Tucked away off the main streets in Port Aransas is an eclectic gift shop with that sort of spark to brighten your day and an eccentric owner who is full of life. For the past 13 years, Sally Marco has owned and operated Gratitude and through the ups and downs of life, has come to understand the importance of creating happiness.
Sally grew up in Sibley, Iowa, where she dated Scott Marco (known as “Marco” by friends) throughout junior high and high school – only to go their separate ways to college. Sally and Marco both got married after college and had families – Marco the proud father of his daughter Jasmine, and Sally the proud mother of her daughter Jasmine and son Jordache.
Twenty-two years later, they reconnected, believing that God had a plan for them.
In 1998, they married in Eureka Springs, Arkansas on Easter and were in search of a warmer place to live; in 1999 they relocated to Port Aransas, Texas, and each year celebrated their anniversary on Easter.
In 2002, Sally had a dream, wrote it down on paper, and prayed. In March 2003, after finding a location, Gratitude was born.
“I named the shop Gratitude as I am so thankful to do what I love and it is such a powerful word,” said Sally, “Our goal is that you feel better after you’ve been here.”
Throughout the rather quaint store, you’ll find lots of odds and ends – mostly inspiring, motivating, hilarious and even a little crazy! Most people at first glance will immediately go into sensory overload. However after digging deep into shelves upon shelves, Gratitude can really make the darkest day a bright one.
Throughout the years, Sally and Marco lived the dream and were able to travel the world to places like New Orleans, Key West, the Bahamas, and Costa Rica just to name a few. However, they often agreed that living in Port Aransas itself was like being on vacation.
Marco loved people and had a quick wit and sense of humor like no other. However, sadly in February 2014, Marco was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After the doctor came and shared the news, Marco didn’t let it slow him down; he was fine and knew as a Christian where he was going.
After nearly four months, on June 1st, Marco crossed the doorway to heaven.
“I’m very grateful for the love of my life and all the great memories,” she says, “and I know I will see him again.”
In a far corner of the store tucked behind other signs and gifts, there was a sign for sale that clearly summed up Sally’s journey; “She believed she could and so she did.”