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…


  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!


  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!


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