It’s telling that a blog post about getting groceries feels important to me for future selves.
It’s been two weeks since the last time I ventured out to fill the family pantry, and things were mostly the same, but there was more food available.
I ended up going to 4 stores, which I would not do during regular times, but today was a different day in many ways.
I started at Kroger, buying some items for our family, and a few needs for an older family friend. After dropping off their items, I went to the church to check the mail. There were two checks that needed to be deposited, so I drove to the bank to do that.
In the drive up at the bank, the kind teller came on the video screen to tell me she couldn’t find our church checking account.
After a few beats I realized why. I had unthinkingly driven to the bank where Juice banks. Depositing checks used to be one of my jobs, and the deep muscle memory of years of driving to that bank kicked in.
We both laughed, then I drove to the actual church bank.
That bank is by Sprouts, the natural food store in our town. There are a few items I can get there or on Amazon, and I’d rather buy them locally, so in I went. I haven’t been there for months, so it was pleasant to realize it wasn’t very busy and was stocked with beautiful supplies of fruits and veggies. That may become my “go-to” store in the mid-weeks when I don’t need to stock up on a large number of items.
Then I drove home for a mid-trip off-loading of the items I had gotten to this point, and to have some lunch.
I was a little emotionally bruised from seeing several older folks out doing their own shopping. There was one elderly white man, who resembled my dad’s build physically, though I couldn’t see his face behind his mask. He was hobbling behind his cart, cane sitting in the basket, buying all his groceries.
It makes my heart feel so tender to think of the people who must be feeling so alone, no one to call if they are scared about going out to the grocery store themselves.
Our town has done a good job offering to help folks of all kinds, but if you aren’t on the internet or connected in some way, you may not realize there are so many people ready and willing to help.
I was able to reset as my crew worked on unloading the car and putting away the first load of groceries. Being with them for a bit gave me the energy to head out for a trip to Aldi’s to purchase the main bulk of items.
Aldi’s was also well-stocked, but its aisles are much smaller and there were more people not wearing masks today. The vast majority of the ones I saw were white men appearing to be in the 25-60 age range. Some of them wore gloves, but not masks.
It’s emotionally tiring to me to not be able to connect with people with the mask on. People still smile at each other, as evidenced by eye crinkles, but it’s still tough to gauge people’s body language.
I was attempting to buy items to take to the local food pantry as well. They are having a really tough time keeping shelves stocked because stores have limits on items. I ran into this today when the case of 20 cans I wanted to buy had to be cut back to only 4. So I took items from our family’s pile and dropped that off at the food pantry.
Grateful to be able to drop things off at the food pantry, and knowing that I would like it to be several weeks before I go out again, I stopped at the 4th and final grocery store of my day. It was the least busy of the day, and the most organized. It was the 2nd of the 4 grocery stores that has also made their aisles one-way to decrease non-physical-distancing of patrons and employees.
A few final purchases there, with gratitude for the friendly, bouncy employees who were filling shelves, cleaning carts, and checking in with customers.
Now I’m back home, sitting with Buster while math work happens. Yessa is online playing with Kate and Bets. Monkey is working on a project. Buds is cranking through Juice work, and Mocha is wandering around with her “cigar.”
That was my big win of the day; finding a treat/toy item that Moch likes.
Grateful for food, grateful for family, grateful for people stocking those shelves, cleaning those carts, and laughing kindly when I try to deposit checks at the wrong bank. What a day.