The grocery store was slammed full of shoppers on Friday when we finally felt the roads were safe enough to venture out. Power had been intermittent for over a week and as mains burst in the area, boil notices added to the strain of not having water to boil…
We put a few things in our small cart. The store was completely out of fruits, vegetables, and meats, including the prepackaged deli/breakfast meats and cheeses which normally filled the store coolers. There was no dairy or eggs. I was hoping for some Noosa Lemon yogurt. That entire area of the store was roped off. Because we had chicken on our list I approached a store manager who was standing near one of the empty coolers chatting with a young stocker-looking kid. I wondered if he had any word of when to expect the supply chain to ramp back up. He seemed almost gleeful as he launched into his version of “why it can’t be called global warming” and that given these wild extremes of temperature, “climate change” is a much better phrase for this predicament. I could tell that I had interrupted a lecture when the young guy took his opportunity to drift away. I had time to let him talk. It took some patience but he finally and abruptly did stop.
I smiled faintly, reminding him gently, “chicken?”. He might have been a Dairy section supervisor. “Can’t say, he said, “…been promised milk and eggs tonight.”
People are tired. I frequently wonder what “things will look like” in the future. The trials of confronting loss, and of preparing for the unknowns presented by what appears to be a crumbling democracy are taking and have taken a toll. I’m not seeing hopelessness in the faces at the grocery store – my only venue for observing strangers – the vibe seems to be polite, tired, watchful. At check-out, the cashier told us that we had too many bottles of tonic water. Water is being rationed she explained because so many people are without water. I felt shamed, but not ashamed and said, “Okay but that’s not water.Tonic water is not water. Tonic water is a carbonated soft drink that is commonly used as a cocktail mixer.”
When they indicated that it clearly says “water” right there on the label I said “I know you are just trying to follow the rules as we are too. …”
More at True North
H‑E‑B has done more for Texas than our own government leadership for the past year.
I literally trust a southern grocery store chain more than the people whose job is to be there for us when we need them.
— Miles Luna #BLM (@TheMilesLuna) February 18, 2021