a Costco casket
AS SHE SAT KNITTING, my mother remarked pleasantly, “You know, I think I’m going to get a casket.”
I looked up in alarm. When your 82-year-old
healthy mother throws out that kind of conversational tidbit, it really gets your attention.
She went on, “I thought I might ask your uncle
to bring me to Costco so I could get one. You know,
because he has the truck.”
I was aware that Costco sold caskets; I had seen
them on their Web site, and had noted that they also
“I think they’re only sold online,” I said carefully,
not believing we were having this conversation. “You
don’t just walk in there and see a big display of caskets.” I imagined them, next to the 5-pound cans of
tuna and mega-drums of laundry detergent, sold in
bulk, three at a time, shrink-wrapped.
She looked up and lowered her voice conspiratorially. “I’m sure they keep them in the back.”
“Even if you got one, what would you do with
it? You know, in the meantime?”
“Oh, I thought I’d keep it in the bedroom,” she
said. “You know, kind of like a hope chest.”
My mother probably comes by her preoccupation with caskets naturally. My great-grandmother
liked to plan ahead and didn’t want to unduly inconvenience her family, so in her 80s she began collecting lumber, thinking that when the time came
the family could just nail that puppy together and
off she’d go.
It would seem that, given her genes (my great-grandmother lived to 105), my mother has many
years left before she has to worry about such things.
At the same time, I’ll make sure she
doesn’t let her membership lapse any
WHILE buying bulk
items at Costco such as
paper towels and toilet
paper, the flat cardboard
dividers on which these
products are stacked
caught my eye. “Hey,
I can use these dividers
for my kids’ ‘creative’
projects,” I thought.
I rolled up the thinner
cardboard pieces and
folded the thicker ones
and put them in my cart.
I use them to protect the
carpet in my basement
when the kids want to
break out their Play-Doh
box, or when they want
to color or paint.
Danielle Chamberlain saw
others just saw
Costco member Nick Walker
teaches students about concepts
such as the hydrologic cycle
while he entertains them.
lyrics, to explain weather basics.
A book and CD are available for
purchase, with a portion of the
proceeds going to hurricane victims.
Walker takes his show on the road
from time to time, making about 15
appearances annually, mostly in
schools near his Atlanta home, with
an occasional out-of-town excursion.
Walker was working as a news
Workin’ weather reporter at a Seattle television station
when the weekend weatherman suddenly left. Walker was asked to fill in.
“They told me to just point at the clouds and say,
‘Here they come.’ It was a dubious start to a
weather career, but I enjoyed it.” So much so
that he decided to make a full-time career out of
it. He obtained a certificate in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University and
never looked back, proving that, indeed, every
cloud has a silver lining.
Walker is a longtime Costco member and
eager to sing its praises: “I’m really impressed by
the way they listen to their members.” His forecast for Costco is nothing but sunny.—Steve Fisher
NICK WALKER heads to work in the dark to shine
a light on everyone’s day. As one of the on-air
meteorologists on The Weather Channel’s First
Outlook program, Walker lets people know what
to expect from the atmosphere in their vicinity.
Yet the real enlightenment comes with
Walker’s after-hours gig as the Weather Dude.
Using musical numbers such as “What Makes
Rain?” and “That’s the Way Wind Blows,” all written and performed by Walker, he explains the
workings of weather to children. His Web site,
www.wxdude.com, has the music, as well as the
We want to
hear from you
IF YOU HAVE a note, photo
or story to share (it should be
about Costco or Costco mem-
bers in some way), you can
send it to “The Member
Connection,” The Costco
Connection, P.O. Box 34088,
Seattle, WA 98124-1088, or
e-mail to connection@costco.
com with “The Member
Connection” in the subject
line. Submissions cannot be
acknowledged or returned.