Old Time Shopping

I glance at my list as I crosse the threshhold into Ayers Variety and Hardware. It is my school’s dress rehearsal day for the musical and I am tasked with finding three more props – a kazoo, angel wings, and a chef’s hat. Naturally, my first stop is Ayers.

I walked to the back and started searching the two short toy aisels.
“Can I help you find something,” I hear.
” I need a kazoo.” I admit sheepishly.
“Right there,” the shopkeeper replies, pointing to the top row of items right in front of me and walks off to help another customer.
“Perfect!” and as I grabbed it, I notice the item to the right. A child’s fairy set – crown, wand and yes, WINGS!! I grab it. Now for item three. I was 99% sure I’d need to head to another store but what did I have to lose.

Leaving the toy area, I wandered over to the clothing section. The top shelf was filled with a variety of hats – cowboy , baseball caps broad-rimmed garden hats. Below the hats were aprons but no chef’s hat. Bummer.

I glanced at my phone to see the time. I still have one hour. Maybe the Party Store would have such a hat? Seeing the sales clerk, I ask, “Would you happen to have a chef’s hat?”

“Sure,” she replied matter-of-factly. She started walking toward the front of the store and turned down the kitchen aisle. “Here you go.” She pointed to a chef hat, in between the egg timers and spatulas. I nabbed it and headed to the cashier, feeling so successful.

At a time when prime blue arrow smile boxes are being delivered to houses daily, I am so grateful for my neighborhood variety store. Ayers is the best!

14 thoughts on “Old Time Shopping

  1. Suzanne Richardson says:

    Wonderful story, wonderful moment! Thank you so much for sharing this. I love when things work out unexpectedly (but perhaps there, it is to be expected).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. glenda funk says:

    I’ve never heard of Ayers, but I’m all for supporting local businesses instead of ordering online first. We have limited shopping, especially for books, but it would be nice to see a return to shopping as a communal activity as it once was.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wordjourneysite says:

    I love the list of props you had left to find – you were lucky to find them all in your local store. It makes me sad when beloved stores disappear… (We have a local “drugstore” that sells everything from drugstore stuff to wine and beer to kitchen equipment to fresh produce – just about anything you might need is stuffed away somewhere in that store.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. irishdaybreak says:

    What a fun post! I also love Ayers, it is the only place you could possibly find all of those items in one shop. They have all the “we don’t carry that anymore items: like clothespins…

    Like

  5. mgminer says:

    Your writing reminded me happily of my earliest memories with my dad going to see “Mr. Ayers.” Mr. Ayers was often at the store on Saturday mornings and sometimes had a free Tootsie Roll for me. If I close my eyes, I can smell the store and hear the paint shaker in the back. I like to think that some of the kindness o Mr. Ayers is still in the air of that treasure-filled store. My favorite part of your writing was your description of where you found things – the place has its own quirky logic! Happy writing this month, Sally!

    Like

  6. sallydonnelly11 says:

    Marilyn, I love that my writing took me to a memory with your dad! I hope your slicing includes a story with him in it as they are my favorites that you write. If free on Friday, stop by my house to get hang out with me and other slicers!

    Like

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