Monday, April 10, 2023

Shopping Once a Year

Tea Room at the Frederick and Nelson Store, 1913, Washington.

There are very few opportunities to do any shopping in our rural mountain village.  It has not been much of a hardship since we do not have money available for spending.  We live by the old tradition of Yankee thrift and "getting by."  But sometimes there are things we really need. We have to save for a long time and prepare ourselves for a journey into an area where stores are plentiful.

In the old days, a shopping excursion was an event.  You might be gone for an entire day or even overnight.  Some of the department stores would have a "Tea Room" so you could take a break from your shopping and enjoy a time of rest and a nourishing meal in a lovely restaurant.  These were a little expensive for those of simple means but a treat if one had saved enough for such a splurge.  (Today, these classy little places have been replaced by food courts inside shopping malls.)

Since we live a very old fashioned life on a limited income, we look forward to a rare shopping trip as a little vacation.  We are planning one very soon.  These trips are always combined with some necessity. In this case, one of the family is in need of medical treatment at a hospital in another state. We were not expecting this to happen and have not had to go on one of these trips for nearly a year.  We will have to stay at a hotel because the journey is far too much for us to manage as a day trip.

I have not been able to save any money towards this journey, which is expected to happen in about 2 weeks. But I am hoping to come up with $20 to at least buy a few small necessary items. One of the biggest goals I have on these rare trips is to find something unique and cheerful to buy as gifts for my grandchildren. I am often able to find toys and books on clearance and save them for birthdays.  I like to see the possibilities of goods and merchandise in person at common stores that are found in busy cities.  Usually I have a hundred dollars and am able to get several items for several birthdays to last me for most of the year. But I will still be happy with a small amount for this trip and make the best of it.  We have managed to pay the hotel fee and will bring our food from home. No Tea Room visits for us on this journey!  But we will find joy in this necessary trip despite the difficult reason for the traveling.

I am grateful to have learned, many years ago, that shopping for anything (other than groceries) is a privilege and a rare treat. It is not something that happens very often. It has made me very thankful for each little blessing.  

I hope you are enjoying wonderful spring weather!


Mrs. White


From the Archives -

The Blessed Work of Taking Care of Babies - Playing House in Real Life.

Motivation!! - Is this true? - Only Rich People Have Clean Houses.  

Please be One of these - The Mother Who Isn't Busy. 

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Marilyn said...

A wonderful post and good reminder to those of us who have a computer sending "sale" notifications every minute. No wonder so many people have outrageous credit card debt. Harder times are coming and they had better have the knowledge of keeping money for necessities. You are such a blessing to many more people than you could ever imagine.

Elizabethd said...

How very sensible.

Debbie said...

You're so right, Mrs. is a privilege. What a great reminder :) I hope all goes well with the medical trip and that you find some really sweet blessings along the way.

terricheney said...

Mrs. White, You have brought back lovely memories of going to the city to shop. I grew up where mail order catalogs were more common than shopping trips anywhere, but I do recall that at least once a year Mama and Granny would make a trip to the nearest city, before there were malls everywhere and stores were still located downtown, and we'd be all dressed up properly for our shopping. I recall that one of the treats of the trip was to stop at the confectionery counter in one department store where they would purchase warm cashews, and a variety of Brach's candies.

I hope that your shopping is leisurely and productive and that you enjoy it a great deal.

Blessings to you!

Amelia said...

Dear Mrs. White, Oh such a sweet surprise this evening as I wait for my potatoes to finish baking in the oven!

I sat here and read and your thoughts are just such a sweet breath of fresh air. In this day and age where people almost look at us as if we're being silly by saving and being sensible about things. We're not cheap at all but even young people with little ones now just seem to think twenty dollars here and twenty dollars there.

I pray everything is well and this will be a good experience for your medical trip. This must be a bit unsettling for you to have to go so far that you have to spend the night, it would be for me under those circumstances. I'm going to pray that you will have a good experience and the Lord will lead you to some wonderful deals as you shop.

Just love reading here, hugs to you. What a beautiful shot of the tearoom! How interesting!

I appreciate you! ~Amelia at My Forest Cathedral blog.

Vee said...

You mentioned the tea room, which brought to mind that faded memory. One of the large stores in Portland, ME had just such a tea room on the third floor. There were no windows and, though pleasant enough, it did not quite meet my requirements for a charming dining experience. The food, however, was fabulous.

May your needed travel be one of those blessings that God surprises us with when least expected. In spite of the circumstances, it will be good to get out after a long winter and a chilly spring. 🌷

Billie Jo said...

Hello! Prayers for the medical situation. Have a safe trip. I always appreciate your wisdom!

Lady Locust said...

I too appreciate the reminder and reflection of times gone by. Not always easier, but simpler and more wholesome allow one to be thankful. May you have a blessed trip.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

May the Lord be with you and yours as you travel, keeping you safe and provided for in every need, and I pray the person who is in need of medical care experiences the complete love and assurance of Jesus, the comfort and strength of being held in His perfect care.
God bless,
Mrs Jennifer Reynolds

Jean | said...

When I was a teenager, I lived in a place that had an open-air mall, nothing like the malls of today, so no awful food court, but rather plenty of local businesses. The finest of the two department stores in it had a tearoom upstairs with wonderful food. It was such a treat on a shopping trip. In later years that lovely and unique mall was converted into one of the horrid standard malls that are identical all over the country. I hope all goes well on your medical/shopping trip.