Some days, a Yiddishism is completely appropriate. Yesterday was one of those days. I don’t believe God sends individuals small punishments throughout the day. He allowed Job to be worked over pretty good, but even that wasn’t punishment. I do believe that God sends us messages in various forms. And usually, we miss them. I’m still trying to figure out what He was trying to tell me yesterday:
- On my way to do my massive monthly grocery shopping, I get stopped at the draw bridge. This is a regular occurrence, so I settle in and listen to some talk radio. A sailboat goes by and a small yacht. I see the bridge return to its normal position. But the gates never open, and the traffic signal alternates between red and yellow instead of changing to solid green. I give it 15 minutes and then give up on the stuck gates. Turning around and using an alternate route adds another 10 minutes to the trip to the commissary (military grocery store, for those unfamiliar with the term), which already takes 30 minutes on an average day.
- The commissary is out of the new cereal the kids have been begging me to locate. It’s an obscure bargain brand version of Lucky Charms but slightly more nutritious. Anyway, I had it on good authority that I could find a shelf full of the stuff there. By the time I arrive, however, the gaping empty space on said shelf puts me in mind of old communist Poland days: bread lines, empty stores with only the damaged or spoiled goods remaining. Really?! A run on off-brand cereal?? I decide against adding the last, crushed box to my cart.
- The fire alarm sounds, causing the building to be evacuated just when I am in the home stretch of my epic shopping trip. You just can’t make this stuff up. All I have left to add to my cart are dairy items and frozen foods, and I have to leave it all there to spend 20 minutes in the parking lot while the fire department arrives and inspects the building. Who are the first people out of this potentially “burning building?” The cashiers and baggers. They just drop everything and head for the doors. So do the employees in the stockrooms. The customers throughout the store, however, are left looking around and asking one another what’s going on. Apparently, employees of my local commissary are not instructed to help customers in the event of an emergency. Nope. Their motto must be: “It’s every man for himself.”
- The dog chooses the exact moment after I had unloaded the car of groceries and was relaxing for a moment before starting dinner to vomit on the carpet. Dog barf and light beige carpet is a marriage made to last forever. (I discussed the folly of pets and carpet here.) I have cycled through Nature’s Miracle and Folex, but I still have faint yet noticeable spots.
Yep. A gem of a day for the Uncommonhousewife, complete with flashing lights, sirens, and barf. Yet no one got hurt, and there was still food to put on the table in spite of a seemingly diabolical effort to keep me from grocery shopping. Was my message yesterday simply a reminder to count my blessings? Or maybe God was trying to tell me to slow down, be a little more patient, or maybe shop more often than once a month. If you figure it out, let me know. I’ll be here, scrubbing the carpet and trying to fit a month’s worth of groceries in my pantry.