I was reminded on a recent trip to our attic of an important purchase seven years ago – one that may have kept Wife from skedaddling back to Florida.

Looking for a container of extension cords, I noticed it sitting in the exact same place it has sat these past 2,555-plus days – now sporting a thick coat of dust over its once bright blue exterior.

I purchased the electric snowblower for about $300 after a heavy snowstorm back in late 2013. The snow was so deep, we couldn’t get our vehicles out of the garage. Wife struggled with the plastic snow shovel I’d won at a company Christmas party. I knew it was little use, but she persisted.

Luckily, a neighbor drove by in his four-wheel drive Jeep and gave us a ride to work.

After a co-worker dropped Wife off (she gets off work about three hours before I make it home) she began clearing the driveway, first by shoveling and then by boiling large pots of water to melt the snow and ice.

When I got home from work, she was still toting big pots of boiling water to clear what little was left of the snow and ice. She must have poured a hundred down that driveway.

“I’m not doing this again,” she warned, steam rising and reminding me of that day’s 78-degree weather in Florida. “We need a snowblower.”

In a couple weeks, I presented a big box covered with a blanket. When she pulled off the cover, she was both surprised and delighted.

“That’ll do the trick,” she said, admiring the machine.

It hasn’t snowed enough to matter since. We’ve never even plugged it in to see if it actually works.

If I’d known I could stop all snowstorms for seven years by spending $300, I would have done it our first winter in Jonesboro when another snowstorm almost kept us from work.

Anyway, you can thank me and my snowblower purchase for the lack of snow these past seven years.

Now that I’ve written about it, I’ve probably jinxed the whole deal and a blizzard will soon force me to push that blue contraption up and down the driveway, freezing my you-know-what off.

I probably ought to plug it in to see if it actually works. I owe the neighbor a favor.

Since the pandemic hit, I’ve been doing all the grocery shopping because Wife has to wear a mask all week at work, oftentimes swabbing patients for COVID-19.

I didn’t realize the money we’d been saving until she decided to mask up and join me last weekend.

We always make out a list so I don’t forget anything essential. I often pick up a few more goodies as I go up and down the aisles filling my cart and scratching items off the list. After a trip to two or three grocery stores, I usually spend around $150.

When Wife went with me last weekend, we purchased more than twice the number of items we had on the list. Apparently, we forgot to include a lot of things.

Rule of thumb: If you want to save on groceries, only have one person do the shopping and stick to the list – unless gummy bears, Dean’s Dip and mascara are in stock. Those are essentials.

Speaking of grocery shopping, nothing is more frustrating than when stores decide to move products around.

Having taken on the grocery shopping these past 10 months, I’ve become pretty adept at getting in and out with what I came for as quickly as possible, skipping aisles where I know there’s nothing on the list.

Then they go and move everything around! Are you kidding me?

I envision this beady-eyed assistant manager with a sinister smile on his face sitting at his desk in a dark backroom watching shoppers on his closed-circuit monitor as they stomp their feet in the aisles looking skyward while muttering bad words under their masks.

Like rats in a maze, we’re trained which aisles to go down and exactly where the products can be found hidden on shelves. Our expectations are met each time we succeed in finding the item in the same place and placing it in our cart – like a mental treat.

Then they change it all around to drive us crazy.

Is this some sort of mad science experiment or do some stores simply like to inflict mental anguish on customers?

One day when the Mexican chicken bullion was no longer to be found in its rightful spot, I got so ticked off I wanted to “accidentally” drop a half-gallon jug of spicy tomato juice on the tile floor.

Fortunately, there was an amiable employee stocking shelves nearby who was more than willing to help. She told me where the item could be found and preceded to lead me directly to it. Voilà! Mission accomplished.

But what’s the deal with Banquet Swedish meatball frozen TV dinners? You know, the ones with noodles and gravy that used to cost $1 and now can’t be found anywhere at any price? All they have are Salisbury steak, spaghetti and meatballs and sliced turkey frozen dinners.

It’s an outrage.

I guess some folks got tired of hoarding all the toilet paper and now they’re fixated on Banquet Swedish meatball dinners.

Man cannot live by Progresso chicken and sausage gumbo soup for lunch alone. (With club crackers, of course.)

Chris Wessel, editor of The Jonesboro Sun, can be reached at 935-5525, Ext. 250, or cwessel@ jonesborosun.com.

Chris Wessel, editor of The Jonesboro Sun, can be reached at 935-5525, Ext. 250, or cwessel@jonesborosun.com.

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