Ernie is, for the foreseeable future, our home. That reality, as I’ve said many times, carries the responsibility of maintenance, repair and, on a regular basis, stocking the bus with food and household supplies.
Beginning back on our “shakedown cruise,” we’ve made stops along the way to reprovision — pulling the rig into a Walmart, generally, on our way to an overnight stop. (Bitch about our choice if you must, but know that virtually every Walmart has a parking lot big enough to accommodate a 40-foot motorhome.) We’ve also counted on the kindness of friends and family we’ve visited, of course, for rides to the store.
Now that we have Mercy, we’ll be less reliant on drive-bys and charity rides. We’re enjoying that freedom already. This afternoon we were in need of a light resupply run, so we drove into Harrison and did our shopping at Hudson’s Supermarket.
The place was familiar from the moment we pulled into the parking lot. It was as if a time machine transported me to my youth and back to Bordner’s, the grocery my family faithfully patronized in Massillon. It evoked the same middle-America vibe — and I hadn’t even gotten out of the Jeep.
As we approached the entrance, we passed a handful of military veterans sitting around a table promoting their AMVETS post. All were Vietnam vets. Deb and I stopped and talked with them a while, paying them the respect they’re due and offering a heartfelt, “Welcome Home.”
Once inside the store, we couldn’t stop smiling. Our shopping list took a back seat to the experience of walking the fresh, tidy, homespun aisles of a family business — Hudson’s was founded over a hundred years ago and has occupied this space for sixty. And there’s only one Hudson’s.
My friends, this is the way it used to be. This is what America once was, everywhere, before consolidation and conglomerates and big-box stores. Bordner’s, like my childhood itself, is gone now, but Hudson’s Supermarket stands on Main Street in Harrison, Arkansas as an encouraging reminder that The Real America still exists.
It’s out there — look for it.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.