Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shopping in Our Little Corner of the World

Living here in rural Iowa certainly has its charm.  I love the tiny town where I can walk anywhere: bank, Post Office, Library, hair salon, High School, shops, even the grocery store (if I need an item or two).  But! The lack of stores sometimes gets to me.

The grocery store here is bigger than a convenience store, but has a smaller selection and higher prices than I find in larger towns 25-30 miles away.  There is a drug store and a dollar store, both on the edge of town and a little too far to walk because of the time it takes.  I like the idea of spending my dollars here to keep the economy going except:  my dollars are few and my needs are great so I do most of my shopping in either Atlantic, 26 miles south, or Carroll, thirty miles north.  The grocery store I prefer to shop at has a store in both towns; both towns have a Walmart; and both towns have a good thrift store.

One of the reasons I like the grocery store Fareway is because they are closed on Sunday.  Years ago I heard a story about someone, who, when I looked it up turned out to be Bishop H. David Burton, who saw President Joseph Fielding Smith and his wife at a grocery store far from their home and he asked the President what they were doing so far south from home.  The answer was that they preferred to patronize stores that honored the Sabbath Day by closing.  That stuck with me and I've thought about that as I shop.  I prefer to shop and support a business that honors the Sabbath Day too.  Not that that is possible 100% for me, but I do my best within the limits of my budget.

In researching Fareway, I found this on their website:  The idea of resting on Sunday is something in which our founder, Paul S. Beckwith, firmly believed—in part because of his religious beliefs, in part because of a story told to him by his father.
Paul’s father was a pioneer who traveled to the new territory by wagon train. Some of the pioneers were in a great hurry so they drove on every day, leaving behind those who stopped for a day of rest and worship. Weeks passed, and as the settlers continued to move westward, the families who had taken Sunday off began to catch up with those who had pushed ahead—only to find broken-down wagons, lame animals and weary people. Paul’s father told him he decided right then and there that the Bible was right; neither man nor beast was made to work seven days a week.

In Atlantic there is a Salvation Army store and a privately run thrift store.  I've shopped at both although I prefer the Salvation Army simply because it is better organized.  The private store had clothing on the racks in a complete jumble: short and long sleeves, woven and knits, all the colors and sizes mixed up together. It made looking for something rather tedious and I don't have that kind of time. In Carroll the thrift store is run by the Catholics, I believe, and while not as nicely organized as Salvation Army, the prices are great and I've found wonderful things there.  The ladies who volunteer there are really sweet and helpful too.

In our town, there is a consignment store that has prices close to a thrift store's, but the selection isn't as big, especially in my size, which by the way is slowly but surely getting smaller, one ounce at a time.  I like the owner, though and support her efforts as much as I can.  Besides clothing she has a few household items, antique and vintage, as well as new crafts and baubles.

There is an antique store, which I've not ventured into because I don't want to be tempted beyond my ability to resist.  Next to it is The Present Company where I can buy greeting cards when needed (meaning when I don't have anything appropriate in my stash from other sources).  Linda, the owner, is gracious and has given me boxes for mailing from her big stash.  Up by the park is a little gift shop inside a beauty salon, where I've gotten a few charming handmade items.

Also on the edge of town is a furniture store, another place I don't venture as I'm trying to avoid the sin of coveting.  They have some used furniture in a little place across from the park that I peek into as I'm passing on walks.  That's about all I can tolerate.  (Someday I'm going to have well coordinated and beautiful furniture!)

Not having access to lots of stores has certainly helped me stay on budget; but there are times when I'd love to just browse a big used book store; a fabric store; a kitchen store; a lingerie store.

The closest malls are about an hour and a half east or west of here.  We only go when combining trips to the big cities of Council Bluffs/Omaha or Des Moines.

So there you have it.  Shopping in Audubon.  The town motto could be "We save you money by not having everything available!" We live by the old pioneer motto "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."


  1. That is so cool that you met sister Dalton.

    I love the sound of your town. I love small towns. Mine is smaller, but does have a Walmart. But I really love it. Quiet, peaceful...NO TRAFFIC!!!

  2. How can your town be smaller than ours (pop. 2000) and still have a Walmart? Amazing!

  3. I'm a big fan of Fareway, too. It's great that they give their employees a day off for holidays, etc. However, I must admit it's also nice to have a grocery store in town that's open whenever I need it. But Fareway is my first choice for grocery shopping.