It was my first time in a grocery store in a while. I didn’t go to my go-to-store. It’s too small. It’s too crowded on what was once known as an ordinary day. Tomorrow’s St. Paddy’s Day. I must have the traditional corned beef and cabbage (potatoes, carrots & onions too). That’s all I wanted. I’m okay right now with supplies. With my half-pint shopping cart, I wheel across the store.
CB & C! Stay focused.
There are bare shelves sprinkled all over like a dog with hot spots. When you see it, you feel pain in your belly. Looking forward, I wondered what was on that shelf that I needed? “Keep your eye on the prize!” I reminded myself. It’s real. People are buying everything they can get their hands on except the fruits & veggies.
Straight ahead, I stared at the empty butcher counter, and an empty shelf stared back at me. It’s true. The meet was gone. I couldn’t register this. Maybe I was with the crowd that wasn’t invited to the panic. We were just witnessing the results. In the far corner, I see an elderly couple scanning over something. I steer the cart toward them. Corned Beef! Yes. Oh, hurry, move, I thought as I waited.
Then something came over me. I grabbed two, one giant cabbage, two bags of potatoes, carrots, onion, and cauliflower. I’m thinking about oatmeal and pancakes, and…
My train-of-thought was broken by a text. “Can you be ready for a conference call in 15 minutes?” I turned and headed for the check-out. I don’t know if I’m allowed to go shopping during the day. Ordinarily, the answer is no.
As I waited my turn to check out, I saw the cashier take a step back like the reoccurring thought popped back into his memory, social distancing. His jaw tightened as he took a quick flash downward. It was my turn. We did the usual chit-chat. I stopped. I had to thank him.
“I’m so grateful you are here and taking this risk, so I can have a meal in my home.” I continued, “I hope you know this.”
He said, “I haven’t heard that lately, thank you.”
“Please know you are appreciated.” We shared about our elderly relatives and other bits. He offered some excellent advice. That wasn’t an ordinary conversation but we all need to have them more often, especially now.
We need to stop, see the good, and thank them.