When Joe and I married a few years ago, one of the things I loved about him was the fact that he loved to grocery shop. He had been a meat cutter for years and walking into a supermarket ...well, he was in his element. His demeanor changed walking into the store. He walked in the door, stood taller, fairly marched to the meat counter with me, walking fast to keep up. His eyes danced when he saw all the meat products in front of him. Should we buy sirloin, top round, or chuck? We had to plan on being gone about 5 hours on those shopping days. We went to several big stores and filled our car. It was quite an experience for this once small store shopper. Before we married I used to make out a menu, make a list, and go to one store for all my items. I didn't veer from the list very often. A couple of trips to my little store in town, during the week, and that was about it. No shopping marathons at that time. My life changed drastically after we married. We would shop for a couple of weeks groceries then. No menus were planned and little warning about when we would go. He would just say, "Let's get our shopping done tomorrow." Since those days...we've changed our shopping habits just a little. He shops for sale items and meat....on his own. Huge quantities of meat. Since we are eating more vegetables...he's bringing home huge quantities of fruits and veggies. I was almost a vegetarian, when I married him...I still eat a small portion of meat with mostly veggies on my plate. He loves to go and do this task and bring things home...kind of like the caveman days. The man would hunt and bring home his catch. Sometimes I call him Alley Oop. I go with him a couple of times a month. I pick up a few things here in town a couple of times a week. Today, it's just about time to go to the big store to grocery shop. It would be so much easier to go to one of our smaller stores here in town, but we are finding that our little town stores are getting so much more expensive...so while we are able, we will go to the big store 45 min. away. The traffic is one deterrent and the size of the store itself is another. Joe drives one of those handicapped carts and I follow with the big cart...walking. I have a menu, of sorts, in my head. Joe scouts the sales and we decide which stores we need to go to. I used to wonder why my Mom and Dad shopped everyday. Now, I know why. They lived in an upstairs apartment and had to carry the groceries up the stairs. It was easier for them to carry one bag apiece than to haul a whole car full every time. It's really a chore now...walking around those big stores, filling the cart, packing the car, unpacking the car then putting the groceries all away. I like to wash everything and put things in plastic bags. The meat has to be cut up. Two refrigerators...one up and one down, so many trips up and down the stairs. We never waste anything...we eat everything that we buy. I can make a meal out of scraps that some would throw away. I guess that I am boring you with all of this, because the weather today is going to be so hot. We wait for cooler days, but they just never come this summer. I want pity :) How can I expect pity when I am one of the lucky ones? I just read this over and found it a little selfish sounding. I looked again at that sumptious platter of vegetables that I posted yesterday and thought that I should stop here and count my blessings. The Lord is providing us with so much. We are fortunate to be able to do this marathon shopping, fortunate to be able to afford the groceries we need, fortunate to have cold storage, fortunate to have a kitchen to prepare food, fortunate that we can eat anything. I guess I'll stop complaining now... Time to make a list and get in the car and go. Come on Joe...we've got shopping to do.