Sparta and the Quik Trip

I am home earlier than intended. A blizzard was predicted (and it appeared, right on schedule) for parts of eastern SD and all across southern Minnesota for today, the main travel day for most of us.  Reliable weather watchers recommended an early departure, so I changed my ticket to an early flight yesterday, and my brother and his wife prudently left in the early afternoon.  Liz and John are hunkered down at the homestead, fluffing the house for sale, making tea and packing boxes. The 15 yard dumpster is full so I am told.

Before we hit the weather wall in Minnesota earlier this week on the trip out, we stopped for gas and to “stretch our legs” at the Quik-Trip in Sparta. There are a number of free associative moments that I need to just get down here:

  • The music playing at the Quik-Trip was the Beatles singing “Baby, You Can Drive My Car.” So appropriate.
  • In the women’s bathroom there is a sharps disposal container.  Lots of diabetics with disposable needles? Do women routinely shave there and cut themselves? IV drug users? Methadone? The mind boggles at the possibilities.
  • The sale flier was posted behind Plexiglas. Faygo soda was on sale. So ironic hipsters in WI can stock up.
  • Our friends the Sturdy Beggars – originators of the world famous Mud Show™ –  use the ancient city of Sparta as an integral part of their show. I can not stop in Sparta without chanting at least once, “Sparta, Sparta, we make the earth shake. Wooo!”
  • They had for sale something called Bacon Puffs.

My sister and I spent quite a while imagining the marketing meeting that turned Pork Rinds into Bacon Puffs. For that is what Bacon Puffs are. Pork Rinds.

So, thinking about pork, what are good things about pork? Oh, yes, bacon, everyone loves bacon, it’s a gateway meat. So with bacon, bacon rinds? No, that sounds tough and not healthy. What kinds of foods are tasty and healthy and light? Was that puffs? Oh, so bacon puffs. Yes, that’s great.

We laughed until we hit the fog. Ah, marketing. Ah, Sparta. Home of the Deke Slayton Memorial Space & Bicycle Museum. Home of the Elroy/Sparta Bike trail. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the Quik-Trip. Beep beep’m, beep beep, yeah…

Image:  Gas Station by taberandrew

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Sharon says:

    I love how you seem to be able to find the humor in everything. Well, almost everything and when you don’t find humor you can usually find joy. And if not that, at least it’s a learning and growing experience.

    1. Kate Tabor says:

      The world is a funny place, Sharon. I just keep my eyes open and try to be ready for it. I have been surprised by joy this year so many times, even when the days were hardest, that I am certain that I am missing a thousand other opportunities for it. What I don’t write about here, much, are the moments that I haven’t been able to find the good stuff. I’m facing a big one at work right now, but when I figure out what there is for me to learn from this, then I will write about it. Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s nice to know that you are there.

  2. Liz says:

    You neglected to mention that in addition to hipster soda, they had a zillion varieties of coffee and DIY milkshakes. Perhaps that is why the sharps container was there. After stocking up on milkshakes and hipster soda, you just had to counter the sugar with insulin.

    Hugs & wish you were here

    1. Kate Tabor says:

      Ah, yes. The side of insulin. It’s WI after all. In SD it’s a side of Lipitor. Delish!
      Thanks for everything this week. Good luck with Snowmageddon II, the sequel.

  3. Nancy Wright says:

    Kate – I was surprised to read that you’re packing up your mom’s home already, but I suppose it is time. I thought about you ‘kids’ all night – running across things that your mom used every day, alternately crying and laughing, and then crying and laughing at the same time. Cleaning up the homes (bedrooms in my kids’ case) of loved ones that have died is something no one can describe until they’ve actually done it. It’s made me much more aware of what I’ll leave behind some day! Anyway, I could go on and on. Please know I’m thinking of you and Liz and Matt as you travel this road. And – one caveat – the things left behind are just things. The utilitarian things can bless someone who needs them – the rest could just become clutter that drags you down. You already have the memories. They are the only things that matter.

    1. Kate Tabor says:

      I know that it seems fast, Nancy, but we need to sell the house and the only way that will happen is if we can do this now.

      And you are right – the three of us would find stuff that would make us laugh (so much candy!) and cry (notes that she saved from us). So many memories. I have a box of things marked “Kate’s Treasures” – and for some of the items there, it is ironic. Most, however, tug at my heart in ways I could not have anticipated.

      As to the clutter – I will be ordering a 30 yard dumpster of my own this spring. And I’m thinking of having a freecycling event in my front yard.

      But I’m keeping Mom’s Foley Food Mill.

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