home. You can find a number of activity sheets for kids right here if they are starting to fill all the coloring books in your house. We also thought you might like these tips on cooking with kids. For those of you ready to get your hands out in the dirt, check out this gardening with children piece, or this one on starting your own container garden.

There are not as many updates as to what is going on in the stores this week, but we do have a few we'd like to note:

  • We heard you when many asked that we still offer cash payment as an option. We began taking cash again on Sunday, March 29. Credit/debit is still our preferred method of payment but we saw the hardship that limiting cash was causing and we adjusted.
  • We are also transitioning away from packaged items on the Hot Bar to offering some of these items in the Grab and Go case as take-and-heat options.
  • In an act of hope, to better serve the community we are going to try to extend our hours in the Petoskey store, starting Monday, April 6. The new hours will be: 
    • Monday - Sunday 9 AM - 8 PM
    • Senior and Immune Compromised Hours will be 9 AM - 10 AM Daily 
    • Boyne City hours will remain the same.

Lastly, we know that our community is hurting with the recent loss of Larry Cummings. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and all of those who were touched by his life. “The closest bonds we ever know are bonds of grief. The deepest community one of sorrow.” -Cormac McCarthy


April 01, 2020 by Mindy Taylor
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