the worst/best place to go

This week, I went Easter basket shopping for three teen-twenty-something daughters at Menards. And it was fun. I realize that does not sound possible. After all, it was one of those daughters who, years ago, gave us this conversational gem:

(Setting: Dinner table, serious family theological conversation)
Child #1–“The worst place to have to go is hell, right?”
Great theologian mother–“Yes, that’s right.”
Child #3–“No, the worst place to ever have to go is Menards!”

Apparently, child #3 had been on far too many trips with her father, who is known for his need to examine a single 2×4 for 30 minutes to ensure that it is the perfect 2×4 for the job.

Only seven stores to shop at in the month of April, and guess what? Easter generally falls in April. So, off to Menards it was. True, we can also go to Target, so hammers and paint brushes were not all they received. Nevertheless, it was a good time.

Did you know you can get fuzzy pink socks at Menards? And lots of candy? You probably do know this, because it seems you can buy anything at Menards, including your shampoo, right next to the plumbing aisle. I saw the tank tops and camis, but I passed on them. I just imagined the conversation when child #3 wore one to high school.

“Oh–that top is sooo cute. Where’d you get it?”
“Um . . . I . . . I don’t . . . remember. Nope. No idea. Really.”
To use child #3’s favorite word lately, Awkward.

And, I figured, two of them will leave home in the next few years, so they will need things like hammers and screwdrivers and things to patch the holes in the walls that they will inevitably make. (Note: I did not purchase the girly hammer kits. My girls now own real hammers, thank you very much. However, I would definitely use a flowered hammer.)

So the lessons learned in our first week of shopping at only seven stores?

–Creativity. If life hands you Menards, make Easter baskets. It stretches your ability to find value where you didn’t think you would and make something out of nothing. That’s a good exercise for all of us.

–Simplicity. The baskets were less full this year. And you know what? No one cared. They loved what they got. I didn’t go around to twenty different places looking for exactly the “thing” I thought they needed. I had only a couple choices, and they were plenty.

I already love shopping at only seven stores as much as only seven items of clothing. Simplifying my world, one shopping trip at a time.

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