Walmart or Garage Sell?

Yesterday, Mary and I were in Rogers, Arkansas which is right next to Bentonville, Arkansas. Doesn’t sound like much and probably most people never heard of these two mid size towns near Fayetteville. However, Bentonville is famous for being the home for the Walmart corporation. It is truly amazing what Sam Walton created across our country and around the world.

You can barely enter a city in the country without finding a Walmart or a Sam’s Club. In case, you didn’t know it, Sam’s is my favorite place to shop. I get a chance to find just about anything I need under one roof…and buy it in mass quantity! I may not need 100 rolls of toilet paper but that is beside the point.

We were able to hang out with some wonderful friends and laugh and share over a meal. They are the kind of people that are totally transparent and we quickly get beyond the small talk and head into the true stuff of life. One of these friends and his wife invited us over to their beautiful home (on a golf course..yahoo!) He is an executive at Walmart. He has to fly to India and China often and he and his family used to live in Tokyo…which is not as cool as Bentonville of course.

Earlier in the day, Mary and I went to Mary’s favorite types of places to shop, a flea market we discovered. We had earlier in our trip found a small thrift store in Chicago. She could spend days at garage sells, yard sells, Goodwill like stores and other such shops. Thankfully, we had only a small amount of time to hang out in this particular store.

What is interesting about places like this is their unique niche in Americana. You have all this old junk hanging around on shelves or in booths just waiting for the right customer. I think for Mary it becomes an elaborate treasure hunt looking for just that one special find that will make life complete. And, in most of these places, they cram as much stuff as humanly possible. I did find a nice brass ship that I would love to give to my father to complete the collection of hideous gifts I have given him over the years.

I think this also is a description of life. Some people prefer to dig through stuff and find that rare gem while others like to have everything they want within easy grasp. I guess you can tell which type my wife is and what type I am. Here’s the thing, when you apply these thoughts to real life, Mary’s idea may be the best. I mean, isn’t it better to find that rare moment, that unique opportunity, that special time. Sam’s or Walmart kind of living is more predictable and less scary. Every Sam’s and Walmart you walk in will be pretty much be the same thing. That may be more secure but is it more fun?

Well, give it some thought! I got to go…need to convince Mary to head over to Sam’s!

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