Why I Love Grocery Shopping

I know a lot of my friends really, really dislike

going the grocery store.

 

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I can empathize with why.

We all have busy lives.

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Lives packed with too much to get done

in our limited waking hours.

too much to do

And the hassle of going to the supermarket,

often with kids in tow,

can just be overwhelming.

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Plus, there’s the battle for a parking space.

parking

Rising food prices, limited resources,

will there be enough money to get everything on the list this time?

And then, there’s the long checkout lines.

Enzo Pocaro, center, of Boston, waits in a long checkout line at the Market Basket in Chelsea, Mass., Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. A blizzard warning was in effect for coastal areas from Connecticut to Maine on Saturday for a fourth major storm in less than a month, promising heavy snow and powerful winds to heap more misery on a region that has already seen more than 6 feet of snow in some areas. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

But the truth is

I really love going to the grocery store.

Maybe that’s why grocery stores feature heavily in my novel?

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I’m very far from anyone’s idea

of Suzie Homemaker, though.

I really dislike most household chores.

Can’t stand cleaning in any shape or form.

cleaning

I usually end up breaking stuff whenever I do clean.

And I am not a good cook. I burn everything.

burn

But oddly, I love doing laundry. (That’s a story for another day.)

 

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I work from home.

And the mess from my desk tends to overwhelm the rest of my house.

messy

Grocery shopping is a good excuse to get away from my own mess.

Get out into the world.

Plus, my repeated circumnavigating the store maze looking for where they moved the sunflower seeds counts as exercise.

exercise

But there are a couple more reasons I love going to the grocery store.

One of those is how much I love buying nourishing foods–

nourishing

okay, maybe I love buying a comfort food or two, once in a while.

When it’s on sale.

Or every week.

ice cream

 But the biggest reason I love to go grocery shopping is…

that the store is a wonderful place

to practice kindness.

kindness

I know that sounds odd.

But the grocery store–even in my small town–

is filled with people I don’t know,

probably doing a chore they hate.

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So while I’m wondering the aisles wondering where the devil

they moved the sunflower seeds to this time…

I look for someone who seems to need a little cheer.

Finding something kind to say is the easy part.

People have great haircuts,

 

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interesting t shirts,

tee,

pretty jewelry

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fabulous eyeglasses,

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(yes, the employees deserve some kindness too)

pretty eyes,

pretty eyes

lovely smiles,

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wear colors that complement their skin.

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Or maybe the person reminds me how at ease with myself I want to be when I grow even older.

There’s always something to say that brings a little light into a person’s day.

I love doing that.

It makes me feel a bit better too.

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After bringing someone some cheer, I can face the rest of my work day with more energy.

Kindness is good exercise for the soul.

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Do I worry that sometimes my good intentions will go awry?

Yes.

Have they gone awry?

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A nice old man thought I was hitting on him.

Well, that made his day, too.

So all in all,

kindness is worth the risk.

kind

 

 

 

 

 

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Meltdown by Sally McGee

I am fortunate and grateful to share with my readers this exquisite essay by writer Sally McGee that speaks to all of us #metoo survivors with such grace and courage.

metoo

Sally McGee is a writer, community organizer, and nature conservancy advocate living on the Oregon coast. In the 1970s in New York, she worked tirelessly until rape survivors were treated by legal authorities with the dignity and respect they deserved as victims of a serious crime, instead of the blaming-the-woman mentality that prevailed for decades.  

MELTDOWN by Sally McGee

The phone rings.

A neighbor was calling looking for a reference.

incoming

Some people I know want to rent his house.

Unable to get a letter of recommendation and having heard some unsavory things, he was looking for information.

Right Facing Red For Rent Real Estate Sign in Front of Beautiful House.

Could I tell him anything?

I begin to shake and find it hard to get words out.

The man is big and menacing.

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Often unemployed, he has drinking and anger management problems.

The police have been called.

What can I say?

shaken

I find it hard to talk and begin to stutter.

I am surprised at how shaken I am.

Things get worse as the week progresses.

bad worse

The night descends and I crawl into bed.

The nightmares begin.

nightmares

Growing up female in an out of control family, I was often afraid.

I wake  feeling disjointed.

Something is trying to rise from my unconsciousness.

disoriented

What my body knows, my brain has not yet figured out.

I am confused.

Monday I think is Friday. Wednesday is Monday.

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Get it together! You are scaring people around you.

It is the trauma that is being brought forth from early childhood.

trauma (2)

The trauma triggered by 11 white Republican men wanting to grill a sexual assault victim while her attacker looks on.

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A woman who thought she was going to be murdered, the weight of a male body pinning her down.

His hand on her mouth stifling her screams while his friend looks on.

rape

Some on the committee have already pronounced her guilty.

Senator Orin Hatch, well established member of the Republican power structure, next in line after the Speaker if something untoward happens to the President and the V.P., has pronounced her, “Confused”.

Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party 36 years ago, testifies during his US Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 27, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Virtually the same thing he said 20 plus years ago during the testimony of Anita Hill before the Judiciary Committee during the Clarence Thomas hearings and we know what the men did then.

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If they win this one, it will be a Pyrrhic victory.

Too many women are watching and feeling the attack on Professor Ford to be an attack on them.

Old traumas are being re-lived.

relive trauma

Traumas that will spell the death of the Patriarchy.

And I say, “Thank God”.

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Some years ago I spent 8 days in the Trinity National Forest in Northern California backpacking; 3 women, 3 dogs.

Leaving, the hardest part was saying good by to the trees.

There was no wrapping my arms around the trunk because of their mammoth size.

mammoth

But I leaned into them and quietly spoke of my love.

The surprising thing was the response.

Clearly they said, “We love you.”

 redwood

This forest burned in the fires of 2018 but destroying the Redwoods is next to impossible.

They were here in the beginning.

One of the oldest life forms.

Their presence is a gift that uplifts me and sustains my life.

And for them I am grateful.

oldest

With trauma in the news every day, I vow I will not be defeated.

All is not lost.

Life goes on.

defeats

I live in a community that was logged 100 years ago.

The trees were cut down and removed but their life not destroyed.

Many came back and today I walk among them some 60, 70 feet tall.

They are unusual looking because the cut made 100 years ago was 10 or more feet above the ground so the tree I see today has very large roots high above the ground.

hemlock

I make my escape running to Sanctuary, the family home in Portland where my daughter and her B.F. live.

The house was built in 1915 and is in one of the older, close-in neighborhoods.

Craftsman houses and Bungalows surrounded by very large trees that were somehow spared  100 years ago.

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Sanctuary and I am safe.

Surrounded by family and loving neighbors.

Children’s voices ring out.

It is music to my ears.

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I rest and sleep.

contral

Thank you, Sally McGee for your lovely words. 

For a survivor like me in this treacherous time in our nation, your words are my balm and sanctuary.

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