Since early this mornin' the county road crew had been workin' in our neighborhood, you know, mowin' along the roads and clearin' low hangin' tree limbs. A loud beepin' noise would sound every time one of them trucks or tractors would back up a little bit. When the little woman came out to see what I was lookin' at, she said, "It looks like that noise would drive them guys crazy."

Dixie Belle, our next-door neighbor came walkin' up with Tyrone her grandson. Tyrone asked,  "Grandma, why does them tractors and trucks make that funny racket anyway, when they back up?"

Dixie Belle said, "I don't know, do y'all know?"

The little woman said, "I thank those noises are so anybody behind one of them will know if they were goin' to back up. That way they can move out of the way and not get run over."

Tyrone said, "Oh".

Dixie Belle said, "that makes sense", and they headed on back down the road toward their house.

The little woman turned to me and asked," are they still workin' on our road?"

"No, they're done in here and already back on the main road, why?" I asked.

"I thought we should take our coupons and get our shoppin' done before it gets too hot," she said.

She sorted out a bunch of coupons and we set out to get some serious shoppin' done. She was happy-happy-happy cause goin' this early she would have enough time to find all the stuff she had coupons for.

I thank goin' shoppin' is such fun and almost always a big adventure. For one thang, you never know what you will run into. Like on this trip, I figured as long as we were goin' to be in Johnson City anyway, we might as well pick up the parts I needed for my tractor, it's only about ten miles out of the way, but shucks, it would save makin' another trip. Besides that,  somehow the little woman just can't seem to be at ease when we're on the road. Well anyway, there was a big concrete truck in front of us and the little woman kept on sayin' she hoped that thang turned off purty soon. I figured it would, but it never. We followed it up hill and down. If you've ever been behind one of them, you know exactly what it looks like. I mean they wobble to the left, then they wobble to the right, fact is they wobble all over the road and always look like they will turn over any minute.

Well to make a short story even longer, ever time that thang slowed down while it was goin' up the hills, I would get a little closer than I was awhile ago when we was goin' faster. The little woman would start climbin' the seat back and squirmin' around like a worm in hot ashes. She'd say somethin' like you can't push that big thang or don't get so close, I don't want a van full of concrete. Then she would swear that I drove like a maniac and she was never goin' any place with me again and I'd drop back another half mile. Then she'd look back and see somebody on our bumper and start tryin' to crawl under the dash. When we are on the super slab it's the big trucks that make her nervous. The only thang that'll get her mind off the traffic is bargains. She wouldn't care if I was in a battle with a half dozen road-worriors as long as she found a few bargains. So naturally I'm always lookin' for some bargains that we can pick up along the way. Shucks, most of the time I even keep sale papers in the van just so she can hunt through them for bargains but this time I didn't have any.

When we got to the Super Store we found taters 10 lbs for 98 cents even without a coupon. That was a good price on taters. We didn't buy any bread cause the little woman thought it was too high. So she said she'd just bake biscuits. Right then my mind went sorta numb as I started daydreamin' about them golden brown biscuits that was so tender they would might near melt in your mouth. Now ain't I the lucky one? I mean, I'm glad she's cheap and I told her so.

She said, "I'll buy some bread at Sam's on the way back home and I am NOT cheap . . . . , well . . . . not real cheap, maybe just a little bit cheap, I do like bargains though."

"Maybe if Sam's bread is too high, I'll get another pan of biscuits". I remarked, but she didn't hear me cause she was too busy shufflin' her coupons around.

Well, even I can be gentlemen now and then, so bein' the gentleman that I am, I thought I would get her somethin' kinda nice for Easter, like a big chocolate egg. Even with it bein' so close to Easter and all, I didn't tell her that it was for her. I picked up a pack of them big chocolate eggs and put them in the buggy.

"How many fat calories are in that?" she asked.

I read the label and said, "each egg has 190 calories and 110 of them are from fat."

"You're not goin' to eat them thangs are you?" She asked.

I said  "Well . . . I guess not, but I thank we need a few of them fat'ens ever now and then." Then I picked up another pack that was a different color. I figured if they went to all the trouble to change the color of the wrapper, it might be because the number of calories was different. It was, this one had 170 calories and 100 of them was from fat. The little woman was frownin' at me so I pitched it back on the shelf and smacked my hand (the one I picked it up with) then I asked her "if it was alright if I just eat one of the wrappers?"

 She said, "Find somethin' else."

We went on down the isle where I spied some more eggs and went to check them out. I decided to pass on them too because they all had panty hose in 'em. I just gave up and we finished shoppin' and went to the checkout. Lo and behold there was Dixie Belle and little Tyrone in the checkout line.

