Silent night, holy night

xmas1These photos were sent to me by Paulette, a longtime face-to-face friend of mine who is an occasional commenter here (and I hope she doesn’t mind me posting them). This is how the hardware store in the beautiful little burg named Brimley, located a few miles from Fin Family Moominbeach, decorated for Christmas. I’m not sure if these decorations are actually *from* the 60s but this is what Christmas decorations often looked like in small Yooper towns back then. I would know. I love how there’s a nice orange, plastic sled right next to Joseph so he can make a quick getaway if need be. And Rug Doctor behind the three (yes, there are three, I cropped one out) wisemen? Maybe they’d’ve done a better job with Dr. Rug than I did a few summers ago here at the Landfill. I dunno. Times are hard everywhere and likely worse in the Great White North and somebody at that hardware store is trying to capture the spirit of the season. I’m not sure that I could say they haven’t been successful.

Other than our loverly Ace-Barnes store down the street here, I am not an aficionado of hardware stores. Some people (I won’t mention any names) get all geeked out at hardware stores and have been known to visit them multiple times in one day. I get geeked out at office supply stores. Unfortunately, I have enough office supplies to last me into the next millennium and then some. I’ll be buying a mailing box (or two) in the next few days but that’s about all and it isn’t very exciting.

xmas2Anyway. The hardware store in the pictures has been in existence my whole life. I think I remember being there a few times or more when I was a kid. Not recently. My last memory of that store is not a particularly good one, although it is not the store’s fault. The beach urchins were little kids and we had some serious laundry to do. I was thinking I had once done a load or two of laundry at a laundromat over in Brimley and of course, I thought, “that’s close, we’ll just go over there”. A learning curve followed. First. I had a lot more laundry this time than I did the previous time when it was undoubtedly just me and the GG. And I had no quarters. Guess what? The change machine was broken. The attendants said, “Oh, just go next door to the hardware store to get change.” Roight. I did. The hardware store had like $3.75 worth of quarters on hand. Okaaaaaayyy. Not a good sign. I took the $3.75 and went back to the laundromat and realized that I had NO LAUNDRY DETERGENT! What was I thinking??? Guess what? The laundry detergent machine was broken. I took this as a sign that this place was not ready for me and I packed the laundry and the little girls into my vee-hickle and we high-tailed it into Sibera for a viable laundromat, picking up laundry detergent at the park store on the way.

After that, I turned into Uber Washer Woman. I would hit up my friendly neighborhood 1st of America National City PNC branch for four rolls of quarters before I even left for the north. I would hit the laundromat right at the crack of 8:00 AM, when it opened. I would usually use three triple loaders plus a regular washer or two for delicates or whatever. And I was at the ready for folding when things came out of the dryers.

I don’t know whether the Brimley hardware store is regarded as a good or bad store in this day and age. But it has been there for a very very very very long time and I hope it has enough business to last through the oncoming economic storm.

6 Responses to “Silent night, holy night”

  1. gg Says:

    The Brimley Hardware Store is very elegant for the kind of Hardware Store that it is. I can usually get what I need.

  2. Dog Mom Says:

    I am a very strange amalgam: I love *both* hardware AND office supply stores!

  3. l4827 Says:

    Nice to see the spots near the Brim-0-Bay, this time of year. I never have. Thankx fer the pic’s, P.

  4. Margaret Says:

    I hate office supply stores, but have grown to love hardware stores in the spring–fertilizer, plants, etc… Fun times.

  5. Paulette Says:

    I really like Passmores Tru-Valu. They are so helpful. Steffens hardware in the Soo is going out of business. Someone mentioned that there no longer is a local hardware store in Pickford. Signs of the times. Glad that the pix brought back good memories. Happy New Year!

  6. Dog Mom Says:

    Paulette: I’m actually *not* surprised to hear Steffens is going out of business… the last time I was there was with Jim a LOOOONG time ago, and that place had the appearance of neglect and disuse even then. Given Jim’d worked there during high school/college, he knew his way around (as well as knowing the proprietor 😉 ), and was able to find the bike parts he needed (I believe he was fixing up his old black bike… probably the “kick-shift gear” mechanism was THAT project). Anyway, I poked around a bit, amazed at how “museum-like” the contents of the store appeared (and wondering how anyone could find anything…).

    Sorry & sad to see a long-time local business go…. another one of the stores that give a place its “local flavor”, its place in the world to be filled by yet another de-personalized big-box chain.