The Importance of Grocery Stores

  I have always loved the grocery store.  Fondness for their aisles probably began in my youth when Mom would take my two brothers and me to a big bright new chain store Sundays after church.  It was a bit of organic joy after a somber hour in the hard pews of our grand cathedral.

She’d give us each lists of items to retrieve and we’d race to return first, forgetting (for the moment) our itchy wool trousers.  Years later I’d do the same (well, the grocery store part) with my kids only with more, uh, vigor than Mom ever allowed.  Wife did most of the shopping and appreciated my help when I did, but wouldn’t accompany me/us for fear of embarrassment.

I loved to juggle produce and found citrus to work best because apples would bruise.  I only tried eggs once.  Kids thus in a dynamic mood, I’d send them out in search of the makings of one of their mothers fine meals while I’d cruise the produce with my shiny rolling collection point.

Much to my surprise such tutelage instilled in my progeny more than just the usual bad habits.  Youngest daughter is working on her Masters in (Elementary) Education.  Here’s part of an essay she wrote followed by professor comment:

“For me, I have found grocery stores to be incredibly enjoyable…I can connect what I am learning at the store to other environments…In school, I am able to take my conversations and information from the grocery store and discuss ideas with my classmates or use the ideas in my teaching.”  “Grocery store as a literate environment is a new one for me – very clever.”

I enjoyed doing homework with all three and began to realize I’d miss my role in their education as the time approached for the last to go off to college.   When she did an important part of my consciousness went into withdrawal with troubling results and ramifications.

For example, back in the supermarket recently, I spied the item pictured below.  Looking about I couldn’t believe my good fortune as I watched brother approach.  “Hey man, I left my glasses in my truck, could you read this to me please so that I can be sure to take home what wife hopes for?”  It was awesome!

*The title above was shamelessly purloined from daughter’s essay…

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