Why I Love Grocery Shopping

I know a lot of my friends really, really dislike

going the grocery store.

 

cart

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.

hate grocery 1

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?

FrontCover159BoxFlat

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.)

 

laundry (2)

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.

druk

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,

 

haircut (2)

interesting t shirts,

tee,

pretty jewelry

jewelry3 (2)

fabulous eyeglasses,

glasses (2)

(yes, the employees deserve some kindness too)

pretty eyes,

pretty eyes

lovely smiles,

smile

wear colors that complement their skin.

color 3 (2)

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.

dali (2)

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

Kindness is good exercise for the soul.

teresa

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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Poem

We Are the Germans     (part II)

America 2018

 

The SS man.

The ICE man and Border guard.

 

What is ordered,

however immoral, is performed.

 

The German people,

with proper blood keep quiet.

 

The American people,

the privileged ones stay quiet.

 

Not one uniformed person says,

No, I will not do this. This is wrong.

 

Orders are carried out.

Leaders are pleased.

 

Jews die.

Children cry.

 

Injustice is a disgrace

with distinctly human face.

 

A distinctly American face.

Look in the mirror.

 

shelter

 

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Coming Clean September 25, 2017

I’ve been very depressed since November 8th of last year. It’s unusual to be able to pinpoint an actual beginning date to depression, but this time the cause was having my worldview, or at least my view of the country I live in, completely pummeled.dep

The explosion of racism and bigotry shocked me. It shouldn’t have. People of color have been getting beaten and murdered by the authorities for years. And there has been no justice. No universal outcry from those who live inside acceptably-toned skin.

But somehow, I didn’t think my friends and neighbors and relatives fell into the vile category of bigots and racists, or supporters of bigots and racists. After the election, I leaned so many do. I’m still not sure how to cope with that knowledge.

Racism and bigotry have been something I’ve had to deal with on a personal level my whole life. I’ve been called the n-word and the s-word, followed around by store detectives in department stores, and profiled in airports, being pulled out of line, wanded, and having my bags searched every time I flew anywhere (up until I hit about 47—guess I’ve gotten too old to be that dangerous?).

My entire life, people have asked, “What are you?”  It’s a question with an agenda.

I’ve suffered bouts of depression throughout my life—some strictly biological, some related to what’s going on in my life, some related to the state of the world. And when the depression hits hard, it’s almost impossible for me to verbalize why I stop feeling able to go on and why even the most minute tasks—like brushing my teeth—require monumental psychic effort.

With the depression, comes marginal functionality, at best, and a complete inability to function creatively. I have been a nonwriting writer for many months. And you know what Kafka had to say about that: A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.

A lot of people who know me, would never know I am depressed. That’s because I hide it well. I don’t want to burden others with my depression. I don’t want to pass on negative energy. Being an introvert, I shun as much social interaction as I can get away with. But with depression, it’s that much harder.

Things came to a head at the end of this summer, as close to the edge of the abyss as I’ve come in a long time. I thought about ways to end it all, but thankfully, did not get beyond the thoughts.

I have inverse SAD, where exposure to sunshine incites my depression. This was my first summer in Oregon and it was unbearably sunny for weeks on end. People think it’s weird all I want to do all summer is hide inside. But I do it for survival. Part of the problem is, I guess, is I didn’t hide quite enough.

Now, major populations around the world and in our own country are being devastatingly impacted by fires, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes. And the truth is, I feel guilty about wanting to feel better. I feel it’s wrong for me to start feeling better when the suffering for others is only getting worse.

But I do want to feel better. And I am finally taking active steps to do so. I appreciate all those in my life who continue to be supportive and empathetic. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

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