Monday, April 30, 2012

The Country Store


A Little Cabbage Patch in South Georgia

Good evening and come on in for a visit.  I know it has been awhile but just have not had much going on to write about.  Life is just rocking along kinda slow and easy which is good.  Life is good for us.

I have written before how I like to visit country stores.  When I was a child our little town had several stores which were not "country stores" but general stores.  One was Williams Store and it had groceries, clothes, fabric, shoes and most anything you needed.  We had several which had clothes, shoes, fabric or what we called "dry goods" and I loved them. 
These stores were the first "Walmarts" of the world for they had everything you needed under one roof. 

Then you had the true country stores which I liked even more.  We had one down in Coy, Alabama that was owned by family friends and when we would visit it was wonderful for we could get cokes in glass bottles from the chest with ice in it, open it with the opener on the side of the chest and drink it with the water from the ice running down your arm.  Cold and sweet and like nectar from heaven. 

Of course with the coke we had to have a package of peanuts to go with it.  You would rip open the package with your teeth and dump them into your coke and watch the bubbling and fizzing and hope it didn't run over the top of the bottle.  That sweet salty taste was wonderful and a treat for us.

 I think what I like best about these old country stores was the dim light, the smells which were unique and pleasant.  You would open the screen door to enter and when it slammed behind you the magic would begin.  The round hoop of cheese covered with red wax, the Coke box filled with ice and glass bottles of Coke, moon pies with that sweet gooey center, sugar daddy candy, bubble gum, Juicy Fruit gum, and on and on it would go for us to peruse and choose our favorites. 

Then there would be the overalls, denim shirts, flannel shirts, work boots, and other necessities for working men.  In the back would be some hardware and maybe gear for the mules and of course the shells for the shotguns. 

The grocery sections would be the necessities but not the extras.  Flour, meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper and a few canned goods but not many.  You raised your own fruits and vegetables, cows, hogs and chickens so only bought the basics you could not grow on the farm.  A real treat would be the cans of sardines and Vienna sausage that the men would buy for snacks or lunch when working away from the house.  These with crackers, hoop cheese and coke were the working man's dinner. 

Right by the cash register would be the chewing tobacco, snuff, loose tobacco and rolling papers to make the cigarettes.  Many of the women also dipped snuff  and the men would "chaw" the tobacco.  You had to be careful when standing around a group of men for you would get hit with tobacco juice for they would talk and spit and talk and spit. 

Cleaning supplies were basic - Octagon soap, Clorox, Ivory soap for bathing, Bon Ami for scrubbing and Ivory snow for the baby clothes and diapers.  Again, basics were all that would be there for country folk lived a fairly simple life and basics were all that were needed.

Country stores were unique and most are gone but we have found a new "country store" in Alabama.  It is on highway 10 and sits right outside of Shorterville and we stop there each time we go to the home place in Camden, AL.  This store has captured our hearts and we look forward  to stopping by there each trip.

It is a new store but has everything, even Tricia's Cafe.  You can get some of the best fried chicken, fried cornbread, chicken pie, and banana pudding you have ever eaten.  Their hamburgers are hand patted, grilled while you wait and are huge.  The sweet iced tea is brewed fresh throughout the day and tastes like heaven and they just keep on pouring it when you run out and send you out with a fresh glass in a "to go" cup.  Smiles, good food and service - fantastic.

As you leave the cafe section you are in little of this and little of that - canning supplies, school supplies, personal items, and of course some crafts made by some of the local ladies. 

The opposite side of the store is fishing and hunting supplies, cold beer, hardware, and snacks and drinks.  Most anything you need can be found there and outside are the tanks of minnows for fishing bait and bags of ice to keep you fish cold when you catch them. 

This last trip we found out they even buy rattlesnakes if they are dead and over 3 feet long.  A young man brought in a 5 1/2 foot snake he had killed in his back yard and sold it for $2.50 a foot.  Not bad and there are a few in the area.  Then there is gas, oil, and diesel for your transportation needs. 

I have an idea if you could just about get anything you needed there or they would get if for you.  Besides all that they have clean restrooms and rocking chairs on the front porch.  It is an adventure to stop by and we see something new each time.  Love it.

Getting out into the country and trying out some of the local "country stores" can be quite an experience and I wish I could do it more often.  Why not try it?

Well I have rambled enough for today and I am tired.  I began walking morning and afternoon to see if I can get rid of some extra weight and I am surely out of shape. Today I saw a raccoon getting a drink of water from the creek that runs by our property and he was beautiful.  Not real pleased with me interrupting his trip to the creek. 

Ya'll be careful going home and come back to see me.

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach


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