Living the rural life in Southern Oregon is quite a culture shock.
Even though I have lived in Oregon most of my life, the past 3 1/2 years I spent in Phoenix, AZ. allowed me to experience life in the big city. All kinds of things to do and shopping at just about any retailer you can imagine within a 5 mile radius. Now that I’m residing in the great northwest woodlands, a 45 minute trip to “town” is very exciting. Wow! I get to go shopping! At Wal-Mart!
Just how small of a town do I live in you might ask? How small is your town that you have to travel 45 minutes to a Wal-Mart?
Well, my little town boasts about 2000 people, a grocery store, a hardware store, couple of bars, some restaurants, lots of churches and a Dairy Queen. Oh and a Subway! (not a metro)
Last Saturday our family planned an exciting trip to Medford, Oregon. Medford boasts a population of 100,000. Big city. We were going shopping and out to dinner. We were going to Wal-Mart!
Really, I must tell you, I don’t like Wal-Mart very much. There are other stores I would rather shop. But sometimes it is an necessary evil. Rural life does not allow for one to be very picky in shopping choices.
The Wal-Mart in Medford has been at the Crater Lake Hwy. location for many years. I have shopped there a lot in the past. Actually, I was at the Costco right next door this summer. So, you can imagine my surprise when last Saturday night, as we drove past where Wal-Mart was suppose to be….was darkness. Only darkness.
It was also dark outside, but the void, the blackness that loomed where Wal-Mart should have been was eerie. There was a tall chain link fence encircling the whole building and the parking lot. Piles of rock and gravel stood as grave markers where once shopping carts and garden supplies graced the grounds. Large excavators and heavy machinery were parked where happy shoppers once parked their cars. The building was gutted and looked as if it had been destroyed by guided missiles.
What is wrong with the universe?
Alan quickly got out his smart phone and Google’d: “Wal-Mart Medford”
And this is what it said…..
Wal-Mart, Crater Lake Hwy. Medford, Oregon Permanently Closed.
What?! When?! Why?!
I am dreaming. Yes, this is just a dream! A Wal-Mart doesn’t just close. Forever. For permanent. Wrong. This is just wrong.
But yet, there it wasn’t. It is not a dream. Now what? Now where do we shop to fulfill the Wal-Mart list? Think. Think.
“Well, I guess we will have to go to Fred Meyers”, I mumbled.
I like Fred Meyers. It’s clean, well organized, great selection and cheery. It’s just stinking expensive. Bottom line, isn’t that why we shop at Wal-Mart? Low prices. So we spent the next hour and a half, comparison pricing every item on my stupid Wal-Mart list. When we finally get to the checkout the cashier asks me how my day went and I just had to unload.
“What? When? Why?” I asked.
She looked at me funny and proceeded to explain that they have a brand new Wal-Mart on the south end of town next to the Harry and David Country Store.
OHHHHH, well that makes sense. Too bad Google didn’t pass along that bit of information 2 hours ago.
On the bright side…we were able to pass along our business to a different well deserving company, that isn’t quite as conglomerate as the low price leader.