Day 73 – Retail Therapy, kinda…

dress1Shopping is just not the first thing that comes to mind when you arrive in a city like Goldendale, Washington.  Most of the store fronts are empty on Main Street, lots of “We’ve Moved” signs, it looks like everyone moves around to find cheaper real estate.  Although I saw signs advertising $0.69/sq ft, that’s pretty cheap already.

When you go to the local market, everything is a bit over-priced compared to what I find elsewhere, but that is to be expected, we aren’t near anything.  One of the things I ran out of before we got here this week was white paper, for my printer.  So we called our local auto parts store (Terry is our go-to guy) and asked what he suggested.  He recommended the General Store, on Main, across from the Chinese restaurant.  Since we were at the Laundromat around the corner, Josh and I walked over.  The General Store has just about anything you ever thought you might need.  We saw people buying hacksaws and office supplies and birthday supplies, and…truly, whatever you could think of.  Except for white paper, they were out.  Now, keep in mind, I also made copies on their copier, filled with white paper, but when I asked for some, the guy just shook his head, and said, nope, we’re out.  Alrighty, then, I knew I could get it at the local market, but $7.79 for a ream of paper had seemed a little steep, I guess that just depends on how bad you need it.

Next stop was back to the laundry where Rich was keeping an eye on things.  Two minutes in the chair and I was up again, “I’m going next door,” I called as I hit the door.  Next door is an antique shop.  In my previous life, I spent a lot of time around antiques, I appreciate them, admire the craftsmanship, thrill to the unique find, but I don’t buy.  I have no room, but I still like to look.  As I browsed, I found mostly run of the mill stuff, but reasonably priced and things I would love to craft with, again, if I had room.  I made my way to the back of the store and came across something I needed.  Imagine, here I was in Goldendale, Washington, a place with no clothing stores at all, not even a WalMart, and I found a cocktail dress.

I had just told Rich I needed a new dress, we are going to the Off Road Hall of Fame dinner on my 50th birthday, an extension of the Off Road Expo in Pomona.  I wanted a new dress, something to celebrate in, something to dress up in.  The two little black dresses I have left over from my corporate days are boring, I wanted something new.  And there it was, in the back room of an antique store, just off main street in Podunk Washington.  A little black dress (actually more black with gold overlay and SEQUINS) for $20.  Yep, $20, and the best part is, I didn’t have to go to no stinkin’ mall!




Day 360 – I wasn’t Lost, I was just Misplaced

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.

Courthouse Square, Decatur, Texas

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.