Dixie Belle said, "My little buddy here wanted some potato chips."

About that time a lady's pager in front of Dixie Belle and little Tryone went to beepin' and little Tyrone yelled "Grandma, git outa the way, she's gonna back up."

We all like to died laughin', even the lady with the pager got tickled and started to laugh too.

I said, "Well, at least she's a good sport."

We took that load of groceries on home, but forgot to stop at Sam's for the bread. We decided that since it was still early we would have time to make another trip and could pick up the bread this time.

I said, "this mornin' when I finished work at the barn, I found Cheyenne's fan had quit runnin'. So I got out my handy-dandy pocketknife and went to work on it. I finally got it to run but it's just a matter of time until it quits for good."

"Well", she said. "Since we are goin' to the feed store and Sam's we can stop at an extra place or two and buy another fan".

Actually we stopped at a lot of other places and the little woman found a bunch of bargains at most of them. They didn't have any box fans at Wal-Mart so we went to Big Lots, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Lowes, Home Depot, Office Depot, Free Service Tire Store, Roberts Tire and Recappin', 84 lumber, Goodwill Stores, Toys-R-Us, Dairy Queen, the flea markets, every yard sale in Kingsport and most of the junk yards in East Tennessee. Everybody had stuff for sale rangin' from Easter to Christmas but nobody had box fans.

The little woman said, "We'll give Cheyenne the fan in the feed room if his quits, after all he needs it more than we do".

"What if another fan conks out?" I asked

She said, "We could take the blower out of the furnace down at North Morgan, since we ain't livin' there it won't matter".

I shudder to thank what'll go next if the third one fails. Well anyway, back to the shoppin'. They had oats on sale at the mill so she bought a bunch of them. Then they had a sale on alfalfa cubes, so she bought a bunch of them too. Besides that we got some sweet feed and some equine senior (that's horse feed for old horses).

The van was gettin' purty full and we still had two more stores to stop at. I thought about rentin' a U-haul it, but decided we could manage if we were real careful. Well, we weren't cause we stopped at White's to get some of that creamer that the little woman likes so much, you know the chocolatey stuff. Well she found a sale on Lucks beans and bought, I guess all they had. Then she wiped 'em out on the graham crackers too.

She said, "The bananas are cheap so we should get a couple of pounds so we could have peanut-butter and banana sandwich for dinner."

Sounded good to me, since we were gonna stop at Sam's to get some bread as we went back home. You might remember we always buy bread at Sam's cause it's cheaper there. Well she bought coca colas and corn flakes and ever so many jars of jelly, to go with the bananas you know, and besides that they were cheap. So help me, we had to load some of that stuff into the passenger side on the floor and in the seats where we were suppose to sit. We finally made it home but alas, we didn't stop at Sam's cause we were out of room. We unloaded the stuff for the barn and I had to build another room onto the already large feed room we had. That took nearly two more hours.

The little woman said, "we will just have to eat some of the left over biscuits with lunch cause we didn't have room to stop at Sam's to buy some bread".

I said, "we could have the bananas on some of the graham crackers".

But she said, Nooooooo, "them graham crackers is for the horses".

I said, " Well, I'll just eat a hand full of oats and forget it".

She said, "No, absolutely not, you cannot eat the horses feed".

Then we unloaded the stuff for the house and sat down to eat. There I was with my taste buds all primed for a banana and peanut-butter sandwich and had to eat a cheese biscuit with sausage and tomato. Talk about a let down, Tee hee hee hee.

That evenin' we finally did get to Sam's to buy dog food and bread, but we also bought a honeydew melon and of course a ton of carrots for the horses and a ton of apples. We are single handedly responsible for 217 carrot farms makin' a profit this year, and 351 apple orchards makin' a profit as well. We got some more biscuit flour and some pancake flour and was goin' down the isle to where they kept the chewin' gum when I noticed there was a black bear in there. It was loadin' up on pastries and doughnuts and candies.

"I didn't know bears shopped at Sam's," I said.

The little woman asked, "What makes you thank that bears shop here at Sam's?"

I said, "Cause there's a bear right over there loadin' up on a bunch of sweet goodies."

She looked at that bear for the longest time and said, "That ain't no bear, it's somebody in a fur coat."

I said, "The only thang that wears a fur coat in this heat is a bear and he has to, cause he can't take it off."

She stuck an apple in my mouth and said, "Here, eat this and keep quite before you get us killed."

I kept lookin' back to see if that bear was comin' after my apple but it never. I was glad when we got checked out and the stuff loaded in the van. The main thang was we was leavin' that bear behind. See what I mean about shoppin' bein' such fun and almost always a big adventure?

Copyright © 2000  Roy Lovelace. All Rights Reserved.