The Big Box Amish Discount Store

caution-amish-buggy“Oh!” my wife exclaimed.

Amazing what one little word can say.

In this case, the rising inflection indicated surprise and delight – whereas the pitch spoke perfectly of only one thing: shopping.


She held up our local newspaper.

“Ruben is retiring!”

“Who is Ruben?”

“I don’t really know,” she confessed.

I had a feeling it wouldn’t end there.

“The ad says he’s closing his Amish furniture business, so everything is 33% off.”

“Don’t be fooled,” I told her, “There was a furniture store in Saint Paul that went out of business for a full thirty years.”

“Are they still going out of business?”


“What happened?”

“They went out of business.”


One can hardly argue with that.

“It would be a great day to drive down to Amish country and we need to replace the Adirondack chairs down by the pond,” she said.

This was true. I have tried to save them but wind and rain has taken its toll and when I replace them I am going to do it with Polywood, a polymer guaranteed to outlast the earth crashing into the dying sun.

I planned to do it at The Big Box Patio Furniture Discount Store.

I explained this to my wife then asked the obvious.

“Why would we go to Amish country to buy plastic furniture?”

“Because silly,  it’s 33% off.”

Again, who can argue with that?


Still it was a great day for a drive. The sky dazzled us with a bright blue that one rarely sees and each woodlot wore the first green haze of spring.

We passed out of the flat farmland of south central Minnesota into the rolling hills and steep ravines of the southeast. There the shoulders of the road widened and black buggies swayed and rattled behind the clip-clop of horses.

Amish country is also tourist country and every quaint little town is surrounded by a sprawling ring of stores hocking everything Amish.

Ruben’s was the largest of the lot.

Fortunately, a small forest of polywood patio furniture stood out front, so it took all of 30 seconds to locate our turquoise Adirondack chair replacements.

I whipped out my credit card hoping to get out of there before…


Yeah, that oh.


“I just want to look around.”


Suffice it to say, we returned home with more than two turquoise polywood patio chairs, which came in cardboard boxes. An odd thing for Amish furniture.

Sure enough, when I opened the boxes, I found a tag on each chair from The Big Box Patio Furniture Discount Store.

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