OK, I know that Labor Day is the signal that Summer is ending, and it is time to get ready for fall. However, looking at the calender, Fall does not officially arrive until September 22nd. Mother Nature even knows this, looking at the forecasted temperatures of the 90's all this week. So why is it the national retailers have already pulled ALL of their summer stuff? Let me tell you why I am asking this question, and the adventure that goes with it.


Here in Western Colorado, we use evaporative coolers, otherwise known as swamp coolers, to cool our homes. These use running water and a fan to cool the air going into the house. Well mine stopped doing it's job this past week, and the temperatures were in the upper 90's, so I needed to get it fixed. My cooler needed a new water pump to circulate the water, a simple fix that costs less than 25 dollars.They are usually available almost anywhere, so I add the pump to my regular shopping list and head off to the store with all the smiley faces to get a new one. When I got to my regular store, I found they don't have them in stock anymore. "We sold out of them.", I was told. Wow, they must be breaking in droves after this hot dry summer. Okay, we have two of these stores in Grand Junction, so I  headed to the other one. There I found the same situation, no pumps in stock, and I was told the same thing. There must be a cooler pump epidemic going on, and it was just not in the news.

While I was there I remembered that I also needed new shorts, having lost some weight this year. Maybe they are on clearance and I can get a deal. Guess what, there are no racks of jean shorts to be found. I could have bought pants, sweatshirts, jackets, coats, and a Halloween costume, but no shorts in my smaller size. One store did have 10 pairs on a rack, 9 of which were in the size I already have, and the other in a size for a 16 year old. It was 97 degrees outside! Plus I wear shorts most of the year, as long as the temperature is above 35. Otherwise, proper fitting shorts could really wait until next summer, or February, when they will actually be back in stores.

Let's get back to my cooler pump adventure. So far I am 0 for 2 in finding one. So next is the Never Stop Improving place. They are a little more expensive, but they should have loads left still. I wander the store looking for cooler parts, and finally find a few meager lines, shutoffs and fan motors. No pumps left. I was again told, "We sold all out of them" Just how many people had pumps go out this summer? No Problem, we have a More Saving, More Doing store in town too. Here I find lots of pumps left in stock. But I can't use any of them. They are all Contractor's Grade and use 230 volts. My little cooler is only set up for 110 volt pumps. But wait, they have online order to the store advertised and free wi-fi too. I pull out my iPhone and up comes the store's site. I find 9 pumps online, 3 of which I can actually use. The site has even pulled up my location and knows which store I am standing in! OK, so I select the first pump, the site tells me they are out of stock (which I obviously already know) so I hit the "Ship to store" button. Great this should solve my problem in a day or two. Suddenly the site informs me: "We're sorry, but we cannot locate this product in a store near your local store" No biggie, I will select another one. Same results. The third try is magic, right? Nope. So, not only is the local store out of them, but there are none on the ENTIRE Western Slope according to the site! How is this possible? I did not want to be told that there was a mad rush on pumps and they too sold out of them too, so I left, ready to give up on having cool air for the rest of summer. While driving home, I decided to hit the hardware store near where I live before going home to call every store in in the Grand Valley in search of one.

I was greeted as soon as I walked into the True Value hardware store at 12th and Orchard and was asked what I was looking for. I dejectedly asked the clerk if they had any cooler pumps. "Yes we do, go right over there and they are on the left" she cheerily responded. I was thinking to myself that these too were going to be ones that I could not use for some reason. Lo and behold they have a bunch in stock and have 3 different types that I could choose from that met my needs! The store manager walks over to me and asks if I have found what I was needing. I responded "Finally!" He looks at me and replies "Uh oh, that doesn't sound good." I said " Oh No, that is a great thing, you are my fifth stop looking for a cooler pump. All of the big stores were "sold out" He tells me that he keeps them in stock until about the third week of September, because it is still over 90 degrees outside." Wow, that makes sense, keep summer items in stock until fall starts!

So I purchased a pump, headed for home, and it takes me less than five minutes to replace the old one. The inside temperature of my house started to fall to a temperature lower than the outside one, and life is comfortable again. So if you too are affected by this cooler pump epidemic while it is still summer, head over to True Value for all of your cooler part needs. At least until fall gets here and the temperature actually start to fall so the coolers are not actually needed for it to be comfortable in your house. They say Start Right, Start Here, and I should have because they actually stock summer items until summer is over. I wonder why no one else thinks this way?

Looking back, I should have asked them if they carried shorts in stock. Probably not, and that is too bad.


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