“Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory.”

My alarm woke me up. I had set it to give myself enough time to write Coffee before I head out to this morning’s RPCV event: as in Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. We are dedicating an engraved stone at site 7 of the JFK legacy trail in Hyannis. The stone commemorates 50 years of Peace Corps, and site 7 honors the Peace Corps. Luckily the rain fell last night. The morning is gray and damp but fairly warm. I’m going to wear a fugu, a smock I brought back from Ghana last year. I even have a matching hat. No woman dares venture out on a Sunday without her matching hat!

Yesterday I bit the bullet and went grocery shopping. It was late afternoon. I had chosen the time well. The aisles were nearly empty, and I was able to step right up to the register. My disappointment was I had nothing to complain about: no baskets in the middle of the aisle and no long lines. What is this world coming to?

One of the places I don’t spend a lot of time is a hardware store. It is my destination only when I need something specific. In most stores I like to roam the aisles in case something catches my eye, and even though I didn’t know I needed it, I end up wanting it. That the wanting has yet to happen in a hardware store. The aisles of screws and bolts and chains of all sizes don’t catch my eye. I go right by them. The electrical aisle is just as uninteresting. I usually only want an outside extension cord, and I just ignore the rest. The other aisles are jam-packed, and I can’t tell you what they are jammed packed with. I have no idea. The screws are in the back as are the nails. The electrical aisle is on the left about three aisles up. Keys are made up front. Other than those areas, I have no idea what treasures my hardware store holds. Ask me about Trader Joe’s and I can close my eyes and describe each aisle. Cheese is in the case on the right side wall toward the back; my favorite frozen pizzas, the ones with the GruyΓ¨re cheese, are are in a small case halfway down the frozen food aisle. If you obey traffic rules, the case is on the right as you travel up the aisle. I suggest you buy two of those pizzas.

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17 Comments on ““Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I love, love, love hardware stores. My absolute favorite places are Agway feed and grain stores because they have so much more than just feed and grain. They have hardware and kitchenware and barnware and all kinds of otherware.

    Rocky and I went out to do errands yesterday. The last stop was the grocery store. While I was loading the groceries into the back of the jeep, I put my pocketbook down inside the jeep and made a mental note to myself to pick it up again before I shut the hatch. Yup. I did indeed lock the keys inside the car along with a very hungry dog and a hot roasted chicken.
    Fortunately a kind woman lent me her phone to call AAA and plead with them to hurry because the dog was in there with food. They said the wait was 90 minutes but they would red flag it and it might be only 30. Long enough to get at roast chicken.
    The woman stayed with me and looked in her car to see if there was anything in there we might use to unlock the jeep. She had a snowbrush that extended and locked in place. I was able to get it through the space left open in the window and, after much struggle, managed to unlock the passenger side. Whoo hoo! Called AAA, cancelled the help ticket and looked up just in time to see the tow truck pulling in. It was from a company just around the corner from the store. He was glad I had gotten the door open and the dog and roast chicken were both okay.
    Have I mentioned that I hate grocery shopping?

    I hope your dedication ceremony went well and everyone was awed by your matching hat. πŸ™‚ Enjoy the day.


    • Hi Caryn,
      I love my Agway but I never think of it as a hardware store, more a garden, seed, bird, animal store. Mine has no barware and I don’t remember any kitchenware. It is one of Gracie’s favorite places as she is welcomed, and they all know her name.

      I love your story and I can’t believe Rocky did not have himself a tailgate party. How lucky you had the window partly opened and who knew a snowbrush could be so versatile. Mine is in the trunk right now, been there since April.

      Grocery shopping is an evil event meant to break us!!

      • Caryn Says:

        Not barware, though that might be a good thing some days. πŸ™‚
        Barn ware. Stuff for horses, cows and pigs. Mine has that. It has canning stuff and serious bunkhouse/chuckwagon cooking stuff. I would never use a giant cast iron frying pan for 20 or a 10 gallon blue enamel coffee pot that sits in the fire but I can dream. πŸ™‚


      • Hahaha-my eyes saw barware!!!

  2. olof1 Says:

    Nothing better than a harware store πŸ™‚ I could walk there for hours if it wasn’t for the fact that I hate being jammed between other costumers πŸ™‚ The old ones were of course the best ones where one never knew what had been forgotten on the shelfs for years and years πŸ™‚ Those stores are hard to find now days though but they do excist.

    I hope You enjoyed the ceremony and that the weather didn’t get any worse.

    Have a great day!
    Christer.


    • Christer,
      I just run in, get what I need and run out-no shopping the aisles for me. There never seem to be that many customers in there when i go tough the guys who work there seem to stand at the counter and chat.

