Monday, April 23, 2012


This morning Thomas and I drove to Odessa.  He had an evaluation.  I had an eye doctor visit.  I also had a list for Sam's a mile long.  And a motor that wasn't quite perfect that had to be returned. 

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. 


Leonora said...

Never say never! (One of the lessons I've learned over the years.)
We love to watch movies as a family, too.

Chris said...

Life isn't static, change is inevitable. You make your choices, your choices seem thoughtful and appropriate.

Anonymous said...

We just turned off our cable this weekend. And then I found myself in Target, window-shopping the flat-screen tv displays. I didn't buy one but I was wondering if I'd be crazy to get a tv without having cable. Now I know the answer... not crazy, just super cool!

Ed Winkle said...

I am totally with you. I believe big box stores are ruination of our society and economy. I shop at the smallest stores I can find and online now. New Zealand still has it right and most of Europe. Sam Walton may have been a great man but I feel he filled his pockets at the expense of a lot of Americans. At least he has brought China out of some of its poverty but when the Yuan becomes the world currency, it's all over for us!

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Redhen said...

'Good to know you're evolving. It beats the alternative!

CountryDew said...

The good thing about TV is you can turn it off. My husband enjoys it and we pay dearly for our satellite, but I generally don't turn it on when he isn't home. I tend to watch DVDs while I'm exercising, and I like to watch the local news. It is a demon, but it can be trained to do your bidding. Sort of like a familiar. (I have no idea where that came from, it just popped into my head.) Glad to see you posting and hope things are going well for you.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

Every time I say I won't do something, I find myself doing it. Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I don't think the TVs are bad. Most things are good... in moderation. It's just another form of media. In fact, Kelly is waiting for me right now to watch a Pay Per View movie with her. We're going to have snack and snuggle time. What I think is bad is how we're forced to buy stuff from the big box stores because the little guys can't compete anymore. You know what I just found out? We have to get a certain type of business license to do our flooring but stores that make over a million dollars are exempt! So Lowe's and Home Depot don't have to spend that money. We little guys get squeezed once more. When the big box stores finally put everyone out of business because we can't compete with their low prices (there are already no more TVs being made in America) their prices will skyrocket. And then we will have no choice. It's a conundrum Ginger.

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Truthseeker said...

My grandmother used to always say, "Circumstances alter cases." I never really understood what that meant until I got older and had to 'adjust' to different things I had scorned before...much like your nemesis, Sam's. As I've aged, I've realized she was so right..."Circumstances alter cases." I love your blog...bless you all.

Anonymous said...

haven't read much of your blogs since you moved to Texas, so I thought I would see if your old bookmark still worked. Will wonders never cease! Sounds like a lot of growing has gone on since last I read these posts. Great to hear that Thomas is graduating, or has by now. I really like the part about your still baking. Good bread is hard to find anymore. Just wanted to say Hi, and that I had missed your pictures disguised as words.

Anonymous said...

The previous from
Tall, Grey, Nonbeliever

but my daughter now has three little boys, and she survived a tornado last summer. Destroyed their house, both cars, and almost all the kids clothes were in the laundry room that was ripped off the house. I try to believe a little harder now