Rainy days were considered good days for shopping and doing repairs indoors.

On the days my brother and I could not go with my granddad to the store, he would always bring back our favorite soda pop and a bag of roasted peanuts as our special treat. No bottled soda is complete without having a bag of peanuts poured in it before drinking.

Trips to the feed,or hardware store with granddad were exciting to me as were trips to the general mercantile store with my grandmother. To this day I am more excited about walking around in a hardware store or feed store that I am about a department store. Strange for a female to feel that way for sure.

The general mercantile store I grew up trading at will forever hold a special place in my heart. Miss Sara always had a smile and kind word for each customer. You could buy shoes, material by the yard, overalls, nails by the pound, cane fishing poles, pond worms, crickets, hamburgers, hot dogs and soda in a frosted glass all in the same store. The store owner knew you by your name and all your family also. 

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I still love walking through hardware stores and feed stores today and looking things like kerosene lanterns, fishing lures, pitcher pumps, water buckets, push plows, hatchets, pots, pans, and even wash pots. These items remind me of the days spent with my grandparents and bring a watery eyed smile to my face.

Five and dime stores were a smaller version of modern day department stores. They sold household items and clothing. Many allowed you to take the items home while making payments on your purchased goods. The difference today with the layaway plan is the entire amount has to be paid before you can take the items home. 

I remember my grandmother and my mother both collecting green stamps at the grocery store and trading them in on various items like pots, wall clocks, and bed linens. I have one of the quilts my grandmother made from the "cloth sacks" that flour was sold in years ago.

Shopping trips these days are more of a chore than fun. The stores are overcrowded. It is almost impossible to get assistance from store personnel. 

I long for the stores of yesteryear where you were treated with respect, called by your name and good customer service was part of the job description.


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