Back when personal transportation was extremely limited, mail order was another way to obtain things you needed or wanted but couldn't get locally. My grandparents' generation treasured the Sears-Roebuck catalogs (and recycled them when rolled toilet paper was a luxury few could indulge in.)
|1966: Bet I had this dogeared|
With our first home, I fearlessly forayed into gardening. But I quickly realized the local stores' selection of plants and seeds was pretty limited. So I visited the Tulsa Garden Center Library and jotted down addresses to send away for catalogs. Ever since, I have been rewarded with a steady stream of gardening catalogs in my mailbox. Like the old wish books, they're filled with photos and tantalizing descriptions that inspire hopes and dreams, especially in the dead of winter.
When we prepared to move into this home, one of the first to-do's involved removing old carpet and replacing it with hard flooring. I had researched hard wood vs. laminate, and given our budget and age of kids, I opted for laminate flooring.
The only sources of laminate available were flooring showrooms and big box stores with a limited selection of pricey laminate. And...I had the Internet. My husband's family thought I was crazy, but I happily hopped online and ordered hundreds of square feet of discount flooring, going on nothing more than a description and a website picture. I'm happy to report that ten years later, the floors have withstood traffic from skidding kids, cats, dogs and daily living, and look great. If you think that my purchase was crazy, let me introduce you to my better half, who has bought BMWs and a hot tub on eBay!
Ten years later, I still love ordering stuff, and it keeps getting easier. Boxes with books, plants, dishes, purses, pots and pans show up on my doorstep. The mail carrier might wonder what I do with all that stuff from Oriental Trading. (I teach 3rd grade Bible class - do you really need more explanation than that?) This method of buying is really nothing new; the concept is at least as old as those old mail order catalogs and peddling buses. It's just a little easier nowadays to search to the ends of the earth for what your heart desires and have it delivered right to your door.