Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's Still Christmas at My House

I've been feeling guilty about posting so little lately, but I should be back and writing in March. Have had my mom visiting since before Christmas and my life is all about work and coming home to appreciate her cooking, cleaning and yardwork at our house. She's 93 years old and going strong; can you repeat with me, "Well elderly"? Maybe you might like reading a little excerpt from her life which took place around Thanksgiving this year; to help explain one of the references--Ukrops is a family-owned grocery chain in our area and they are known for their excellent customer service.

'Til March I'll leave you with this:

Just before last Thanksgiving my Mom made one of her weekly trips to the nearby discount grocery store. We always tease that, even though we’re tough northerners, we need to strap on our ankle guards and elbow pads before we grab a cart because we’ve encountered several aggressive shoppers as we bump our way down the crowded aisles.

As she waited in her own long line to check out she struck up a conversation with a lady in the next line of checker-outers. Mom noticed the huge turkey in her new acquaintance’s cart, so the talk turned to Thanksgiving and meal planning and who knows what else. A keen observer of life, Mom noticed that the woman moved a little slowly as she advanced her cart in line, but she was shocked later to see how much difficulty she had placing her groceries on the conveyor belt.

Now, we don’t have Ukrops in Chicago and Mom wondered how in heck the lady was going to push her cart across the patchy sidewalk outside the store and then across the pot-holed parking lot to her car. So, Mom asked if she needed help and the lady smiled and said that someone from the store was going to help her. Knowing how unlikely that could be, Mom offered her services.

Envision this—my Mom pushing her own wobble-wheeled cart with her right hand, twisting slightly to pull the lady’s cart with her left hand—propelling her new friend forward as well--and heading out the door and down the sidewalk and slight ramp to the busy parking lot. After waiting a few minutes for the rude drivers to collect their senses enough to stop, Mom got fed up and let go of her cart in order to raise her hand in the air at an oncoming driver, then stepped into the street with a “Don’t you dare cross me” look on her face. Once satisfied that the drivers had really stopped, the little caravan of ladies and shopping carts proceeded across the road.

Once they reached the lady’s car Mom asked, “Where do you want the groceries,” then put them in place. I can only imagine what the lady was thinking as she drove home.
Mom says she doesn’t think about whether or not to help someone who looks like they need it; she just steps in and does it. I think I already know what to give her for her 94th birthday next August; something she really needs—the neon yellow uniform of a school crossing guard.