Hope's Corner: Hard-Wired for Hardware - The Dickinson Press | News, weather, sports from Dickinson North Dakota

2022-09-17 21:31:28 By : Ms. Kelsi Yan

Does your family have special Sunday traditions? Do you go out for brunch after church? Do you gather for dinner, with the good dishes and real napkins? We have a tradition, too. We go to the hardware store.

The hardware store has been our prime daytrip destination for decades. When we needed WD-40 to cure the ills of an aging door hinge, down to the corner hardware store we would go. When we had a toddler who was easily bored, we would take him to one of Dickinson’s many hardware stores. In those years our son was about the height of the bins of screws and nails. He had a vast working knowledge of every kind of screw and nail available in Dickinson.

For years I would go Christmas shopping for my dad at the hardware stores. My dad never met a tool he did not like.

Dad had tools in his garage that he used only for specific purposes. He purchased them for arcane and esoteric projects, like when he needed a special drill to make a hole in the brick front of the house. He was determined to install a sensor for his indoor/outdoor thermometer. He went through three different drill bits and drilled for a solid week.

After using these unique and special tools, Dad cleaned and neatly stored them in their original packaging. Usually with the original sales slips, as well. My dad kept records of his tools, like ranchers keep records of their breeding bulls.

It came as no surprise, after I got married, that my beloved husband also loved hardware stores. We would end up needing lawn bags, furnace filters, or a leaf rake, and off we would go.

Now, the strange thing about shopping in hardware stores is that you go in for a specific item, and you come back out with that specific item. You may browse a little bit, but you don’t impulse-buy a cartload of stuff like when you go to the grocery store. At a hardware store you get what is on your list.

When the pandemic struck, our date nights became non-existent. We ordered groceries for pick-up, and washed all of them like we were a family of raccoons. We worked from home as much as possible.

Then came the hardware store dates. Hardware stores have wide aisles, and are not crowded, so they were the perfect spot for a Sunday outing. We would plan our weekends around our Sunday afternoon strolls through a hardware store.

We began buying more than just hardware. Because you can only stockpile so many furnace filters. We tried new brands of soup. We ate candies imported from as far away as India and Denmark, and Wisconsin. We ate gourmet pretzels.

The pandemic has eased, but we still enjoy Sundays at the hardware store. Sometimes we even impulse-buy a cartload toys and food. And a few extra furnace filters.

Jackie Hope is the longest running Dickinson Press contributor and columnist. "Hope's Corner" is a weekly humorous column centered on a message of hope for residents in southwest North Dakota.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dickinson Press, nor Forum ownership.