Monday was the day that I needed to take my Sweet Mama to Dover to a dentist appointment. It was a very short appointment and when we were done, we decided to head out to one of the local Amish stores to see about procuring some hair nets for her. The place we visited was very close to Sweet Mama’s sister’s house, so we swung by Aunt Gladys’ house to take a peek at the quilt she is currently working on for the local school’s spring festival. After a short visit there, we headed out for Sam’s Club where there were a few things that we hoped to procure. From Sam’s Club, we got some lunch through the amazingly efficient drive through of the local Chik-Fil-a’s fast food restaurant. Mama’s feet were hurting so very much and we sat in the parking lot and watched the pre=storm traffic. So many people! Going where?
When I had sufficiently made a dent in my Chicken strips and sweet tea, I decided that we should head on down to our final stop — the Food Lion in Harrington. Mama had a hankering to go into a store and get what she wanted, but the day was long, and I was very much concerned about the pain in her feet. The wind had a bite and I left her off at the door, found a parking place and trudged through the parking lot back to the store. I saw my Sweet Mama over in the produce section, and I picked up a few things along the way and then caught up with her. Her face had a drawn look to it, and I wondered if she was going to make it through the store.
Suddenly she said, “Where are you parked, Mary Ann? I am sorry, but I will need to go out to the car. I just can’t make it.” Ah, my Sweet Mama! Little bit by little bit the things she loves to do are being taken away from her. “I will try to take these things through and pay for them –”
“No, Mama. We will just put all your things into my cart and you can take your cart out to the van so that you have something to steady yourself with. I will finish shopping and come. Start the van so you don’t get cold.” And she, without any fuss or objection, did just that.
The store was busy! No kidding! Delaware was supposed to get up to ten inches of snow and everyone and his brother was in Food Lion, stocking up on things. I told Certain Man that I sometimes wonder if the weather forecasts are as much to warn us as they are to boost the grocery store business. In either case, the stores around here made out like bandits during this recent deluge.
I had left my list at home, but a quick call to Deborah got it back for me. Ah, Yes! I needed rice. I found the big bag of Uncle Ben’s converted rice that I usually buy and put it in my cart. I tried to think again. Small group was coming up. I wanted to make a taco dip since the Tostitos were “buy one get one free.” I needed tomatoes for that. I turned my cart back towards the produce section.
“What in the world is wrong with my cart?” I wondered as it began to give me trouble. It acted like it was running into something that was keeping the wheels from turning. I backed up, went forward, backed up, went forward, and looked down there to see what was going on. I couldn’t see anything that should be making it act like this. I gradually made my way around the ends of the two aisles and headed up towards the produce. Things were no better. If anything worse.
I picked up my cart and set it down firmly and Oh! What a dismal sound met my ears. Rice was pouring from the bag in my cart into a proverbial pool all around my cart. For crying out loud! What was going on. I carefully picked up the bag of rice and discovered a two inch rip in the bag. It must have caught on something when I put it into my cart and had wasted no time in becoming a liability. I carried the bag over to the deli and asked for assistance.
“Could you take this bag of rice and call for a clean-up?” I asked.
The gal behind the counter was very sympathetic. “Of course,” she said pleasantly, but then seemed momentarily confused. Then I noted that there was a very long line at the deli (people need lunch meat and cheese, too, when a storm is coming in) and I also noted that she was right in the middle of something.
“Would it be better if I did something?” I said. “Like taking it to Customer Service or something?”
She looked so relieved. “That would help so much,” she said. “They are the ones that will need to call for a cleanup anyhow, and they are the ones that will need to take care of that bag, too.”
“That is just fine, then” I said. “I will take it over there.” But now I was in a dilemma. Customer Service was at the other side of the store. I wanted tomatoes from this area. I decided that I would get my tomatoes and grab an extra vegetable bag for the rice. The deli personnel looked at me strangely, and I heard them warning people about the dangerous situation, but I eventually got my tomatoes, put the big bag of rice into a vegetable bag and carried it over to Customer Service. Again, I was treated with incredible respect and cheerfulness. They would send someone right away and they took the broken bag off my hands without condemnation even suggesting that maybe I should pay for it.
So, I went back to my shopping, finished everything up, went out and got my Sweet Mama home safely. The wind was having a bite that was foreboding, and I decided that I would just go straight on home.
Tuesday. The weather forecasters were calling for misery and mayhem. Mama had another appointment in Milford at nine o’clock, so I flew out to Greenwood and picked her up. We got to her appointment early, but they took her right back and we were out of there in record time. We took her prescription around to the pharmacy, and then picked up a few things at Wal-mart that had gotten forgotten the day before. And then it was home again to her house on Yoder Drive. But Wowser! Was I ever feeling wretched. As the afternoon progressed, a deep, deep ache settled into my bones and when evening came, I was one sick doggy. My temp went up to 102 and I was vomiting. Sitting on my chair with my blanket, trying to stay warm,but not succeeding very well.
“This is ridiculous,” I said to my long suffering husband. “I got my flu shot, but this almost HAS to be the flu because I am on strong antibiotics for a Urinary Tract Infection. Which means that this has to be viral. And it certainly has all the symptoms of the flu.”
Certain Man didn’t say anything ‘yay” or “nay.” He just listened sympathetically to his miserable frau and tried to help out as best he could. He had planned to take Tuesday off anyway, and then Wednesday got cancelled because of the weather, so I’ve had him around for five days straight. Middle Daughter had quite a hiatus from work, as well, so her faithful ministrations have kept this household running smoothly.
And that is the news from Shady Acres, where Certain Man has gone back to work, Cerain Man’s Wife is striving valiantly to get better and the rest of the tribe is hoping not to get it!