Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kitty

This morning I called my daughter in California, since it is her birthday. She tells me they had birthday cake at breakfast! Partly because Isaac was begging for it. Mostly because she and Mike are busy, busy, and there are other things to do when he gets home tonight. They haven't even had time to celebrate their anniversary yet. That was earlier this month. They have decided to have anniversary month instead, and manage to celebrate later. If not before, they have reservations for a couple of nights in a lighthouse hostel, the last week of the month.

We were bemoaning the fact that stores have grown so BIG. Way too big, so far as I'm concerned. I have to plan which items I'm going to buy in a supermarke
t - those at this end of the store, or those at the other end. I just can't walk all the way to the back. It's too far for me any more, even though I use the shopping cart sort of like a walker. That helps. Department stores are too big too. Some have motorized scooters for old fogies like me, but I don't like them. There are always things piled in aisles that obstruct them, or crowds get in the way. And sometimes people don't plug in the scooters when they're finished with them, and the power will run out when you're halfway through the store.

Then there are super big stores that swoop into a neighborhood and drive out all the nice little shops that I love. This also applies to craft shops and book stores. I wanted to cry when our small bookstore went out of business. Also, a huge craft chain moved in nearby, and all those little guys left too. I can't shop in the big new one. That is just waaay too big, and the sales people don't know the stock well enough to direct you to anything. I had hoped they would carry the Art
ful Blogging Magazine that has an article about Caroline's Crayons in the new issue, but no such luck. I know that Border's carries it, but that isn't within my driving range. One of my daughters will find it for me.

Anyway, it's Kitty's theory that sooner or later, all of this will turn itself around, and we will start to move back to the smaller businesses again. It seems to be happening in California, where just about every small town now has a market night, when you can stroll through the town's main street, buying fresh produce, and just about anything else you can imagine. Of course, in California the produce is fresh all year 'round. We don't have that advantage here.

Kitty writes a column for her County paper about whatever cultural events are going on each week. This week there was much about the Steinbeck Museum in Salinas. She was unhappy with it because it concerns a big Mexican Festival - free (with admission to the musem). We wonder just who this is aimed at. Certainly not the poor Mexican families with whom Steinbeck himself was so co
ncerned. There are so many of them in Salinas who work the farms. But they will not be able to afford the admission to bring their children to the festival.

Also big doings down on Cannery Row, where they opened Doc Rickett's lab for a day. He was a famed marine biologist and Steinbeck's friend. (co-author Sea of Cortez) My daughter is educating me in these matters.

So anyway -

I love you.


Cliff said...

Happy Birthday indeed.
I agree with you about the big stores. The small store in the next town south of here does well because people like being able to park by the door and go in and find what they want and exit.

AppleDebbie said...

Bobbie... My son lives in Salinas not too far from the Steinbeck Museum. Just out of curiosity I checked the price of admission to the museum. $10.95 for adults and $7.95 for kids... not exactly inexpensive! It seems to me that they're marketing to the tourists instead of trying to make the Mexican Festival accessible to the local population.

(Happy Birthday Kitty!)

Daryl said...

Happy Birthday Kitty .. birthday cake for breakfast is the PERFECT way to start a new day/new year!


me ann my camera said...

I agree with you that big stores are just too big and also you find the same stores everywhere. It used to be fun to vacation and find a lot of different places to shop. Now if its a chain, it is everywhere, and one mall becomes just like all the others no matter what their address.

kenju said...

Happy Birthday, Kitty! I have always wanted to go to Cannery Row and Salinas.

storyteller said...

Belated congrats on your 200th post … I’m not sure what the ‘mystery shrub’ is … thoroughly enjoyed all your Sky Watch photos (stormy skies are always fascinating) … especially near the ocean! Wow … 2 snakes in your Camera Critters post!!! Pretty amazing finds ;--)
Gas prices are hovering around $4 in So Cal, but I’m hoping they’ll fall soon. Love the photo in Sunday’s post and Happy Birthday to Kitty!!!
Hugs and blessings,

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, including your family's birthday doings - cake for breakfast, what a concept!! And boy do I ever agree with you on the whole big box store thing. I hope you're right about the turn around. No sign of it around here, lovely big old trees are coming down and new stores are going up like crazy.

KG said...

Happy birthday to her!

Wow - I would LOVE some sort of Farmer's Market year-round. Well ... except for the heinous cold dampness in the winter where I live.

I admit, though, I use those superstores mainly because I then only have to get the baby out of the car one time to go in and buy everything i need!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Happy B-Day, Kitty!

I agree with you on the big stores. I am "only" in my 40's and more often than not I will choose our local Rinky Dink store, with very few decisions to make, very few square feet to cover, and very reasonable prices (if you know your prices)over a Wal-Mutant, for example.

There are some things that you ought to go to the bigger stores for, but I have chosen to try and buy those locally in the Mom and Pop stores rather than in the big box retailers where possible.

I once thought because we live in such a rural area that I wanted those bigger stores close by. Now, I realize I don't need them, and all they do is bleed us dry.

Great post!

dianasfaria.com said...

What a sweet post for your daughters birthday! happy birthday Kitty!
I am thinking she may be right about the small stores thriving again. You make a lot of good points Bobbie. It seems like it would make sense for a lot of people.

Bear Naked said...

Happy Birthday to Kitty.
I am intrigued by the idea of a lighthouse hostel.
Will she be writing about her adventure there?
I agree with you about the LARGE stores.
Bigger is not always better in my opinion.

Bear((( )))

Dianne said...

Happy Birthday Kitty!!

In the 5 years I've been here Bobbie so many smaller stores have closed. I hate the Super 'you name it' - and Walmart better not come anywhere near me ;)

bobbie said...

Ooooooo - Dianne said a dirty word - (Walmart)

Judy said...

Happy Birthday to your daughter. I hope we do go back to the small market. I don't like the big stores and can never find anything. Just end up walking myself to death.