Here in the Midwest we have Meijer, a big-box store like Walmart except way nicer. Meijer is pretty terrific.
I shop there every week. I go Saturday mornings now, early, hoping for the best selection. I wear nitrile gloves; we have some thanks to our son who used them on the job until he was furloughed. Friday the CDC recommended wearing masks in public. I tried to find my sawdust masks in the garage but had no luck; the place is in considerable disarray. I’ll do a deep dive later. Off I went.
I worry most about the pandemic while I’m in Meijer. There are just so many people there! And some aren’t good about keeping their distance. I am usually a charge-ahead shopper — let’s see how fast I can burn through this list and get out of here! But now, I have to choose deep patience. I wait as long as it takes for a clear path before I move. But that means I just expose myself for that much longer.
They had toilet paper, ground beef, and chicken breasts this week! Small victories.
When I got to the checkout there was a new plexiglass shield between me and the cashier. As I loaded bags into my cart I noticed this:
It’s a Meijer tradition: since 1962, every store has had a mechanical horse for kids to ride. And since 1962, every ride has cost just a penny.
I’d never paid much attention to Sandy. My kids were never interested in her when they were small. Even though I’ve shopped at Meijer for more than 25 years, I didn’t even know her name was Sandy until I saw that sign saying they’d put her away.
It makes obvious sense to put Sandy away right now. But for whatever reason, this one small thing brought the enormity of this pandemic home to me. I stood in line holding back tears.