"Do you want to go with me to Tomlinson's?" , my mother would ask when I was a little girl. My answer was always, "Yes!"
As I child I knew there was something special about this unique store in Florence. Plain concrete floors, no stylish mannequins, and a family of staff who greeted you like they'd missed you.
Because it was smaller than most department stores, my mother gave me the freedom to look around while she picked out new sheets and towels for our home. I would head straight for the back wall, where the framed art seemed so wonderful to a child. So much beauty in one place. Landscapes -- some local, most not. Famous buildings and works of architecture. Exotic animals, farm animals, and pets. For me, a trip to Tomlinson's was a chance to see God's handiwork through the eyes of gifted artists.
My second source of fascination were the miniature salt and pepper shakers for use at individual place settings at formal dinners. I had no idea at the time why anyone would want such a tiny set, but they were adorable to me.
Now, forty to fifty years later, I still love this place. It is now managed by the founder's great-grandson, and has been (mostly) family-owned for 80 years. The people on the sales floor have been there forever, and they still greet you like they're so glad to see you again.
Stop by and say hello to everyone, and look for our candles, after you enjoy the art wall.