Now that my in-laws are living on seven gorgeous acres in North Carolina’s Smoky Ridge mountains they are thirty miles from the nearest town. The nearest store is a bait and tackle about five miles away, and they don’t stock cheesecake (and even if they did it would be suspect, don’t you think?).
That’s a huge change from South Florida, where they lived in an area with about 1000 stores in a two mile radius. I do errands almost every day to get us out of the house, and to maximize geographical efficiency (I’ll go to one store that’s by the park one day, another that’s by the library the next…) to save on gas.
In South Florida if you forget milk at the store it isn’t a big deal – just run back out and get some. Here it means they do without or spend the time and gas to drive that thirty miles back to town. They need to bring a cooler to the grocery store for frozen food items, at least in every season but winter. We had to forgo the ice cream yesterday because we forgot the cooler. Tragic times for an almost-four year old…
They say they are adjusting nicely to the change. They make a run once or twice a week and accomplish as much as possible in that one trip. We made that trip yesterday, and it brought into clear focus one of Son’s more annoying foibles. On our trip into town yesterday we made the following stops, all within a 1/2 mile radius (skip down to Final Tally if you want the short version):
- Hardware store to get the chainsaw fixed. Son visited men’s room (single stall, I waited outside). Son also got a lollipop.
- Drop off PT Cruiser to get boat hitch attached. Son did not go. While the men did that us ladies and Son went to…
- Shoe store to look for some boots for Son so he can navigate the muddy land better. Son visited men’s room (single stall, I waited outside).
- Drug store to pick up prescription for Husband’s grandmother, which was not ready. Son did not go in. Son did not go in.
- Second drug store (I was surprised that there are two!) where my mother-in-law picks up her prescription. Son stayed in the car.
- Grocery store (Where I forgot to pay for Son’s cookie! I’ll pay them next time…). Son visited the men’s room. Twice. Once with Poppy, once with Daddy.
- Post office to mail a letter. Son stayed in the car.
- Newspaper office to pay prescription. Son visited bathroom (only one), got a drink of water and helped let the cat out.
- Bank to cash a check. Son visited men’s room (single stall, I waited outside) while the woman from the newspaper office (who just happened to follow us over there onbusiness of her own) laughed. A lot.
- Back to pick up the PT Cruiser, whose trailer hitch had not been installed in the nearly two hours we’d been gone because the part had not come in. Which they didn’t bother to tell us when we dropped it off. Son stayed in the car.
- Lunch at the Burger Basket (the most awesome burgers!). Son visited bathroom (only one).
Number of hours we were out: 2ish
Number of Stores (etc.) Visited: 9
Number of places Son entered: 6
Number of Son’s Bathroom Visits: 7
I knew Son had this obsession with the loo. He visits (or wants to visit) the bathroom in every store and restaurant we patronize. It’s more of an issue now because he no longer wants to go into the ladies’ room with Mommy; he insists on going to the “three letter” room. Discussions about bad men are dismissed with either assertions that:
- there are no bad men in there,
- if there were they might hit him, but then he’d hit them and they’d get lost, or
- there could be bad men in the ladies room, too.
My kid. He’s going a lawyer. Or a plumber.
And he will have ice cream. My father-in-law is making another trip to town tomorrow, as the trailer hitch has arrived. We’ll make sure he takes the cooler, plus thirty cents for the cookie we forgot to pay for.
Just to illustrate how oddly my mind works: this post started out as a discussion about the in-laws’ garden and how I can’t wait to have one on my own. Can you say stream of consciousness?