My mom was a lovely lady, but she was not much of a housewife.
She seldom thought ahead to what’s for dinner.
And even though, we always got a whole cow each year (dead and chopped up and in our freezer – not grazing in the orchard) most times, she would send me to the store to pick up what she needed to make dinner.
The “store” for us was Ray’s Supermarket – at the corner of Midland Road and Euclid.
It’s not a supermarket now. I think they turned it into a drugstore now.
Ray’s was small, but it seemed to always have what we needed.
This was before ATMs, and my mom never had cash on her.
So, my mom would send me with a check – which I took to their little “office” to cash ($10 or $20 depending on what I had to shop for).
And they never questioned this kid cashing a check.
(And of course, after a while, they knew me.)
Apparently, I had a great eye for a cut of beef.
My folks would also say that I picked out the best meat.
Maybe they said this so I wouldn’t argue about the frequent trips to the store.
I always did a stroll through the whole store. Stopping to look at the magazines (especially MAD).
In the summer I’d take my bike.
No bike locks necessary, just park it near the front door, and it would be waiting for me when I came out.
The rest of the time, I walked it. It wasn’t that far – 1/3 of a mile each way.
If I was carrying the bags, I always had a snack on my way back.
I liked to chew the brown paper from the grocery bag.
Weird. I know.
I would carry the groceries in my arms, and rip off a piece of the bag and chew it.
What can I say? I liked the texture.
I don’t remember if I swallowed it or not.
Probably not, because my grandma always assured me that if you ate paper, your poops would come out gift wrapped.
I know I never had gift wrapped poops.
So there you go.