It’s no wonder I never get handed the car keys and sent out on my own anymore. Yesterday, I headed to the grocery store, all by myself while the boys moved the semi and started to unload. I knew exactly where I was going, a right turn on to the highway, a left at the light, it should be right there. But I got distracted, checking out the local hotels, I looked to the right instead of the left as I passed the grocery store I wanted. I was another three miles up the road before I realized it, so I thought, “hey, I’m halfway to Decatur already, I’ll just go to the Walmart, I know where that is.” So I drove to Decatur, TX, as I got there, the Walmart was not where I expected it to be, so I kept going…when I saw the sign that said “Historic Downtown District” I knew I had gone too far, so I turned there.
Now, if you have ever been to Texas, or most places in the south, you know that small towns are built around the square. Almost every town has one, a central square that is surrounded by shops and cool buildings. In Decatur and Jacksboro, there is a court house in the central square, in Chico – not much of anything anymore, but the concept is still there. The square is the center of the city. Decatur has a beautiful square, the courthouse for Wise County is there, and the buildings all around the square are historic with their histories shared for all to see. Now that I was here, I wasn’t lost anymore, but I was definitely distracted. I parked and started to walk, one of my favorite steakhouses is on the southeast corner, Sweetie Pie’s Ribeyes – fantastic chicken fried steak there. Continuing on the Southeast side were three antique stores and a music store. Another turn to the west and along the north side was a gift store and a thrift store; going south and then back east were dotted with clothing and furniture stores, but the main theme was food. Half a dozen restaurants filled in the square. The best part – no empty buildings. I love shopping local, too bad I really don’t need stuff, there was plenty to be had.
I finally found the Walmart, it was exactly like yours, so homogenous, it makes me shudder, it matches all the chain stores and chain restaurants around it. I know there is a place for these, but I sincerely try my best to avoid them. I finally made it back onsite, almost three hours after I headed out – distracted and misplaced no more.