………..God! I must be getting old. That must be it. I just loathe town days. I hate ém. And we only ‘go to the store’ once every three weeks! You’d think that I could handle this sort of thing better but, to be frank, I cannot. I am handling it worse. It just drains me. And, to be fair, it drains Sal, too. Feels a lot like an eight-hour dental appointment to us. ‘Cept it lasts longer.
We start at 8:00 and get back home by 6:00 if we are lucky and make all the connections. 8:00 to 8:00 is not unheard of.
So, I have been thinking……….what if we just put together a shopping list, phone it in and have it delivered by barge every month? Crazy right? But think about it………….the barge would cost say, $200. It already costs $100 for us to go by car and ferry and small boat to town and then I have to do it all!
Basically I am thinking of only paying $100 extra NOT to have to ever go to town again. Makes sense to me. That means I would pay $1200 a year NOT to go to town.
It’s worth it!
I know what you are thinking. “Dave, you are nuts!”
Not as crazy as you might think, Butterfly. Let me explain…..
………..we went away in 1999 for a five month vacation with our kids (Long story. Good story. Great memories). Sal told me we had to leave enough money in the bank for the ‘house and sundries’ while we were away. Even tho we had paid off the mortgage, her list added up to $1500 a month (security alarm, lines, cable, heat, light, pool, lawn care insurance x several policies, window washers, etc.).
Because we had family staying in the house for part of the time and things could go awry, we decided to leave $1700 a month in the bank so that we could go away and NOT worry at all. Remember: we were not going to live in our house. That was the cost of simply leaving it alone. Comparison: like paying to board a dog in a kennel only more expensive.
You heard that right. It cost me $1700 a month NOT to live in my house! The price to actually reside there, of course, was much, much more but the killer concept for me was that it cost me $1700 a month to put my ‘stuff’ in some kind of holding pattern. AND NOT USE IT!
That is insane. It is even MORE insane when you realize that you have to earn $2500 before taxes so that you can spend $1700 of it!
Well, it was insane when I looked at it that way. Most everyone else doesn’t see it like that. But I did. And I still do.
And now I am looking at ‘going to town’ and it seems somehow almost as insane to me all over again. I am paying for the pain! Hmmmmmm……I maybe have some choices here. Maybe I should look at it more closely, exercise my brain, look at the alternatives, ya know?
Of course we have already made some ‘adjustments’ for the logistical madness and they are along the lines of the ‘off-the-grid’ theme of this blog and so I’ll share them. That is the topic of today’s blog. How to shop or, better yet, NOT shop.
When we shop we usually do more than that. We combine ‘errands’ of all kinds into shopping days. That means doctor’s appointments, meetings, deliveries, visits, bureaucratic hoops and banks – just to name a few. All crammed into one day.
When I have to see a doctor or someone and they say, “How about next Tuesday at ten?” I look at the calendar and determine when we are next scheduled for a town day and suggest that time instead. If that doesn’t work, I suggest three weeks further in to the future and so on so that I can ‘kill two birds’. And so on.
Basically, this means I am the architect of my own hell. I am the one who schedules twenty five stops into one day. Or, rather, me and Sal design our own hell. She does it , too. We try to do too much. It is our own fault.
But, in our defense, how many of you can actually accomplish all that you set out to do when you do a shopping day? If, like me, you are into building, then you know that – no matter what you do – the store is ‘out of those parts’ right now and they will have to ‘bring them in’. Or, more likely, ‘we haven’t carried that product for a year. I don’t know who does. You may have to get a new one’. “Sorry, the doctor is running behind. It will be a long (extra long) wait. Can you come back in two hours?”
“No. But I will come back in three weeks.”
Home Depot is the worst. They make me laugh. Big Box laughs, actually. If I have a list of ten items (and remember, I am not building a Candu reactor), I will be lucky to get 6 of the items. Any shopping list – even food items – is not 100% obtainable. Not possible. Guaranteed impossible, in fact. So, my point: you may as well aim for 25 stops and 100 items because four of the stops and 20% of the items are just ‘swings and misses’. Really.
But, sadly, therein lies the answer to the barge idea. I may be able to get the building supply place to deliver what they have but they will not have everything I need and no one but me knows how to ‘make do’ or substitute for the jobs I have planned. I may be able to get Save-On to deliver food (to a set list) but no one but Sal picks the best lettuce or right choice of meat. And there would be no chance for spontaneous ‘opportune’ sale-priced purchases.
Because of wanting choice, I have no choice – I have to go myself. What a trap!
I just have to think up the right escape plan……