In Pursuit Of The Perfect Purchase

Our window box flowers are looking better than ever this year. We live in Minnesota, so we don’t get color like this except for in the peak of summer. Gardening is said to be the most popular hobby in the United States, and when you have more time to plant, water, and care for flowers you sure do see the benefits.

Recently our garden hose sprung a leak. We had bought it when we moved into our house nine years ago. Having plenty of time now, I told MrsFireStation that I was going to spend some time rethinking our ‘hose situation’. The type of hose (and how we store it) were completely up for grabs. Instead of just being a mindless purchase, I was going to devote some time to finding out the best option available.

I’ve always believed one of the secrets to living well is upgrading the simple tools of life that you use everyday. If you can improve the quality or experience of an EVERYDAY activity you get disproportionate benefits compared with something you use infrequently.

I went to Home Depot and Lowe’s to see what was available in the garden hose category. I wasn’t in a hurry and had time to browse around the store while I was there. I talked to the guy at the local hardware store and he had this cool flexible hose that expands and contracts under water pressure. It has solid brass fittings, won’t kink, and shrinks from an unwieldy 50 feet down to a handy 15 feet when you put it away. I bought it – and a great open-topped pot it easily fits in when it’s long or short. Everyone in our house just loves the new hose, how well it works, and how easy it is to put away.

Of course, the point of this isn’t to share that we have a new hose. Instead, I wanted to convey one of the small, but satisfying, benefits of early retirement: having the time to focus on improving how we spend our money and time. A new hose might sound silly, but this new purchase gets used almost everyday all summer at our house and upgrading it has made an everyday chore a lot more enjoyable.

I can think of about a dozen purchases I’ve made this way over the last few months that have changed a lot of our everyday routines. I think the abundance and color of our window box flower blooms shows it!

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