It's springtime, which means it's time to spend your weekend mornings in line at Lowe's or Home Depot... fighting for the last bag of mulch and searching for someone who can answer your question.
Or, check out your local hardware store. They may not have a circular in your Sunday paper. They may not be located just off a highway exit. But many are still surviving and thriving in our communities, because sometimes, service and convenience beat size and Low Low Prices.
We're lucky to have two of these gems within a stone's throw of home - Aykroyd Hardware (743 N. New St., North Bethlehem) and Cantelmi's Hardware (521 E. 4th St., South Bethlehem). Cantelmi was in the news recently because they're renting space in their building (above the hardware store and below the Yoga Loft of Bethlehem) to Bethlehem's economic development department, which will turn lease space to start-ups (perhaps in a co-working/Hive fashion).
Cantelmi's is also dear to my heart, because when a group of volunteers needed supplies to paint the inside of a women's shelter, the store provided the supplies we needed at cost, without hesitation. The store will always have my business for their generosity, as well as their kind assistance (including recommending the paint brand - durable for kids - and shade - "would this be a calming bedroom color?").
What's your favorite hardware store?