Well.......it happened. T.J.MAXX finally opened right here in the Pepper. I don't know about anyone else's household, but there was clearly excitement in mine. For years when we lived in Fairfax my wife would come home from shopping at T.J.MAXX and would announce: "Crowley, you don't know how much money I just saved you!" I like saving money and imagined my bank account growing larger and larger with each shopping visit. Meanwhile her closet began to fill to the brim and nice decorative pieces were added to our home. Then we moved to the Pepper with no T.J.MAXX..... Flash forward four years and here we are with T.J.MAXX in Culpeper and my bank account started growing and growing again.....or so I thought. All of those years of saving and I was pretty sure that I was ready to buy a new car...I have kind of liked the new Ford Taurus and I knew I could get a nice one for about $30,000... so I headed to the bank to withdraw the money we had saved from shopping at T.J.MAXX. Much to my surprise...well you can see the rest of the story below. On a serious note....my wife looks great in the clothes she finds at this store. As my granddaughter says, "Grandma is always so put together." There is no doubt that it is nice to not have that empty building staring at you everytime you go to that shopping center AND there are people there.......all the time.
I have not spent any time inside a TJMAXX store and so I thought I would blog about it and see what the fuss is about. So let's see which Faces of Culpeper can be found at this store.
The first shopper I ran into was Lori Spencer. Lori has been a swimming instructor for the last thirteen years. She is happy that this store is now in our town.... heck, just look at her face.
Just to prove that shopping at TJs is not limited to women, I took a shot of these two good looking young men getting some duds. Ben May just graduated from Easter View High School and is working this summer at the hospital. His friend, Eric Hilt just graduated Culpeper County High School and he is working at Ledo's this summer. Both of these guys are going to continue their studies at Germanna Community College.
This is the almost famous Capri Brown. Just kidding about the famous part, but she might be someday....she has that special pizazz! She has a daughter who is just seven months old and she is engaged. If I understood correctly, she has been working for T.J. MAXX for 5 years.
On my second visit to the store I ran into this cute and fun size lady in the parking lot. She is Michelle Finchan and she is a stay at home mom who has two kids...both girls. She had stopped by just to look around.
I discovered that T.J.MAXX is not just a clothing store like I had previously thought. In fact they have just about everything except that Ford that I want. Her are Elycia Clifford who's is visiting from Germany where her husband is stationed, her son Brandon and her friend and local resident (at least for now) Brooke Durbin. They were perusing the jewelry counters.
This lady is very happy about the new store in town even though she is from Orange. That's a suburb of Culpeper anyway, isn't it? She is Pam Shilling and she was just a tad shy about having her picture taken, but I don't know why....this is a great picture! She has a son and two daughters at home.
This is Kathy Caole looking all summery and spiffy. She is looking for clothes for her little one.
This happy looking lady is Brittany Jenkins and she is checking out the shoes. She is a mom, attends Germanna and works at Ledo's.....whew!
There are more things to look at and buy than just clothes. Here Valerie Jessup is checking out some stylish purses. She is a mom of three.
Here are some people shopping for a princess. If you could only see the eyes on this baby you would be amazed at how beautiful they are. Her name is Hannah and she is being held by her mom, Shannon. Their friend is Brandy who is a police officer in Fairfax County....uhhhh, yes ma'am!
These folks came from Orange specifically to visit T.J.MAXX. They are grandparents and are with their granddaughter. They are Dale Leonard, McKenna and Terra Devine which is one of the more interesting names that I have run into. Terra volunteered that, "Getting T.J.MAXX is the best thing that has ever happened to Culper." She is not alone in that opinion. Dale is in construction and Terra owns the "Gypsy Willow" in Orange. She described it as a store that sales collectibles, antiques, bath oils and soap, and gypsy clothes. She also has a tanning salon attached. Must be quite a place.
On my last visit to T.J.MAXX for this blog I ran into this couple and I am glad I did. Not only are they attractive, they were interesting and fun. I think I will release special info and note that she is expecting in January. These nice people are Noah and Rachel Lester. What is really cool is that they are celebrating their second anniversary right near here. They are from Woodbridge and are celebrating at the Inn at Meander and so they are on vacation and decided to stop at T.J.MAXX. They learned about the Inn where they are staying through a website called Living Social.com. They are getting their vacation at half price and it includes some cooking lessons plus a special five course meal that will be served tonight! They were pretty pleased and it sounds to me like the deal of the century!
You can just tell that this lady is a bundle of fun. She is Maureen McLoughlin and she moved here one year ago from Ocean City, New Jersey to be a full time grandma. She is enjoying the kids.
I took one look at this lady and knew she was a school person.... and I was right...she is a school psychologist for Culpeper County Public Schools. There is just something special about people who have given their lives to helping kids. She is obviously making good use of a little time off this summer. Her arms were getting pretty full. She is Cindy Scott and what a sweetheart she is. She performed a little quick therapy on me and sent me on my way a happier man.
Pregnancy seemed to be the order of the day. This little woman is due in the next few days and she is out shopping. I bet she is looking for new post pregnancy clothes. She is Deborah Pica and she moved to the Pepper a year ago from Maryland. She and her husband already have a little girl and this time it is going to be a boy! Not every woman would let me photograph them in this condition, but Deborah knew that she looks darn cute.
For the big finish let's pretend for a minute. Given the way I started this blog I was going to end it with my cute wife staggering out of T.J.MAXX with arms loaded with bags and barely able to stand. Do you have that image? Good....because that is the only image you are going to get. That would have been too much effort and no doubt would not have looked half as good as you imagined.
That's it for now.
Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to look for "Rich Crowley's Snapshots of Culpeper" weekly in the Culpeper Times.