Apparently, I temporarily lost my sanity yesterday when I decided it was a good idea to go to Kroger. I’m telling you all of Frisco was crammed inside that Kroger and it didn’t take me long to realize the error of my ways. As soon as I got out of the car I noticed a woman pushing an empty cart toward the building. So I said, “I’ll take that for you.” To which she replied, “No you won’t” with a laugh.
I instantly realized something was awry.
I looked around. The cart return area was overflowing with carts. Cars were waiting in all the lanes to nab the spot of someone hurriedly unloading their groceries. There appeared to be a skirmish near the front door, where available carts had turned into something like a scare Black Friday deal.
Clearly, this wasn’t an ordinary Wednesday at Kroger.
I entered, to instantly find my intuition to be right on track. The lady I tried to steal the cart from? She was sampling wine from one of the 10 (!) wine sampling stations set up near the front of the store (apparently everyone in town needed a “sample” of wine yesterday). I joked with her that I’d be happy to take that sample off her hands. She laughed. We laughed. And I moved on to find every aisle crammed with carts, in traffic jams. You might expect the mood in that place would have been anxious, irritated, and rushed.
But it wasn’t.
I don’t know what Kroger is diffusing through the ventilation over there, but it is wonderful. Almost every single person I encountered was kind. We made jokes about the traffic jams. We helped each other reach around parked carts. When we rounded a corner, only to find ourselves face to face in a shopping cart standoff, we laughed and made way. I even ran into my friend Jennifer who was, “picking up a few last-minute things” for dinner for the 17 people who are staying at her house. She was as calm as a cucumber as she laughed about our fate.
It was like there was an unspoken understanding that we were all in this together.
That we were all the same kind of crazy to show up at Kroger on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, right at 5 o’clock. That understanding somehow brought peace. . . even thanksgiving. In a way, I felt like my fellow shoppers and I all kind of shared this sacred moment together. We cared for each other in there. As I got in the car, I felt this overwhelming sense of gratitude. So I turned around and snapped this picture as a reminder.
Thanksgiving can happen anywhere, in any circumstance.
You just have to show up with empathy and compassion, remembering we’re all in this together. No matter where you are, how you feel, or how nasty it is to stuff that giant bird, if you’re willing to show up and allow yourself to be seen, you’ll inevitably find, that you are never alone.
We are all in this together, you know.
We’re all family.
That’s something to be thankful for.
to more Love,