      It rained, of course, but we still held the ceremony.

  3. Bob Says:

    Like you I only venture to the hardware store when I need hardware. In recent years I usually go to either Home Depot or that other big box place because the prices are lower and there are fewer independent hardware stores left. The one local chain, Elliott’s, was the place where old handymen worked to supplement their Social Security check and then to die. If you described what you were trying to do they had an old guy working in the store who knew exactly the tool or part you needed but you paid the price for the help. The last time I was in their store the old guys didn’t look too old any longer.

    The first Trader Joe’s opened here in North Texas last month and my wife and son went to see what all the hoopla was about. All our Southern California transplant friends were waiting in line for the doors to open. My wife was not impressed with the store or their selections. The Trader Joe’s chain is owned by Aldi. They are a German grocery chain that has invaded the US touting lower prices and smaller stores. Aldi doesn’t accept credit cards but only cash or debit. Aldi’s is a good choice if you need staples only because their selections are very limited. The largest grocery chain in the world, Tesco, is coming to the US soon. Their first stores will be in California.

    Last night a cold front came through with a line of Thunderstorms which should drop the temperature a little bit this afternoon.

    • Caryn Says:

      Bob, Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck is drinkable wine. It probably isn’t two bucks, though. At least not in Mass. Taxes and such you know. πŸ™‚

      • Bob Says:

        Thanks for the tip. One of the best inexpensive red table wine comes from Walmart, Oak Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is very inexpensive and it’s more than just drinkable, it’s actually very good.


    • Bob,
      The only Home Depot is in Hyannis so I don’t venture there unless I need something big. We have a store called Mid-Cape where you can find almost anything and there is also a paint store so my town has it covered,

      My Trader Joe’s has a wonderful variety of cheeses, some difficult to find anywhere else, and their meat is excellent. I really like shopping there, and they do take credit cards. I hadn’t heard of Aldi’s until you mentioned it.

      I’m always glad to hear you’re getting relief from the heat!

      • Bob Says:

        Trader Joe’s is the up scale division of Aldi. The grocery business is becoming globalized.

  4. Birgit Says:

    3000 miles for 2 TraderJoe pizzas? I guess I have to go to Aldi πŸ˜‰
    No, not really, selfmade pizza is better.
    As Bob mentioned Aldi, we had and still have a grocery prize war over here and only a few grocery chain stores survived. Both Aldi chains are dominant. Food prizes are still relatively low, but how long?
    As a do-it-yourself person, I need hardware stores, but I always rush through to avoid headache. Too much chemical odor inside.
    I hope you had a great event and the matching hat has been properly admired.


    • Birgit,
      I’m telling you this is the best frozen pizza I’ve ever had. The crust is crisp and delicious and the cheese and the caramelized onion are amazing.

      My town has one large grocery store, Stop and Shop, and one speciality store where I spend a great deal of money as they have wonderful food, meat, fish and already prepared foods.

      The even wasn’t as well attended as we’d hoped as it did rain. My hat must have been a hit as two people were there from different newspapers, and I was the person interviewed by both. A hat always makes a difference.

  5. Hedley Says:

    A terrific effort by Sanchez and the TIGERS shut out the Wamkees and head home 2-0.

    Hope you and the Kataholics watched

    GO GET EM TIGERS

  6. bill s. Says:

    There is no joy in Mudville tonite–Pete Carroll and the Seahawks just defeated his former Patriots. Now almost everyone is at 3-3.

    The best hardware store in New England is the County Store in Milford, NH. If you don’t see what you need there, you don’t need it.
    Also within 5 miles is a Tractor Supply store, with tools, barNware, and animal supplies. We don’t need no stinkin’ department stores here.

    I used to have an old reel mower (no motor) like the one in the photo–paid $10 used about 34 years ago. It was really heavy to push, and the blades were dull, so after a year or two I got a motor mower. Two weeks ago I bought another reel mower on Craigslist, a light and sharp Fiskars mower (Finnish company with a facility in Wisconsin or Michigan). They also make scissors and other bladed tools. The Fiskars gives me a good workout when I mow, which needs to be once a week, or the grass is too long.


    • Bill,
      We were playing games but had the game on in the background. I hated the last quarter!

      Hyannis is the hub around here, the big city with the Home Depot and all the stores. We have just the local ones I mentioned like Mid-Cape. They usually have exactly what I need once I describe it to the nice man who is quite tolerant of my ignorance about tools and such.

      My grass gets cut once a week all summer by my neighbor, who is my landscaper. I used to cut my own lawn, also with a push mower, but my allergies became too much. I’d get the worse rash from the grass. I rejoiced that I could no longer do it myself!!


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