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Queen Shopper for a Day


By:Joyce C. Lock


Though there was a bit of snow still left on the ground, it was a bright sunny day. Looking outside the window, the sun's glow compelled me to draw closer to the window, to bask in its warmth. Oh, that was so neat! It felt like Spring had arrived!

So, I (this person who vowed to never experience the outdoors until winter had passed) decided to briefly enjoy the weather and took off for a quick shopping spree; dressed in apparent Spring apparel, as I like to plan ahead.

Of course, all was decently warm, as I got into my non-heated but sheltered car, parked inside the garage. Ok, so it was a little chilly. But, being brave as I am, I knew I could handle it.

Though I forget what the initial temperature read, I'm thinking it might have been in the upper thirties (on the inside of the garage). Still optimistic, upper 30's wasn't too bad; as long as I didn't stay out doors for very long.

Wow! My kids would be so proud of me, venturing out like this. And hey, the roads weren't too bad; another sign of it being a warmer day.

My first stop was at Menards, to make a return and to check out any new rebate offers.

As I got out of my car, it seemed a bit more chilly than expected. So, I walked a bit briskly to get inside ... and the closest door was plenty good enough for me.

There were only a couple rebate opportunities worth considering. However, Christmas decorations were now 75% off. So, I ventured over to those isles and choose 3 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper that I had previously noticed, and sort of liked; only, I hadn't liked the price before.

Then, while going through check out, the cashier discovered that the price of these rolls had already been reduced 75% and, after inquiry to be certain, the cashier took another 75% off. So, that made this nicer wrapping paper only 22 cents per roll! Oh, my stars! I had struck gold!

However, the manager on duty didn't think it would be a good idea for me to return into the store, with my already purchased merchandise. And, brave as I was, only once was enough for having to go outdoors again.

So, with receipt in hand, I parked my cart and grabbed another one handy, then returned to Menards' collection of 'left over' Christmas wrapping paper; no doubt 'left over' only because they had originally charged an arm and a leg for these babies. But, spendthrift as I am, I had kept my limbs perfectly in tact.

And of course, with a deal like this and me with nine grandchildren, I was quick to clean Menards out of all their nicer wrapping paper.

Altogether, it was only fifty-one rolls. Sure, some rolls only had 10 ft. of paper on them. Though, I'll have some of the prettiest packages in town; ok, for maybe two, three, or four years. But, hey, who's counting?

As for the remaining customers who suddenly left the check out lanes, "Too late, ladies, they're all mine!"

But, as you might have guessed, being that Menards is quite frugal in bagging their merchandise, it was work getting the paper to not fall out of the cart. Fortunately, in my great wisdom and strategic planning, I had parked close to the exit door.

Now, to face the cold. (There is a reason why we call it 'bitter. It actually hurts!) I hurried to get those rolls to the trunk and only dropped one as I skidded toward the car.

Do you know how many times it takes to put fifty-one rolls into a trunk while only picking up three rolls at a time, so not to also have to pick up others off the ground? Ok, so you have bigger hands. Well, good for you. I'll let you help, next time.

The outside temperature registered to be 18 degrees. And, on top of that, if you haven't experienced the Northern winds, you know nothing yet of cold. The inside of a refrigerator is warmer than here. What was I thinking?

Mustering all the common sense that remained within me, I made the conclusion it was time to put on my coat.

Being that it was only as far as the next corner and the fact that they carry some of my most favorite 'no brand name' junk food, the next stop was Aldi's; where someone had left a cart in the parking lot. No doubt, they hadn't worn a coat, either.

So, I saved another 25 cents and the nice part is that the cart was still warm! Therefore, it was with quick speed that I made it inside the store. (Awe, warmth! We should never be without it.)

Another shopper said, "This is much warmer than yesterday," and all she wore extra were gloves. Isn't that just like people, to rub it in?

As it worked out, I guessed and managed, and didn't spend more than the unplanned cash in my billfold. And with that, now I know to only put half as much in your cart and you won't run out of money.

However, with my mad dash for sunshine (which was now gone 'only God knows where'), I had forgotten to bring grocery bags (or even to grab empty boxes in the store) and there was no way I was purchasing store bags and squander my savings; even if they are only 3 cents each.

Therefore, as you might have guessed, groceries were strewn, into the back seat of the car, the quickest way they would land. But hey, I got the quarter out of the cart before leaving. Sure, I had spent forty some dollars there. But, I came out a quarter richer. Now, you can't beat that. Though, I sure am glad they didn't require blood!

The next stop was to get gasoline, only because hubby said I needed to. If anyone had asked me, I'd rather have strolled into the garage on fumes.

And of course, this gas station just happened to be one of those with a nasty sign that says you actually have to remain outside of the car until the gas pump stops. The next time, I may just fill up the car when the gas tank is almost full ~ as I was the one shrunk behind the pump, hiding from the wind. For real, I could have peed faster than this!

But, as they say, "All is well that ends well," and I finally made it home. However, by the time I got all the groceries drug from out of the car, on both sides, I was beginning to have visions of grandeur.

The computer chair looked like such a cozy retreat, it was calling my name. Only, wouldn't you know, groceries still needed putting away. I declare, a woman's work is never done. I think I heard that somewhere before. But, as luck would have it, I, somehow, survived.

As for the rolls of Christmas wrapping paper still in the trunk, who cares?

The following day, I opened the trunk of the car and showed hubby my great find; and got crowned Queen Shopper for a Day. He was so pleased at the savings that he took care of putting away the rolls of paper.

It's a good thing that we actually have places to store these special finds. So, be forewarned, Wal-Mart, on the next sun shining day, I'll be headed your way!

Though, in the event you haven't guessed, the moral of this story is ... even if the sun is shining, as long as there is still snow on the ground, it's just a mirage.

2005 by Joyce C. Lock
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smilesharing/

About the Author

Joyce C. Lock is a published author, poet, and columnist. In addition, she founded and maintains the e-mail ministries "Heavenly Inspirations" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HeavenlyInspirations/ and "Share a Smile" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smilesharing/. Joyce's writings encourage us in our relationship with God and each other.

Article Source: http://www.redsofts.com/articles/




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