Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A Day Out With the Family

I really wish this post had photos, but we didn’t bring a camera.  Why should we, we only all decided to go to the recycling center because we were really hoping the Spawn would take a hint and TAKE A FREAKING NAP ALREADY, WHAT ARE YOU TEETHING OR SOMETHING???

And on the way home, having gone to the supermarket (maybe if we just drive a bit farther…), the DB mentioned that the hardware store was having an open house and would we like to stop by?  There’d be beer.

Would I?!  I’d only be more excited if he’d told me that there was a certain Swedish mega-store opening up down the road and they were giving away free kitchen gadgets to American archaeologists!  AND THERE WOULD BE BEER???  WHY DID THIS NOT GET MENTIONED UNTIL NOW?

See, the not-so-secret is, I love hardware stores.  Home Rhymes-with-Meepo?  I’d live there.  If you could graft Home Can-those-tiles-I-keepo onto an I-Swedish-home-store, I’d never leave.  Home Deliver-me-from-Repo lets me fantasize that I can Do It Yourself and then an I-can’t-pronounce-this-style-but-I-wants-it-store makes it a reality, one little hexagonal-headed L-shaped screwdriver thingy at a time.

I think it might be the smell of steel nails.  Or the 101 types of sealant.  Or hearing the following exchange:
Big Redneck Dude to Sales Clerk: I need caulk.
SC: What sort of caulk, sir?
BRD: Hard wood.
SC: Hard wood caulk?
BRD: I need something to fill my holes.
SC: Here, I think you’ll find this caulk will fit your needs.  But you’ll need a more pliable caulk if you have a bigger hole.

Okay, I haven’t actually *heard* that exchange, but I’m sure if I could just hang around "Tiles and Flooring" long enough I would.  I live in anticipation.

I’m also a big fan of small town hardware stores.  The one in my hometown was fantastic.  It’s gone now, but it used to be housed in the old assayers office.  Yes, assayer.  It’s a Gold Rush town; we had mines, miners, and assayers.  In fact, now that one of the mines re-opened, it’s an assayers office once again.  It’s like the circle of life.  Ore not.

Get it, ORE not?  Maybe I should have been more dead-PAN, eh?

Anyway, being the former… uh, and is again, assayers office, it was built with solid stone walls and the windows had solid iron shutters.  The floor was a patchwork of thick wooden planks that had been worn down by the feet of numerous fortune seekers. As a hardware store, it held large bins of loose nails and screws.  There was gold-panning equipment and paint.  I’d go in there during the summer with my dad, who would need a hammer or other odd tool.  No matter how hot it was outside, it was always much cooler inside.  You’d step through the doors and leave the heat behind; I’d always get goose bumps from the sudden drop in temperature.  And there was the overwhelming odor of nails and oil, with a slight hint of pine from the two-by-fours stacked out back.  You would buy nails by the weight, so there was a large scale that I’d use to weigh various odds and ends while my father chatted with the shop clerk.  To this day, the smell of nails makes me think of summer.

The local hardware store here isn’t quite the same.  It’s more modern with clean white walls and cement floor, but it does have the same smells and it has something the old hardware store didn’t: power tools.

Jigsaws, be still my heart! 

This being Denmark, where if you can’t do it slightly buzzed on beer, why bother to do it at all, the free beer was flowing and men in blue boiler suits and garden clogs stood around and chatted.  There was a treasure hunt, which invited the participants to go ahead and wander through all the back rooms and workspaces.  People took tractors for test-drives (I didn’t, alas) and the Spawn sat on one of the riding lawnmowers and said “Vvvvvvv!” while violently turning the wheel.  The DB got a slightly crazed look on his face and I had to remind him that she can’t mow the lawn until her feet can touch the pedals. 

All in all, it was a fantastic afternoon.  And on the way home, the Spawn fell into a nice deep sleep.  Happy days, my friends, happy days.

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