Ted’s essays

tripping to the big city

Sunday we made the 75-mile trek to Missoula for our dose of big box bargains.

Over the decade + we’ve shared, Missy and I have toured Costco three or four times, failing to see what they offered over what we had available much closer to home. I allowed One More Look in light of the changes in our environment. It took me less than five minutes to say, “We need to be putting this stuff in a cart rather than talking about it.”

The trick, of course, is knowing value when you see it. A well-spent $250 made significant improvements to the pantry … canned fruit, canned meat, motor oil, old-folks-joint-supplements, etcetera. Next month will see us arrive with the coolers to transport refrigerated stuff.

Missy still has to do all the lifting, carrying, loading and such. I very carefully, with a flagpole-straight back lifted some little stuff from the cart to the pickup tailgate but felt it telling me “Not Yet”. I have been several days now without my friends Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen, but still appreciate the luxury of laying flat on my back for half an hour once or twice a day and consider an ice pack in the small of the back as a great enhancement to those sessions.

Today we spent some time in a pleasant, country-feel driver licensing office for Ravalli County. VERY SMALL-TOWN storefront office with two nice ladies as the only visible staff. No “take a number” or anything. They just kept in their heads (and we in ours) who came in ahead of whom. It wasn’t real quick, but nowhere near the amount of time I can remember getting government approval for vehicles or driving anywhere.

Then we went up to see The Russians. The not-so-new import-auto wrecking yard in western Montana is a family operation where those who are mufti-lingual speak English. The rest don’t. They had a set of Subaru factory aluminum alloy wheels for Missy’s car at a significant savings over anything else we could find. We hoped the tires would be good, but they aren’t. Oh well, still a good deal on wheels. One more step down the road to having her car as we want it to be.