By Kristin van Ogtrop
Updated January 21, 2015
Safely loosen a hard-to-remove lightbulb. Press the center of a footlong strip of tape to the middle of the bulb. Fold each loose end in half so it sticks to itself. Gripping each end between a thumb and index finger, give a counter clockwise twist to loosen the bulb.
Bob Hiemstra

Over the weekend my youngest and I went to the little hardware store in my town, because I needed lightbulbs. There are many, many other (and cheaper) places where we could buy lightbulbs, but they seem to be staffed by people who don’t really care about selling me a lightbulb. Or maybe even know what a lightbulb is. However, my little neighborhood hardware store, with its creaky wooden floor and library ladder behind the counter, is staffed by people who seem like they would enjoy nothing more than to find just the right kind of lightbulb I need, or order it if it’s not in stock. And while I’m there, does my son want a lollipop? Because they have those too.

When I go to my neighborhood hardware store, I always end up buying more than I need. Maybe it’s because it has such a random selection of stuff (this time they were selling children’s mittens next to the door). Or maybe it’s because the owner is there, and he’s so nice. Or maybe it’s that I just never want to leave.

And now I am beginning, once again, to see all of the publicity about the gigantic stores that open up in the middle of the night on Black Friday. I don’t know about you, but the thought of getting up at 3 a.m. to be there when the doors open on Black Friday makes me want to crawl under the covers and never get up. And it makes me love my little hardware store and all of its employees all the more. They sell mittens, they give out lollipops, and they would never, ever open before the sun comes up.