The story of our roadtrip does lose something when written down, but, here it is:
So, our friend and I went into town (with a short detour for a 5-minute tour of the tiny town near the farm) and Googled the nearest hardware store. The nearest decent-sized town isn’t a big city, but there’s a small college there, so it’s not miniscule. We found a tiny little Ace Hardware downtown. We walked in and when asked what we needed help with, I said “I need a belt sander.” The guy said, “Man, everyone must be working on their floors this weekend. Are you sanding your floors?”
I said, “Yes.”
“Boy, I never sell belt sanders, and I’ve sold two today. My only two.”
*sigh* “Do you know of anywhere else in town we could get one?”
“Not today. Not on a Sunday.”
So, rather than drive the (now) hour and a half back to Fargo, we attempted to find some supplies to MacGyver the sander. Finding some gasket material and electrical tape that is good to 220 degrees, we paid and headed back out. But before heading back to the farm, we decided to be SURE that there were no other options for a sander nearby. The other hardware store that’s open on Sundays? It was closed due to the holiday weekend. So, we tried a Shopko, thinking it might be like at Kmart — but it didn’t sell tools, either. Shopko. Not like Kmart. Got it.
So, we decided to hit the liquor store before heading home. I needed margarita mix for the tequila our friend had brought.
We stopped at a liquor store with two women, seemingly loitering outside, and wondered if IT was open. Our friend suggested we take our cue from the women outside, “They look like they know their way around.”
And indeed they did, so when they went inside, we followed them in. Turns out that one of the women was the clerk, who’d been outside for her smoke break.
Finding the margarita mix was no problem and we went up to pay, but when we did, I saw something strange: little packets of pickle juice that were meant to be frozen into popsicles.
“So… pickle juice popsicles? That’s a thing?” I asked.
“Oh, yeah,” the woman said. “People like them in bloody Marys or I like them in beer with tomato juice.” She continued, “They’re GREAT on a hot day like today. I could be sitting home drinking them, getting LOADED, but instead I’m here. And it’s been busy today.”
Our friend and I mumbled our sympathies, paid and hustled out the door, barely able to hold back our laughter. We both agreed that the way she’d said that she could be getting LOADED made it sound like that was her second job…that she wished was her first.
We headed back to the farm, through road construction, a bit dejected over our failed shopping trip, but hopeful we could “Schulz it up” (that’s a family reference to making due with what you have, whether it’s because you don’t have the proper materials or you’re using a cheaper alternative).
Our friend set to dismantling the sander to try to make our modifications to it — while we all had a much-deserved drink. I headed back to the dining room to try to make just a bit more progress before leaving the house for dinner.
That old, cheap sander didn’t go down easy, though, and refused to come apart (even though our friend’s an engineer and pretty handy with tools). So into the garbage it went … along with any hopes of finishing both the sanding in both rooms.
So… to heck with it. We cleaned up a bit and headed to Bri’s aunt and uncle’s house who graciously were cooking our food at their place — in the much-needed air conditioning. We enjoyed great food, drinks and cool air for a few hours before heading back to the farm for a bonfire (in the grill, because we haven’t found or created a fire pit yet) before bed.