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musings from an old rocking chair, on my front porch.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Thankful-ness 

Yesterday evening, I decided to run to the grocery store for a few moments, leaving the kids at home with Jim. I was grateful for a few moments of peace. It's crazy how wonderful just getting out of the house for a bit, even just to go to the grocery store can feel so good for a mommy! I also am able to turn up the music in the van to nearly blistering (just kidding) levels as I'm not worried about ruining my children's future hearing abilities. Silly...yes?

At any rate, I needed to purchase a few last minute Christmas supplies including a roll of sausage to make the traditional sausage pinwheels for breakfast and some marshmallow fluff to make fudge. I use the "cheat" method, I only stir for 5 minutes instead of the interminable time my grandmother probably stood at the stove making fudge. The recipe is on the back of the marshmallow fluff jar...it's called "Fantasy Fudge." I don't even have the recipe written down, I just trust that every year Kraft will reprint the recipe for me. They have yet to fail me...so who's the patron saint of marshmallow fluff?

I had a little trouble locating the marshmallow fluff as I only buy it once a year, to make fudge. You'd think I'd remember the location of such an important item...nope! I expected it to be with the peanutbutter as when I was a child we made "fluffer nutter" sandwiches with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff...not there. Then I checked the baking aisle to no avail. I suppose the grocery layout people just don't think like I do. But then again, does anybody think like I do?

I asked a beleaguered store employee the location of the most sought after fluff and he said something about, "ice cream toppings," and "at the front of the store by the registers." I wandered around the front of the store, no fluff. I finally did locate the stuff over by the ice cream...anyone want to explain to me the sense that makes?

It was then that I met him, a little man in a dark outfit. He was shorter than I and his dark glasses took over half of his face, stooped, a little unkept looking and needing a shave, hair and clothes both rumpled. I happened to look over in his direction, "Excuse me, do you work here?" he asked.

"Well no," I replied. He hung his head, shaking it in defeat on the way down. My heart went out to him.

"Maybe I can help you anyway," I said, thinking to myself, "some grandma has sent her husband out grocery shopping for a few last minute necessities while she stays at home to make the final preparations for a feast. I walked over to where he was standing, the bright yellow cart cheerily contrasting with this small, dark and befuddled figure. He held out his grocery list so I can see what was written. "I am looking for 'Mr. Coffee' 8 to 12 cup size.'"

"Oh...that's probably over by the coffee. Just follow me and we'll find it." I needed to head back that way myself as I had purchased a large can of condensed milk and only needed a small one, according to Mr. Fluff. The canned milk and the coffee are on the same aisle...go figure.

"I have such a hard time finding things here." He said.

"Oh I do too," I replied. "The way they have things arranged here just doesn't make sense."

He smiled. We arrived at the proper aisle and I picked out the needed coffee filters and handed them to the unlikely gentleman. "Ohh, let me see if this is it!" He sounded thrilled....over coffee filters. I smiled.

"She'll be glad to get those, I guess."

"She's been gone several months now and it gets harder every day."

"Oh sir, I'm so sorry," I said. I squeezed his hand. What else could I do?

"Well, thank you." He replied...and then noticed that opposite from the coffee filters was the candy aisle. He began picking his way through the colorful bags of sweets. I didn't get a chance to say, "You're welcome." Perhaps admitting to someone in the coffee aisle of the grocery store that your beloved has passed and that you are lonely is just a little much...perhaps my hand squeeze felt trivial. I'll never know. I just hope that helping him find coffee filters lifted some sort of burden from his stooped shoulders.

I do know that I hugged my kids more tightly when I arrived home...and that I was happy to see my husband sitting with them on the couch...A blessed woman I am.

Say a little prayer for the lonely widower today. His image is printed on my heart...

Blessings to you....
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