Can you resist a general store? I can't. I may have been a lousy pioneer woman, but I would have loved to shop!
Somehow, the one-stop shopping of Meijer or even Target just isn't quite the same, with tall warehouse-scaled ceilings, florescent lights and metal shelves.
Give me the scaled-down, rustic feel of a general store.
A place where you can buy ribbon, satisfying even the grandest crafter -- or milliner.
And candy! No bags of M&Ms or wrapped bars. These are individually chosen -- or maybe by the carefully weighed pound.
How lovely to pick up your prescriptions -- a tonic with opium, perhaps -- at the same time you shop for clothing. (Oh, right -- we can do that now, too. Except for the opium.)
And while you're at it, pick up a few pounds of flour for all those cakes and breads you'll be whipping up by hand.
And grind your coffee in the massive grinder while you're there. Who needs Black and Decker?
Perhaps if you're very kind to the proprietor, you'll be able to use his special typewriter. (And who knows, he could be a budding novelist when business is slow!)
The general store. We still have them -- but they're oh, so different these days. And how I do miss this quaint, old-fashioned style.
Long ago when the kids were young, and we were all in North Carolina near Boone, we went to the Mast General Store. It was a gloomy day -- not quite winter, not quite spring. While I shopped for all the things one would hope to find on vacation, Rick and the kids sat on the porch of the general store in oversized rockers, drinking soda from glass bottles.
Kevin learned to whittle that summer. Well, it was never a skill he chose to continue. But I still think of that time with great warmth. Kids and their dad, hanging on the porch of the general store. Just being.
(Recreated at the MSU Museum.)
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