Thursday, October 28, 2010

A moment in time

Today starts the push into Halloween purgatory. It is of my own making, as it so often is. Luke is having a buddy over tomorrow night for a sleep-over, his first and his friend's first. Nothing could go awry there. Saturday morning, I am going to "fit in" a quick home visit before soccer games, soccer end-of-the-season ceremonies, a dojo magic show, and the church haunted house. Nothing could go awry there because we have 5 minutes leeway between each event.

When I get a little overwhelmed, I often find myself at BJ's. There is no amount of over scheduling that can't be fixed by buying a lot of food in bulk. Tonight, we will fortify ourselves for the fray by eating 23.00 dollars worth of salmon. Bj's was hopping will all the other shoppers who needed to calm their jangled nerves and so I parked at the far end of the lot.

I unloaded my groceries, whipping 20 rolls of toilet paper and a case of juice boxes into the trunk and noticed an elderly gentleman gingerly rolling his cart toward me. He looked to be about 85 and had a pound of coffee, some bananas, and a magazine in his cart. I briefly wondered why he was shopping at such a behemoth of a store but that might have led me down the path of wondering why I was shopping at such a behemoth of a store so I quickly got off that track. I smiled at him as I pondered if I had the time or energy to return my carriage to it's rightful spot...far, far away.

"Excuse me young lady?"
As you might imagine, I had no idea he was talking to me but I turned around to see who was joining our party, and it was just the two of us.
"Do you mind taking my carriage back with yours? I can't just leave it here, and, well, since you are taking yours back."
I would be happy to. He slowly got into his car, and on the bumper was a sticker that said "D-Day Museum."

I thought about this gentleman the rest of the afternoon. I thought about his generation and how they mapped out the connection between duty and not leaving your shopping cart in the parking lot of BJ's. I hoped that he had not outlived all of his friends and family. Most of all, I wished I had introduced myself and thanked him for the quiet lesson in responsibility and integrity.

As for Halloween? Bring it on.

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