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  • Sue Hawley

How I earned free roses from my grocery store- again!

I have shopped at the same grocery store since my arrival in Bath, Ohio four decades ago. Needless to say, I’m well known there by the old timers. Raising five kids led to humungo (a word my grandson invented) grocery carts filled to the brim each and every week for more years than I care to admit.

Over the last decade or so, the grocery store has sent out a dozen roses to their most valued customers, which I take to mean the people who spent the most money during the year. (Admittedly, I could be wrong concerning the store’s motivation, but that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.) At this point in life we find ourselves shopping for two instead of seven but somehow there doesn’t seem to be much of a dent in our shopping cart or grocery bill. I admit certain meals are difficult for me to cook for only two- how do you make a pot of chili for two? You don’t! I've taken to freezing soups, chili and left over ham, roast or anything else we can't finish in a few days of leftovers.

I have a love/hate relationship with my grocery store. I know where everything is located. (Mostly. Once in a great while they will change the placement of entire aisles just to confuse the hell out of their shoppers.) I can usually make it through my grocery list in record time- unless my husband is with me but that’s another blog entirely. I do have pet peeves however. There was a span of time they didn’t stock Playtex rubber gloves- what were they thinking? After about five years of having to trudge to a different store to purchases the gloves I finally had enough and complained loudly to one of the store’s owners. He seemed surprised they no longer supplied the gloves, promised to have them in store soon and lived up to his promise. I now happily grab a couple of boxes when my supply is running low. I’m pretty sure he dreads seeing me at this point in time, but he’s young and can survive my temper.

I like routine. Even though I’m not a fan of any type of shopping grocery shopping is part of my routine. To be honest, I’m not a fan of having to leave my hill at all, but I force myself out and about each day to remember there is a world out there. One of the benefits of hitting the grocery store happens to be I usually see someone I haven’t even thought of for years and we spend a few minutes catching up on family gossip, grandkids, and general township news. The perk of having a large family is that through the years I’ve gotten to know quite a few moms during long, hot summer ball games. The grocery store seems to be quite the happening place to reconnect even if I can’t remember their names.

So maybe the roses are a reminder that while my grocery bill hasn’t shrunk much through the years, the grocery store remains part of my life- forcing me out into the world of traffic, people, and general living. Roses are a pretty good reward for dragging my butt off my hill each and every week for the last four decades. Plus, the aroma of fresh roses is divine.

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