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Dear Customers,

              I rarely read non-fiction novels, watch the evening news nor spend more than about 10 minutes a day on the entire newspaper – with 8 of that 10 focusing on the sports pages.   It’s not because I don’t want to know what’s going on in the world, it’s just that I find it so depressing and often done to death.  For instance, a few weeks ago, when the NFL was busying themselves disrespecting our nation’s greatest symbol of freedom, Chuck Pollock, a sportswriter from the Olean Times Herald, asked a rhetorical question, “when is the flap over the flag going to end?” – or words to that effect. . . I almost wrote him an e-mail (which I have several times over the years) pointing out the obvious – when YOU media types quit bringing it up and relentlessly hammering us with it every five minutes!

            So obviously, since I’m avoiding non-fiction I must be enjoying its counterpart, fiction.  Which I am.  Somewhere, years ago, I found myself drawn to stories that took place in the 19th century:  the old West, mountain men and even life on a sailing ship.  While I would be loath to give up my modern-day conveniences and amenities there’s something intriguing about life in the 1800’s – at least for me.  Every time I go to the refrigerator or climb into my truck for a quick 50-mile trip I think of how easy we have it in the 21st century.  That same trip would have taken two days and involved an overnight stay along the trail somewhere 150 years ago.

            Meals were another thing entirely.  If you wanted to eat regularly, you either had to grow it or shoot it yourself.  That’s probably why in large part that you don’t see many pictures of overweight people in that era.  Crops were hugely dependent upon the weather, pests and a successful growing season.  As populations grew, the chances of harvesting enough meat from the woods grew smaller and smaller necessitating the raising of one’s own cattle, pigs and chickens.  Fortunately for us, putting a healthy and satisfying meal on the table for our families is as simple as a short trip to the grocery store. 

            October is a beautiful month in so many ways, but in the back of your mind you just know the wind, the rain, the snow and the chill are right on the horizon.  If you lived back then, you’d be smoking venison, canning apples from the orchard and digging potatoes to put in the root cellar.  But, in 2017 all you have to do to get ready for winter by stocking the pantry is to pick up a handy Train-Load Case Sale order form at Costa’s or use the convenient copy in our weekly ad this week.  There are over 30 canned vegetables, fruits, and assorted Shurfine products listed along with a couple of very popular Simply Done paper items.  The prices are as good as you’ll find anywhere all year and it couldn’t be a better time to load up.

            Unexpected guests show up at dinner time?  Making a big crock of soup and run short of ingredients? Throwing a bunch of vegetables into a Crock Pot for dinner tomorrow?  There’s always an excellent reason for having a larder full of canned goods, particularly when the long winter looms on the horizon.  The form says to return your order by October 21st.  We won’t hold you to that and often continue the sale throughout the entire month of October.  We know you’re busy and sometimes important things have a tendency to get pushed to the back burner.  No penalties for procrastination here.  Drop off your order to the service counter girl with a small deposit and we’ll call you when your cases are ready for pick-up.  Take that Old Man Winter!