It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is old folk’s discount day at my grocery store. I always, simultaneously dread-and look forward to-this monthly ‘outing.’ Some time back, I made the decision to try to make grocery shopping an adventure instead of an aggravation. I go there, expecting to have something really fun and/or interesting to happen and I’m seldom disappointed.
Today was no different.
First, I saw an elderly woman (about my age) doing that hard job of corralling shopping carts in the parking lot and returning them to the store’s entrance area. My immediate reaction was to feel abject sympathy for her and a huge swelling of gratitude that I am not forced into such labor in order to survive.
And then, it occurred to me that perhaps she thinks it is great training for the marathon she is going to run or the mountain she intends to climb. We never really know what the true story might be so it’s probably better not to jump to uninformed conclusions!
The next fun thing that happened-and this is a common occurrence-is that I saw a girl child who is so doggone cute it is probably illegal! Sharing that opinion with her mom and dad, in the girl child’s hearing, was a joyful thing!
I carefully park my buggy to the side of aisle 7 while I search the shelves for the pickles I want. Across the aisle, a lady stands, with her back to me searching for something on her own shopping list. She has left her cart smack-dab in the middle of the aisle….as I usually do. Someone comes along and asks, politely, to be allowed to move her cart. She immediately begins the same apologies we all offer at such times….to the person asking and also to me. I tell her not to worry that I do it all the time. “We all do.”, I say. “We’re all alike….sisters from the same Mother.”
Now, I know what we usually say is ‘sisters from different mothers.’ But, I was prompted, I’m sure of it, by ‘Mother”, to say exactly those words.
The moment I said it, I knew, beyond any doubt, that my new-found café-au-lait skinned sister ‘got’ it. Totally and completely.
We both turned into nothing more than two huge grins….and hugged. It just seemed like the thing to do.
And we talked. And we talked. And we talked some more. We talked about things deep and things frivolous as only two newly discovered sister/friends can do!
Eventually, I stuck out my hand and said, “Hi! My name is Sharon.”
She said, “Git outta here!!!!!!!”
Yes, her name is Sharon. There’s not a whole huge lot of us with that name.
I know that we have to stay in touch, so I give her my SKayArt business card. She gasps. “You are an artist? So am I!!!”
She paints with watercolors, is afraid of oils and wants to learn to paint with acrylics. I paint with acrylics. I'm terrified of watercolors and not too friendly with oils.
She’s 70. I will be in December.
I am thinking there’s a lot of synchronicity going on here. I’m wondering if I’ve maybe found the painting buddy I’ve been longing for. But, there’s one final issue that I wonder about.
I am a smoker. Yes, I know. People who smoke are the scum of the earth and responsible for a plethora of things which ail the entire Universe. Nevertheless, I smoke and don’t plan on giving it up anytime soon.
I gather my courage.
“I have one last question for you. And this one is big. Do you smoke?”
Guess what she said…..just guess!
I can’t wait to get together with her to paint. And if it never happens, those MANY minutes we spent together, connecting in LOVE, sometimes jumping up and down, laughing and hugging like long lost friends….well….now that is a memory worth having!
Our shenanigans, in aisle 7 touched more than a few of our fellow shoppers. I would like to think we were pretty much sprinkling happily-ever-after fairy dust on them all.
Again, I say............