So yesterday I took the afternoon off from work to catch up on some errands that were neglected during my recent bout of on-call. Oddly, I found relaxation in this.

First on the list was the chore of picking up some needed non-food items. I hate going to the grocery store and I wasn’t in the mood to wrestle my way into the mall to visit our only Target, so I decided to honor my childhood and venture a visit to K-mart. I had my new Sears/K-mart rewards card and everything. As a quick aside, I think the new card should be blue, but it is not.

K-mart, alas poor K-mart, what has happened to thee?

Before the big store of Ames moved into our little farm town in 1978, we would go shopping at one of two K-marts near Syracuse. The primary choice was K-mart across from the “Northern Lights” shopping center. Said store is still there today and she’s holding up pretty good. If we didn’t go to the Northern Lights store we went to the Western Lights (such a copy cat) store on the west side of the city. That store was a little bigger than the Northern Lights store and for some reason I remember eating in that cafeteria in the back of the store but I don’t remember eating in the cafeteria in the Northern Lights store. As a K-mart kid (we didn’t have the money to afford Sears or anything like that), I found some comfort in the old fashioned green and orange “SSK” stacked logo in the back of the store where it said “S.S. Kresge Corp”.

Back to yesterday. I went to our local K-mart (ahem, it’s a Big “K”) and joined the four other people that were milling around the vast emptiness of the store. Two of the seven checkouts (numbered two through eight) were open. The cafeteria is long gone and I noticed that the K-mart Cafe at front, where you would find nachos, popcorn and pretzels has been boarded up as well. The Pharmacy in the corner is gone. On a bright note, the Christmas Tree decorations display is still up and fully functional. In between these observations is vast, open space with empty shelves. I thought the store was going out of business. I even checked at the service desk. It’s not going out of business, it’s just business as usual.

Wow. So sad. I still say that K-mart started dying when they did that whole crazy “Big K” thing and they should have stayed familiar (yet attempted to update their stores) with the American public by just modernizing the old red and turquoise logo like Australia did.

Old logo

Australia logo

K-mart didn’t have half of what I was looking for so I stopped at a local Walgreens and found everything else. After Walgreens I went to the local Army Navy store with the intent of buying a new pair of black combat boots. My current boots are tipping six years old and have little in the way of support in them. Browsing through the shoe department I found the perfect pair of combat boots. Then I found an awesome pair of logger boots. And THEN I found a pair of military style dress shoes. I asked for all three in the same size and tried them on.

All three fit like a glove. They were wonderful.

“Which ones are you buying?”, asked the relatively helpful salesperson.

I thought for a moment and said “all of them”. You see, earlier in the day I had picked up the Jeep from getting four new tires, so I figured if the Jeep had new treads I should have new treads too. I risked the chance that Earl would kill me for spending the money; he opted to just glare instead of draw blood.

There’s my spending for the year.