Two years it’s been open and we’d yet to step a professional or recreational shopping foot in Cabela’s.

Add to that the allure of the only-one-in-the-state Apple Store. The new Goodwill flagship. And then, earlier this month, the debut of the biggest Marden’s in Maine.

The biggest Marden’s in Maine.

Resistance? Futile.

So we saved up our pennies and hit the ’pike for an early summer road trip to the Maine Mall and its outskirts. This was a first for us, to go so far afield, so off our turf, so we had to make it count.

Four stores. Four hours.

Crack knuckles, check treads on stilettos, zip up matching jumpsuits.

Let’s do this.

First up, this week, Goodwill.

Located in the former Circuit City building just down the street from the mall, the new Goodwill is big. Really big. Think Lewiston-and-Auburn-stores-combined. Though, it wasn’t this bigness that won us over, nor the thousands of books, nor the wide, clean aisles. Not even the startling amount of brand new product that filled shelf after shelf.

No, it was a lone CD.

“Plum Pitiful: 20 Sad and Tragic Bluegrass Songs,” with hits like “Mother’s Not Dead (She’s Only Sleeping).”

Tragedy and shopping don’t — nay, shouldn’t — go hand and hand, but discover a gem like that in a store and you’ve been served notice: You can find anything here.

* “World: The Greatest Songs Ever” CD, $2.98

It included the “Macarena.” It did not, however, include “Mother’s Not Dead (She’s Only Sleeping).” You need “Plum Pitiful” for that (also $2.98). When weighing the choice between the “Macarena” and “Mother’s Not Dead,” it all comes down to the danceable beat.

* L.L.Bean sit and sleds, $3.99

In fun primary colors, they looked brand new. Too bad all the wee ones we know live in the south. Hard to sled in grass.

* New sunglasses, various styles and colors, $2.98

One pair for the car, which you’ll sit on. One pair for your purse, which you’ll scratch with your keys. One pair for the house, which you’ll lose. But, hey, at $2.98, big whoop. 

* Leg Impressions yellow footless tights, $2.98

Wait, what’s that small type on the back? “May cause snickering.” Unless you’re dressing as a banana or Big Bird for Halloween, don’t wear yellow tights. Ever. Please. Go for the white, black or floral print options instead. We beg you.

* Chatties glitter sneakers, $8.98

In solid colors like pink, gold and purple, mostly kids’ sizes. If we could get away with wearing glittery pink sneakers to the office, we totally would. (But not with yellow tights.)

* “A Primer for Pickles” cookbook by Ruby Charity Stark Guthrie and Jack Stark Guthrie, 99 cents

Because pickles are awesome. Also, we support any author bold enough to sport the name Ruby Charity Stark Guthrie.

* South Bend six-mallet croquet set, $14.99

Hardwood, old school, still in box with wheeled stand. Croquet an afternoon away.

* Duke Stevens all-weather doormats, $4.98

Brand new, half-moon mat with fancy swirls and rubber back. Almost too pretty to step on.

* ASPCA Collection plush chew toys, $3.98

Choose from stuffed horses, dogs and anteaters, all squeaky. A much better alternative to the other things your dog could pick up around the house for a rousing game of toss-chew-squeak. Like the cat.

* Fun 2 Clean leopard-print mop, $5.98

You have to mop. You don’t have to be boring about it.

* Magic Glass watering globe, two pack, $4.98

As seen on TV — stick these little watering globes in the soil of your favorite houseplants and never worry about over- or under-watering again. Too bad this comes late for SS. (Eyes brown stems and dried leaves in the corner.) So very, very late.

Best find: Down Inc. down feather pillows, in standard, queen and king sizes, $10.98, $11.98 and $12.98

New, super soft pillows perfect for sleeping in on a long, luxurious Sunday morning or catching a power nap before heading out for an whirlwind afternoon of croquet and singing along with bad CDs.   

Think Twice: The handful of items we found cheaper at Marden’s

We couldn’t believe it either, but we discovered several items cheaper — way cheaper in some cases — at the giant Marden’s store down the street. An $8 difference for a set of super-absorbent Sham-Ease towels. Who knew?

More on the fantastic finds at Marden’s next week. Till then, rock out.

“I left my old home way back in the mountains, Mother was called to heaven that day …”

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are good dogs and never treat cats like squeaky toys. At least not in plain sight.) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]


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