It was about three years ago that Chris and I started driving north on the weekends, looking for our house on the water. We didn’t know what we were getting into but it was fun to be fancy free, jump in the car and drive away from the Toronto area. As we made our way up Highway 48, we could feel the pressures of city life begin to dissolve.
One of our first giggles came when we caught a glimpse of this sign in front of a convenience store at the side of the highway.
Apparently, small town retail can’t afford to be too specialized. They have to cater to the fisherman, the family coolers, the bored kids and the businessman who can’t quite escape his job. Oh, and yes…that same overworked man can pick up a quick bouquet to appease his frustrated spouse. Talk about one-stop shopping!
We’re about forty minutes away from the nearest big box store. Chris and I don’t feel the loss.
Our shopping excitement nowadays can involve anything from picking up a load of gravel to fill potholes in our lane way, popping in to Shirley’s Country Clutter or buying a pack of ant traps from the local hardware store. The climax of the shopping spree might just be a visit to Small Mart. (our local dollar store)
Now, don’t get me wrong – we do have our own Tim Hortons, McDonald’s and Subway and I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to actually find an authentic chai latte on main street. I suppose you can call this progress.
Yet, there is something to be said about proudly attesting to living within minutes of multiple ice-fishing hut vendors. It warms my heart to see stores that are closed on Sundays or at 6:00 pm, small churches that double up as community theatres and a new movie at The Strand every other weekend… or so.
Every time that Chris and I drive home late at night, it makes us smile when we see the multi-colored Christmas lights still hanging on the trees in the town square, welcoming us to Beaverton.
There’s just no place like home.