I'm going out today.
For most people, leaving their home is something to which they don't give a second thought. They get dressed, open the door, and get in the car and go. For me, it involves a great gearing-up, a mounting up of will and courage. I hate going out.
But it's important to keep the wheels greased and continue doing what is necessary. In this case, going to the bank, getting gas, and hoping to be squeezed in for a haircut. Out. Not in. Sigh.
Gas is the least expensive it's been since 2012, I read in the news headlines. What a relief to pay for a necessity that won't break the bank! So I want to capitalize on that.
Our town is small, very small, lol. One stoplight and about three streets comprise the main part of town. The town in its entirety is widely spread out, with pastures and chicken houses and horses, cows, donkeys, sheep, roosters, and all manner of sheds, barns, and tree-lined ponds. But the commercial center is small. Of course there are the obligatory gas stations competing on three corners, with the Post Office on the fourth. A historic church dominates another nearby corner.
Despite the small size, there is often a lot going on. Over the past months some interesting stores have popped up.
A block out of town (across from my haircut lady) is a store called Second Time Around. I may have mentioned it before. It's a store that buys in bulk, if a truck turned over and the merchandise inside was damaged, they buy it. Oftentimes the merchandise is perfectly fine but the boxes are torn or bent. It's like Amazon.com's 'Warehouse Deals" section where the merchandise is OK but since the box is damaged they can't sell it as new anymore.
Before putting the merchandise on the floor, the proprietors ensure all the parts are there and in working order. Then they sell it at a reduced price. Other stuff is used. And some is absolutely new, but sold at a dramatically reduced price. They bought an old gym which is perfect for their purposes, and it's on a corner along the main drag, so the location is good. For me, it's great because it's a mile from my house, if that.
Inventory changes frequently and you never know what you're going to find. They sell anything from furniture, small appliances, craft supplies, dishware, lawn implements, you name it. It is like Job Lot if you're from Rhode Island or Mardens if you're from Maine. LOL, the last time I was there, as I left a truck pulled up and began unloading the new inventory, including huge snowboards decorated with a painted penguin.
Our town also has a new produce store/deli. It's called Earthly Goods Produce. I haven't been in there but they put up new photos of the interior and it looks like they DO have a lot of produce and one of the piles looked like eggplants, which are not sold in the county except if I go all the way to the border of Athens tot he Kroger with their 50 aisles and mounds of people. Not happening. So, eggplants a quarter mile from me, I'll check it out for sure. With Bountiful Baskets suspended for the holidays and maybe permanently in Georgia, and the last Farmer's Market in town has concluded, this might be a good stop-gap. And hopefully they will make a go of it and add more produce all the time.
There's a store called Shabby Chic Cottage. The ladies re-purpose vintage furniture, and also sell vintage items such as dishware (Fiesta, Hocking glassware etc). I have seen their stuff on the sidewalk as they made tableau to advertise their wares, and looked in the windows when they're closed, but I've never been inside. Nice stuff. Most of it (OK all of it) is out of my price range but I am looking for a Shenandoah-ware Jonquil pattern cereal bowl from Paden City Pottery. If anyone would have it, they would.
A high-end organic artisan bakery located in town but selling retail at the Athens Farmer's Market only had bought a large pizzeria across from Earthly Goods, with intent to open a retail bakery located here. They are in the process of renovations but the renovation is taking a long time. People occasionally ask them on their Facebook Page when they will open, and they keep saying they have run into budget constraints and also have been busy at the Athens Market. But now with the Athens Market holding its final Market of the year they hope to open this month. I hope so too. It's a really good bakery. Crusty bread galore. This is last week's bread they sold at the Athens Farmer's Market, Hazelnut fig bread. Won't it be nice to have a produce store and a bakery across from one another right on town, a halfmile from my house.
There are a few other great places to shop here too. Bendzunas Glass, a real glassblowing artisan factory with retail shop, as well as an authentic Asian market that caters to the Burmese refugees a few miles down the road at Jubilee Partners, and super restaurants like Maggie's Cafe and Chief Burger.
I admit I enjoy writing about going out more than I enjoy going out. I enjoy thinking about it more than doing it. But the bank and the gas station calls, and just as soon as it stops raining...as soon as it warms up a little...as soon as the sun comes out...as soon as I check the car's oil levels...as soon as I finish watching this episode of HGTV's Genevieve's Renovation...I will definitely go out. Definitely.