I'm getting a little concerned about my developing Menards addiction. I mean, it's bordering on a problem when you've made a Menards trip three times in the past 24 hours, isn't it?
First off, for those of you that didn't grow up with the ubiquitous commercials starring the very freaky Menards Man , Menards is a Midwestern-based home improvement chain akin to Hope Depot or Lowe's. One just opened about six months ago here in Galesburg as part of the ginormous Super Wal-Mart complex that was supposed to be the savior of the Galesburg economy but which has about 75% of its stores vacant. My first trip to Menards came on moving day when I had to go get some converters since most of our electrical outlets were 2-prong and we needed some 3-prong outlets for the computer and Menards is closer to my house than Lowe's. I have subsequently fallen in love with this store which seems somehow softer and more friendly than Lowe's. Maybe it's just that Midwestern hospitality I'm sensing.
My addiction really hit full force last weekend when I made my trip there to buy petunias for my front lawn (they're doing well, by the way). A couple days later, I was back to buy some impatiens that are also growing quite nicely around the tree that sits at the front of my property. The problem really began yesterday when I headed over to Menards to buy some edging stones to help protect my new flowers from the lawn mower. I bought what I thought would be enough along with a rake to help loosen the soil in the crop circle so I can get the seed blanket in, a watering can, and a hose. Well, I didn't buy enough stones, so I had to go back today and buy more. While I was there this morning, I also found some other edging stones to use by the front sidewalk where the petunias are growing -- also an attempt to protect them from the mower. Well, I didn't buy enough of these new stones, so I had to go back a couple hours later (after I had mowed my lawn) to buy more of those and while I was there I also bought some Miracle Gro for my flowers, an attachment for my hose so that I can spray it a little more evenly, and a box of Pop Ice that were a total impulse buy since they were right by the cash register. (That's part of the wonder of Menards -- you can seriously get anything there!) Now, granted, in these three adventures over the past 24 hours, I don't think I've even cracked $50 in expenditures, but I have to admit there was also a little shame in my heart as I walked into the garden center for the third time in 24 hours today -- and a huge wave of relief when I saw it was a different person running the cash register.
And here's the thing -- I think I need to go back tomorrow. I was one edging stone short.