A few years ago, I walked out of Sam's Club in Roanoke and swore I would never cross that threshold again. I was disgusted by the box store. At the time we were raising our meat, our dairy, our fruits and veggies, milling grain and baking breads, and bartering for soap and wine and coffee.
I felt privileged and lucky to throw away my Sam's card. I felt a bit superior. Special. As if I were a part of the REAL club.
Well. Just like the rabbit in Winnie the Pooh, I am a bit humbled. A bit put in my place.
I got a new Sam's Club card a few months ago. It has my picture on it.
I typically drive the two and a half hour drive to Midland/Odessa once a month, whether I wish to or not. A combined population of over 200,000 people, with all the stuff that tiny towns like Alpine do not have, like specialty doctors and specialty equipment.
And when I do, I grab the card, the great big cart, and go shop.
True confession: last month the girls and I were on a mission to buy parts for the broken down mill. We ran into Sam's to get the laundry detergent, dish detergent, dog food and yeast. We had to pass by the electronics section to get to the good stuff. As we passed by the tv's, I thought about the Christmas gift from Judith and Ned. We used part of it to buy needed clothing for kids, and a pair of shiny red high-heeled shoes for me. But the other part was being held aside for us to go horseback riding at Big Bend Ranch State Park. However, everytime I called the park to schedule our ride, we were unable to sign up. The drought means that the price of hay is exhorbitant, so the horses are out to pasture (well, out to desert) and are not being saddled up for tours.
When we wished to watch a family movie, we would huddle on the futon, (thanks, Terri!) and crowd around, kids on laps, elbows in ribs, to try to watch a dvd on my tiny laptop. Great for family togetherness. Sort of. But when I suggested the kids invite friends over to watch a dvd, they would decline, saying it was just too crowded.
Seeing those tvs drew me in like a magnet. With all the other problems that were unfixable, they seemed like a beacon. One thing I could offer.
We conferred in the aisle and agreed upon a 32 inch Vizio. Who knows how it rates in the Consumer Digest. All I know is that when we set it up in the library, I think the kids realized I might have flipped my lid. The boys were speechless. And that next night, as we hooked it up and watched a movie together, we thanked God for Judith and Ned and their Christmas gift, and trusted that the horseback riding would happen eventually, but probably the corporate movie watching would offer longer lasting joy.
So, tonight, after a very long day and over five hours of driving, Thomas unloaded the car and I prepared a nice meal. With food purchased from my old nemesis. And I had to chuckle to think about evolution and adaption and dealing with the life we have to lead under different circumstances. We appreciate our farm-raised pork and freshly milled grains and creamy, raw milk. But we are having to compromise in a lot of areas these days and I trust that as we do, the kids are learning lessons of gratitude and grace.
Legalism is not so nice, is it? And adjustment comes in many different flavors.
PS We still don't have the tv hooked up to real tv. Netflix and dvds are bad enough. But who knows? One of these days I might break down and get cable. But I doubt it. The kids would really know I had lost it if I were to stoop so low! (HAHA) We will enjoy it when we go visit our other dear friends and be thankful for their cable tv.