Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Labor of Love

For as long as I can remember my husband, Paul, has done the grocery shopping. Early on I worked during the day, and his schedule, as a pastor, was more flexible than mine. By the time I quit working  I was either pregnant or nursing a baby and was super tired most of the time. So, he was kind enough to continue to take that particular chore off my hands. I did all the other shopping, though. In fact one time I remember looking at him and thinking he could dress a little sharper. Then I remembered that I was the one that bought his clothes!

Anyway, later on, as the children got a little older (but there were still a lot of them) I would give him the choice of staying home and taking care of the kids while I grocery shopped, or ask if he wanted go to the store himself.  The usual answer to that, was, "Give me the list."

Then we moved to the country, and he had more reasons to go into town than I did, so he continued to buy the food. After he had to retire due to weakness after a kidney transplant, and the loss of a lot of his vision (both a result of the diabetes that runs deeply in his father's side of the family) going to the store was one of his favorite passtimes. At that point we had lived in the area for more than 25 years, so he did a lot of socializing at the store. He seemed to know everyone, and in a small town people are not so rushed. They enjoyed stopping to visit every bit as much as he did.  

I would drop him off  (Did I ever actually say how much I hate grocery shopping?) and go home and come back for him in an hour or so.  (For that first year after the transplant I was forced into grocery duty for the first time in our marriage. Someone told my sister they had seen me at the grocery store. Her astonished reply was, "What was Kath doing in at the grocery store?"  I gratefully handed that duty back as soon as Paul was able to take on this task once again.)

Now we live in a new area, about 10 minutes North of St Paul, MN. We have had to make new habits. One thing I wanted settled quickly was that food shopping thing. I still drop my husband off at the store, but it is a little too far to go home and then return for him. That's okay. We found a grocery store less than five blocks from the library.

I love grocery day.


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