Although the last few years have seen me in Whole Foods every week, I’m really a Kroger girl at heart. If you aren’t familiar with Kroger, it’s a US grocery store chain headquartered in the city I lived in for most of my adult life, Cincinnati, Ohio. You pretty much can’t spit in Cincinnati without hitting a Kroger. They’re everywhere.
OMG – this is going to be a snoozer post…
Since Whole Foods is waaayyyy too expensive to buy food for more than one or two unless you have a trust fund, last weekend I went into my local Kroger to get some goodies to donate to my church for Thanksgiving food baskets.
But a weird thing happened.
After I had checked off all of the boxes on the list of things to get – cans of vegetables, cranberry sauce, evaporated milk, boxes of instant potatoes, stuffing and pasta – I didn’t want to leave. I just couldn’t bring myself to go to the cashier to check out. Or to one of the horrid self-service checkout things that are always calling the attendant on me because it didn’t “sense” me putting the 1 oz greeting card into the bag. I’m convinced they call the attendant just to mess with me. I hate those things.
But honestly, I didn’t want to leave. I found myself pushing my cart, aimlessly wandering up and down the aisles. Thinking about November “Krogering” trips from years gone by.
It’s pretty crazy how and where memories can be triggered. These were good memories of shopping to feed the seemingly endless appetites of teenage boys, buying turkeys and “fixin’s” for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, getting ingredients for home-made holiday treats for teachers, friends and co-workers Memories of family and community brought together by the sacred act of sharing food together. Of spending time and energy in creating a body and soul nurturing meal out of the simple elements of meat, vegetables, bread. And love.
I’ve been running away from some memories for a long time. Maybe running away is a bit too dramatic. How about “detouring around”?
The bad ones because they are just pain bad and painful. Understandable. But I’ve been detouring from some of the good ones too. Really happy ones in a different time and place and situation. They tease that life may never be like that again. That the best really isn’t yet to come – that it’s already been. Total nonsense I know. Life is a continual adventure with unexpected joys and opportunities presenting themselves all the time if we can find a way to open our hearts to them. I really try.
Screw Whole Foods… This year we’re having an all Kroger Thanksgiving! I have 364 days of the year to eat organic and “locally sourced”. I want some good old comfort holiday food tomorrow. Food that will make my kitchen smell like it did 20 years ago when I was cooking for my growing family, and having friends and family in and out for the holidays. Food that makes me smile and remember, and feeds my body and spirit.
Maybe this means the detouring is winding down. Maybe it means that I’m finally getting my act together. Or that the life I’m making for myself now is just as happy as in days gone by, but in a new and different way. Or none of the above.
I need to not overthink this. Tomorrow, I just need to dig in, enjoy and be thankful. For lots and lots and lots of stuff.
Like you, my WordPress friends.
Happy Thanksgiving y’all!