Let me enlighten you city folk and pull you into the wonderfulness that is rural living.
When you live outside of the major urban sprawl and embrace the simplistic beauty of rural living, you are treated to the treasure that is local AM Radio programming. Years ago when living in small town southeastern Saskatchewan, the radio station listened to for our local news and community information was 1190 CFSL in Weyburn. Every weekday morning for one hour was a program called Swap and Shop. This program still exists, but has been renamed to Tradio. I guess the reasoning is that this new name is more ‘hip’, current or ‘trendy’. Either way, it is still the same program of days gone by.
In Brandon, Manitoba the station we listen to for local news and community information is 880 CKLQ on the AM dial. Every morning after the 11 o’clock news is a program called Swap and Shop. The premise is simple. If you have something you would like to sell or if you are looking for something to buy, you phone the radio station during the program and provide the details of the reason you called in.
Pause. Rewind several months. We are living in our current home. It is perfect and our landlords have gone to great expense and care to ensure the house was ready for us to move into. There was just one thing that didn’t make sense to me. One of the bathrooms didn’t have a mirror over the sink. There isn’t anything saying that you must have a mirror over the bathroom sink, but that’s what I’m used to and it wasn’t going to feel right without one.
I had wandered through Walmart, Winners, Home Depot, Home Hardware and even the dollar store trying find the perfect mirror for the bathroom. After several unsuccessful attempts to find this elusive mirror, I was about to give up looking. Then one morning while listening to Swap and Shop while driving to Virden, a lady called in to the program and stated that she had a 3 x 5 foot sheet glass mirror to give away. I logged the phone number to memory until I could write it down. As soon as I was parked, I jotted the phone number on a McDonald’s napkin.
Later that day, Don and I were in Brandon. When we were done with our errands, I called the phone number and asked if she still had the mirror to give away. She said she did. Next question. “Do you live in Brandon?” It was our lucky day! She lived in Brandon and once an address and driving directions were ascertained, we were on our way to pick up a free mirror for the bathroom. After roughly $7 of hardware and one cut to make it the right size for the space, we have the perfect mirror for the bathroom.
Pause. Fast Forward to three days ago. I was listening to Swap and Shop and heard a lady say that she had an old wooden desk for sale. I quickly wrote the phone number down to share with Don when he came home for lunch. You see, he has been lamenting about the lack of work space for doing his school work at home. Don called after we had eaten. He asked the pertinent questions, got all the right answers, including the price of FREE! He scheduled a time to come and see it and later that afternoon we were on our way. Also to our fortune, the lady lived only a 10 minute drive from our place.
I waited in the truck (we were prepared) while Don went to check out the desk. A few minutes later he came out carrying a wooden desk drawer. The old wooden desk met his approval and specifications. While Don and the ladies’ son, Robert negotiated the desk out of a spare bedroom, through the kitchen and out the back door to the box of the truck, I visited (it’s what I do best) with Julie. A short while later, we were on our way home.
Don was thrilled with his new, old desk and we had met a new family in the rural neighborhood. And yes, we are
2 for 2 with our free and perfect Swap and Shop procurement!