Time on my hands

31 Mar

Despite the my grey hair and the many missives I receive from the AARP, I am not yet a senior citizen. This is important because it means I need to be aware of shopping times, i.e. the shopping times reserved for seniors and other vulnerable people. I know that my nearest shop, the tiny Whole Foods three blocks away, has reserved 8 – 9 a.m. for these folks.

Yesterday morning, feeling antsy, I decided to go to Whole Foods. I played the “let’s pretend I’m not going out without you” game with Lucy, but she had it figured out by the time we hit the sidewalk. The trembles started. Hardening my heart, we took a little walk and then returned to the house where I left her.

I had packed my backpack before the walk, so I could drop Lucy off, grab the bag and be out the door before she could really panic. It contained two reusable shopping bags, yellow Playtex gloves, and my wallet. I intentionally left my phone behind so it wouldn’t get germed. I also just wanted to enjoy my walk without distractions.

I knew I was a little early, but hadn’t realized quite how early I was going to be. As I walked through the parking lot, I saw a gloveless senior citizen raking groceries from her cart and putting them in her front seat, just like I do. Another person exited. He didn’t look like a senior, but he was a little further away. Maybe it was already nine.

I approached the doors, where the security guard stood. This was a new addition to the store the last time I was there. That time they mostly cleaned shopping carts, but I suspect they managed the lines at busier times.

“Am I early?” I asked as I approached, but maintained an appropriate social distance.

“Yeah, you got about 20 more minutes,” she told me, smiling, clearly not thinking of me the way the AARP does.

“No problem. I’ll just take a walk,” I replied as I veered off the other direction into the neighborhood.

Although this neighbor hood is near min and I often walk the major streets, there are many streets I don’t think I have ever been down. I peeked at porches and gardens as I walked past, trying to figure how far I needed to go before turning around and taking a different winding way home. I crossed the street when I saw people coming towards me and got to look at some different houses and yards.

It had rained really hard overnight and there were a few puddles to navigate around. I walked around a park, rather than through it, to a point where I thought I could turn around. Not having a watch or my phone made the actual time a guess. I decided that, as I walked back to Whole Foods, I would try to see if I could see the time through someone’s window. It was harder than I thought it would be. I saw mixers and plants, coffee makers and dog treats, but I could not see a clock. Not on a wall, not on a stove.

As I was about to round the last corner, I passed a house where I could see a large screen TV through the window. CNN was on, and I knew they usually showed the time in one corner or another. I slowed my pace, allowing my eyes to roam from corner to corner, trying no to look too much like a stalker. And the, there it was, in the upper right hand corner 12:07 ET. That meant it was 9:07 in Portland.

I picked up my pace, greeted the the same security guard when I reached Whole Foods, then entered the store ready to get the things I needed.



7 Responses to “Time on my hands”

  1. arjeha March 31, 2020 at 6:24 am #

    Out store has reserved the 6:00 – 7:30 A.M. time slot for us seniors. I guess they think we don’t like to sleep late. On the two times I went not everyone shopping qualified for the age range. Since we are a small community this rule is not really enforced.

  2. astarowicz March 31, 2020 at 7:16 am #

    Excellent post. You are very creative with approach on finding the time. I loved that part. Not only did you get to go grocery shopping, but you also got in a nice long walk. A great way to spend a morning. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Diane Anderson (newtreemom) March 31, 2020 at 7:48 am #

    Did you ever think there would be a time like this? Thanks for the reminder that goes beyond this one moment- we have time on our hands, how are we going to use it?

  4. JudyK /J Koval March 31, 2020 at 9:44 am #

    I love your descriptions of your search to find a clock! I really don’t think I could have done it without looking like a stalker, haha! Thanks for sharing your story. 🙂 ~JudyK

  5. terierrol March 31, 2020 at 10:47 am #

    Thanks for sharing your walk with me. It was quite inventive how you figured out the time. Poor Lucy must have been missing you at home!

  6. Lisa Corbett March 31, 2020 at 1:46 pm #

    Perfect little slice. 🙂 Poor Lucy won’t know what to do when you go back to work!

  7. Brian Rozinsky March 31, 2020 at 3:00 pm #

    I can totally picture you spying for the time. It’s a funny moment.

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