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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Market research

Laura came home a couple of weeks ago with a cookie drive form.  Elementary school children go door to door selling cookies to benefit, I think I recall, the Parent Teacher Organization.  I told her selling door to door in our neighborhood is difficult; there are eight or ten houses on our mile long road, and the lanes to some are half a mile or more.  Did she want to do this?  No, she did not.  I found the form that let me make a “voluntary” donation in lieu of Laura selling cookies, and both of us were pleased.

Emily came home this week with a fruit drive form.  The high school band, this time, is selling fruit and cheesecake.  Go figure.  I took the envelope from her and started sorting for the parent in lieu of donation form, the while delivering my Do You Want to do This? spiel.  I looked up midway into a completely crestfallen face. 

“But Grandma, I want to do this.  I’ve never done it.” 
“Where would you go?”
“To the new housing development.  No one in the band lives there!”

Actually, I was impressed.  We arranged to go yesterday afternoon, and I suggested she take her skippy little sister with her.  Two little upturned faces being more engaging than one.

We live on the last road in the township, going south.  Next down the road, until eight years ago, a magnificent camp ground.  Ninety six acres of heavily wooded, family owned camp ground, Tamsin Park, bordered the township edges.  The voracious city down the road has already annexed the township that formerly bordered ours, and then took a chomp of us by annexing the campground.   I studiously avoid mentioning the local politics I am part of, so I will only say that my township square, formed by the Northwest Ordinance in 1789, now has a square bite chomped from the southeast corner.  The part the city could use.

The girls and I set out yesterday to take orders for fruit and cheesecake.  Emily and Laura did all the work; grandma just trailed in the car. The housing development is huge!  Some houses still being built, but I’ll guess over three hundred homes.  And one exit road.  But, then, I’m not the city planner.  It reminded me of the home in Mentor where my daughters grew up.  Except we had quarter acre lots and hundred foot frontage, not the sixty or so these appear to be.  We had a multitude of exit routes, too. One whole area is of this development is condominiums, and the whole affair seems set up for minimal yard work
The weather was perfect.  The girls canvassed upwards of two hundred homes.  They made four sales and took one donation in three hours of walking and knocking.  The elementary school children canvassed last week selling cookies!




Skippy little sister

Lovely houses



Condos on wide angle and still only four fit in the shot

One of two lakes in the old campground

What remains of the woods

The Old Indian Mill

A landmark from my youth, built as the campground store.  The wheel was set going on occasion, but milled nothing while causing wide eyed wonder in children.


  1. Brave little souls to want to do that.

  2. Would it not make more sense for us all to pay a wee bit more tax to fund school programs?
    Jane x

  3. I think I would have preferred it the way it was....they're attractive houses...but so huggermugger!

  4. When our school sends those forms home they specifically tell the kids not to go door to door. They are just supposed to ask their family and people they know. To me, it always reminds me of the weird world we live in now where it's not safe to knock on someone's door anymore. I'm sort of hoping we're done with all that now that my son's in High School now though. Good for you for driving all around that neighborhood.

  5. Four sales! I would have been discouraged long before I got to 200 houses. Well, at least they got a good lesson in how hard it is to make a living selling something.

  6. I remember going door-to-door selling stuff as a kid. It is a real lesson in rejection. You all deserve credit for persistence!

  7. Ok, a couple of things here: You are to be highly regarded for raising your two granddaughters. Second: you live in a beautiful area of homes and land. Sorry the kiddos didn't sell more, but that is the way life goes. I'm with you, just make the donation.

  8. I loved the old Indian Mill. We didn't have anything like that when I was at school. Which is ironic because it would almost always have been safe for us to go door to door. I suppose the exceptions are always there.
    I hope you have something to read and/or listen to while you are being a most excellent grandmother.

  9. This fund raising business has gotten so big. I always would like to know what percentage is returned to the cause. Looks like a nice neighborhood but I suspect the campground was nice too.

  10. Fund raisers are getting out of hand. I;d rather make a donation. What industrious girls. i laughed at your comment on my blog about the dog/rug.

  11. Yes, industrious. Your grandkids should get points just for working so hard and you for being so patient. Sometimes I wonder about the value of children selling someone else's product for a small cut of the profit.

  12. Do you think Emily will want to go again? (because, you know, there WILL be more fundraisers)

    We generally used to just buy a few of whatever our kids were selling. Some parents would take the tickets, forms, catalogues, etc etc to work - those were the children who won the prizes for top salesman when really the parents had done all the work :)

  13. Only four sales is disappointing, but well done girls on trying. I remember my kids bringing homes boxes of chocolate bars, I always bought the lot to save them going door to door. It would take us about six months to eat them all.
    I like the Old Indian Mill, is that where they made Old Indians? Ha Ha.

  14. I am a sucker for children going door-to-door -- especially if it is legitimate (and every now and then, it isn't). Knock on my door, give me a grin and your spiel, and I'll take two.



  15. fundraising is a tough business----i love your pic of that old mill :)

  16. Fundraising isn't what it used to be. Brave children. Love your photos.

  17. Too much fun! Good for everybody for getting out there and trying - and nice photo tour to boot!
    (Hey, I'd buy cheesecake... nobody ever comes to MY door selling cheesecake... just stooopid magazines...)

  18. Oh, gosh. I remember those days being the one going to the door. Eager faces at the grocery store exit the other day--selling candy for school. Bought 4 boxes of mints. Glad to help. Oh, gosh, I remember those days.

  19. This must be a great experience for your grandchildren. I love their spirit!

    I remember when I was in grade school. We had a newspaper drive and went from house to house to solicit newspapers. It was fun though tiring :) Have a great week ahead of you!

  20. I would have bought a cheesecake, I love them, Around here I see some children stand in front of wally world and the grocery selling, more customers available and already shopping.