Hey there. Would you believe it is warm enough for a couple of days to sit out on the porch again? Last week, I was wearing thermal underwear under two layers of clothes. This week the temperature will be in the 70s again. Ahhh, Texas. You just got to love her weather. There is a saying that if you don’t like Texas weather, just wait a minute. On some days, that is absolutely true.
I’m thinking today about bells. If ringing a bell doesn’t ring your chimes, try thinking about it again.
When my friends were here Monday, I shopped at Kroger’s while they dining with their Goddaughter and family. I was glad I had waited to shop because “lactose intolerance” has been added to their list of dietary restrictions. Penny also has an allergy to corn. That much I already knew. Have you ever looked at the list of ingredients in prepackaged food? There is some form of corn in almost everything. Take a look at this list of corn allergens at this web site.
Since she discovered the link between her symptoms and corn almost fifteen years ago, Penny has been a lot better…until she also became lactose intolerant. She cooks and eats very simply, especially because Peter is diabetic. Fruits and vegetables, lean meats. If we all ate like that, we’d all be a lot healthier. I’m just too lazy to try to cook from scratch for one. My freezer isn’t big enough if I have to cook for two and freeze half the meal…which usually gets eaten in a short time before freezing regardless.
Anyway, back to Kroger’s. Even though Kroger’s is closer, I more often shop at Walmart due to the difference in prices but I don’t like to go there after dark. Kroger’s offers double and triple coupons, but I really am trying to cut down on the name brand pre-packaged stuff. I mainly buy store brands. Besides, the thought of shopping at a store at night where a robber held up the in-store bank last year is not thrilling to me. There’s not too many safe options around this “neighborhood” any more. We just have to trust.
I went quickly through the aisles and proceeded to the check out. When it was my turn, the cashier asked if I’d like help in emptying my basket. I accepted. Getting to all the items in a short time is very difficult. Do you stand at both ends of the cart, or do you leave room between the cart and the conveyor belt and stand in the middle, using your left hand and transferring to the right to the conveyor belt or twist and turn with each item using only one hand? I miss the good old days when all that was done for me. I stayed at the handle end and she positioned herself at the other end and the cart was emptied in a couple of minutes.
She was very polite and maintained a cheerful look on her face. She handled the transaction very quickly. The cashier next to us in the express lane had about four customers from the time I got in line until my transaction was almost complete. He asked every single one of them whether they would like to donate a dollar to the local food bank. That question is certainly a good one, but I guess he didn’t realize how much his voice carried. Being asked to contribute to something in a loud voice in a crowded store is sometimes intimidating to me. I don’t like to appear to be a cheapskate. I usually donate to the food bank as a one time contribution. She didn’t ask me. Because she didn’t, and I was in a good mood, I volunteered and told her to add a dollar to my food bill.
It took an extra couple minutes. They have a paper football the donor has to sign. I guess they post those footballs somewhere, although I didn’t see the others. Why a football? This is the season of the Souper Bowl to fight hunger in Tarrant County. It ends in March with a huge luncheon where for the price of a ticket, you get to choose a bowl that an artist creates and donates to the cause. Then you walk around to all these different stations where various restaurants in town are donating a big variety of soups, salads, and desserts. It is a huge charity event for the hungry served by the food bank.
What does all this birdwalking ( changing subjects frequently off topic) have to do with ringing bells? There was a desk bell sitting on a shelf about eye level. The sign below it said, “If you liked my service and were satisfied, please ring the bell.” I had already paid and started to walk out a few steps. I walked back before the next customer pulled up and slapped the bell nice and loud. It was the only time that I had heard a bell in the store throughout the entire transaction. The cashier flashed a big smile and thanked me. I asked her what the purpose of the bell was. She said that it reminded the cashiers when their customers appreciated their service and courtesy. In this time of rude, belligerent cashiers and empty-headed store clerks, I thought Kroger’s had a great idea going for them.
I asked her if she got any personal benefit out of someone ringing her bell to which she replied that she did not. “I thought maybe you might get an extra ten minute break or something. She grinned and said, “I wish!” I grinned back.
At church we often are reminded to take an extra second or two to appreciate those around us regardless of the type of job they do or their “station” in life. A smile is free and a thank you can be priceless. I know. It made me feel better the rest of the night. Penny and Peter came back and talked for a few minutes. We all hugged before they retired for the night. It rang my chimes. That was a good way to end the day. Namaste. Attic Annie