Today started like any other day. Wait a minute, that's not right. Today started like any other Covid 19, pandemic, quarantine, mandatory stay-at-home, lockdown day. I decided last night that I was going to try to brave Trader Joes this morning. I hadn't been there since the day before our lockdown orders were set it place, so I was a bit anxious. I had heard the lines were long and I was dreading the entire thing. I called ahead yesterday to speak to someone who works at the store, so I could maximize my shopping experience. Jules answered the phone and answered all my questions. Yes, I should get there early if I want increase my chances of getting all the items on my list. I should expect to wait for 15 to 30 minutes to get in, she informed me. They may or may not have toilet paper, paper towel or flour, she explained. Those items were hit or miss. No, they could not hold any items for me (I actually hadn't asked her to do that, but I surmised that other people must have, or she would not have felt the need to emphasize that point). Armed with all the facts, I had my plan in place. I finalized my massive list last night, to make sure I hadn't missed a single item. I headed out of the house at 8:30 and was in line by 8:45. The store opens at 9. By 9:15 I was in! As soon as I entered the store, I felt like I was in an episode of Guy's Grocery Games. I was thinking big, like I might actually score some toilet paper, paper towel or flour. I was revved up. My mind raced as I tried to decide which of those items I should try for first. I decided on the flour. That tells you where my priorities are. Unbeknownst to me, they had rearranged the entire store in the past month since I had been there last. Just great, I thought. There is nothing worse than going in to a grocery store, even when there is not a pandemic, and not knowing where anything is. I headed down aisle 3 and instead of coming upon the baking supplies, I found the paper goods. First I spotted paper towel. Then, right on the shelf above, toilet paper. I thought I was hallucinating. I stood there frozen, because I had yet to enter one store, in the past month, to be met with anything but barren shelves, where there had once been an endless array of choices. Charmin, Northern, Cottenelle, Angel Soft - who could have ever imagined a day that you would long to see the sight of shelves filled with toilet paper. I snapped out of my dreamlike state and carefully read the posted sign about how much I was allowed to take. I grabbed my allotment and put them in my basket. There was a store clerk a few feet away (6 to be exact), so I asked her where the flour might be. I thought she would laugh at me, thinking I was delusional. Who comes into a store during Covid 19 actually thinking they are going to buy flour? What a silly woman, she would not doubt think me. Instead, she told me that if they had any it would be in aisle one. Apparently they only get a ration of 12-16 bags a day. So I took my empty cart (but for the paper towel and toilet paper) and raced over to aisle one. I looked around at what appeared to be the baking section for a minute or two, when I spotted IT on the bottom shelf. There was flour, real honest to goodness flour! My heart started to race. I had managed to score toilet paper, paper towel AND flour all in one shopping trip. This was so huge, it might even end up on the evening news. I raced back to the store clerk I had spoken with earlier, clutching my beloved bag of flour close to my chest and asked her how much I could buy. As predicted, she told me one bag. Great, one bag was better than no bags. I could live with that. I was on cloud nine for the rest of the shopping trip. It almost didn't matter what else I got. I had scored the trifecta. As it turns out, I got most of what was on my list. They didn't have everything, but they had enough. The entire experience was so much more positive than I had anticipated. The store was impeccably clean and well-organized. The staff were so friendly and welcoming. There was even a nice young man giving out bottled waters to all the customers, as we waited in line to get in. I could have stayed there all day. It was just nice to be out of the house, around people (even people wearing masks and rubber gloves) and to have a change of scenery. There was something about being there that was so comforting to me. Even with all the rules on social distancing and brightly colored tape on the floor directing you on where to stand while checking out. For just a moment, I felt like things were the way they used to be. I don't know that I've had that feeling any other time in the past month. Thank you Trader Joes!
In line, 6 feet apart, at Trader Joes, this morning.
I know what this looks like, but I do have a family of five to feed.
The crew awaiting my arrival back home. Armed and ready to help unpack.
What are we supposed to do with all these bags? This would have been a social disgrace to leave a store with this many bags, pre-Covid 19. It seems that Going Green has now taken a back seat to staying alive.
Out of the bags and ready to start being put away. This shopping trip, from start to finish, turned out to take about 4-plus hours.
The Triple Crown!
Lady Catherine cleaned my windows today. She likes dusting and cleaning. Go figure? But I am certainly not complaining.
Miles and Fitzy, getting their respective doses of Vitamin D, after all those days of rain.
The Easter egg assembly line was in full swing this afternoon. Stuffing candy in countless plastic eggs was just what I felt like doing, after my marathon grocery store experience.
Back out for our evening walks, now that the rain has abated. And what a lovely evening it was.
Graham and Garin making a homemade pickled beet recipe out of the Food Network Magazine. We substituted golden beets, since that's all that was available.
The finished product, ready to go in the refrigerator and start "picking" for the next few weeks.
Taco Salad, with fresh slices of avocado and a dollop of sour on top, for dinner.