I went to Wal-Mart on Sunday. Considering I live in a town, where the only significant places to shop are Wal-Mart and HyVee a trip to Wal-Mart is not of any great interest. Nevertheless, this trip was interesting.
Usually I leave Wal-Mart or HyVee a bit miffed. It seems there is a lack of manners here. Either that or manners are different. I miss the excuse me’s and smiles when your “buggies” pass in the store. On a country road, I became accustom to a congenial wave from the pick-up truck that meets you.
I’ve long known this is all superficial but I was accustom to it and grew to like it. Last time I was wandering around Target in Nashville, someone smiled and said excuse me. It startled me. I thought oh my, please don’t let me lose my civility.
On Sunday, while I was wandering around Wal-Mart I was shocked again. Prepared to annoyed, I was surprised as a woman smile at me and said, “Excuse me.” I looked at my husband and whispered OMG she said excused me. Then another person smiled at me.
I bought some amazing fresh beets. The beets really don’t need to be added to this blog. I just want to tell you about them. Last night I had cooked beets with butter along with some barbecued chicken and some nasty rice. I wanted potato salad but thought that was pushing spring too much. Besides the potatoes in my cabinet were filled with eyes and soft. Leftover rice from the freezer was an unfitting substitute. Those beets were the star of the plate. Both my husband and I wanted more. I’m going to buy more today.
Beets are a winter vegetable. They store well like potatoes. Nonetheless, they remind me of summer picnics. My mother made great pickled beet. My Aunt Rachel introduced me to purple pickled eggs. Once convinced to taste them, I would beg for them. My childhood summers were filled with pickled beets, purple pickled eggs, potato salad and chicken, summer on a plate.
Maybe the beets do fit in this story. My experience of friendliness at Wal-Mart isn’t over. I had navigated through Wal-Mart behind a large cat palm plant we found on clearance for $3.00. We came to the checkout with our plant. The clerk smiled. That too was a surprise. He said, looks like you are bringing spring. We need some spring!
He kept talking about spring. I guess like me, he was starved for green. Seeing the green reminded him that new life will soon emerge from the brown frozen ground.
As he handed me my receipt and I said thank you, he said the most interesting thing. He said I’m going to tell everyone you brought spring. I’m going to remember you because you are bringing spring. As we meandered through the puddles in the parking lot, my husband and I laughed. We wondered what had happened to us in Wal-Mart. He said I’ll bet you’ll blog about this. He was right. I said I’ll call it “escaping cabin fever at Wal-Mart.” I did.
What a strange beginning for a strange week. This week I have some important appointments. I have an appointment that may lead to the much desired, prayed for and sought after ministry as a Pastor. Could my call be fulfilled in South Dakota? I have another appointment concerning a doctoral program here in South Dakota. I will fill a pulpit this Sunday in a beautiful church that is filled with the most beautiful people I’ve met in the upper Midwest. I likely will also hear about the doctoral program in Nashville. It’s a strange week.
Maybe, just maybe, the glimmers of hope and acceptance that are springing up concerning life in South Dakota are what these people saw in Wal-Mart last Sunday. Maybe as I embrace the hope of spring, it will be contagious. Spring comes late in the Dakotas. Thankfully, it does come. It will come for me as well.
Today I plan to go to HyVee. I am hoping their daffodils are in.