Those of us who have called this place home throughout our lives tend to try to shop here as much as possible and to make the best of the changes through which our town has gone.
Once upon a time we had several grocery stores and a few meat markets in which to shop and could do a little serious shopping as we went from place to place. We also had many other stores in which to shop and a number of places in which we could gather to visit with our friends.
Well, as happens, times tend to change, we are now limited in our choices. We have our one grocery store and are often heard complaining about it.
If you haven’t taken time to meet the managers, Greg and Tracy Baldwin, you have missed a chance to make new friends and to have enjoyable conversations while talking about the watermelon-sized potatoes they received in their last shipment or the meat that has traveled from Canada to Mexico and back to the United States.
Those two people are very willing to do all they can to provide us with the food we want and are eager to explain some of the problems they face as they try to satisfy their customers.
When two people have such good senses of humor, we are more willing than ever to commend them for what they are trying to do and can relax enough to let them know how we feel about the products they are selling.
Tracy has even let me know on occasion that I really might check out my cooking abilities before commenting too much about the tough ground meat or about the taste of some of the produce that needs just a little help before putting it on the dinner table.
Greg rather enjoys taking the time to explain a few of the problems they face in order to keep us satisfied, such as cleaning, repairing, and replacing the shopping carts, many of which are stolen and others of which are damaged beyond repair.
When the owners have to spend several thousand dollars replacing such items, we, as customers, are apt to help make up the cost by paying a little extra for a few items.
We know that we are going to continue to complain because we have no choice in places in which to shop, but we might as well realize that we are fortunate to have one place and to have a couple of people who are willing to work with us in order to satisfy our desires.
Yes, we may have to learn to be a little resourceful in changing a few of our recipes, but we also know that one store cannot carry all the items that each person in this shopping area would want or need.
Quite frankly, I much prefer to shop right here because I am not eager to have to drive a number of miles in any direction to find other stores in which to shop. In the first place, I don’t really like to shop as a pastime and certainly don’t want to have to go to Obar to buy beans.
I much prefer visiting with the Baldwins, complaining both seriously and in fun, and making new friends along the way.
When I go out of town, I know I am not going to save money because I am going to do a lot of extra shopping for things I don’t need and am certainly going to eat more than a hamburger after having wandered aimlessly through stores in which I don’t see people I know and don’t feel particularly welcome.
So – the new potatoes are aged a bit by the time they get to Tucumcari and the meat has to be thawed before being sold as fresh. Let’s just enjoy what we have and greet each other as we roam around the stores in our home town.