I don’t know what possessed me to go driving to the Stop & Shop yesterday at the noon hour. Usually I have the good sense to do my shopping after the 7 AM mass when the streets and stores are relatively empty. But I had been stressed out by last night’s outing and had a late morning nap and got it into my head that I’d see about those generic prescriptions available for only $9.99 at Stop & Shop. I had a new blood pressure medication script that needed to be filled and the time had come.

I only go to Stop & Shop every few months — it’s not my regular store — and the first indication that I was old was the sight of some pricing wands available at the entrance to the store. I gathered that you take these things with you as you shop, wave them over your purchases as you pick them out, and just present the wand and pay for the whole shebang at the check-out counter. Quick. Efficient. Easy. But my brain said, “No. Too complicated for today. Some other day when I feel more up to a challenge I’ll try it.” That’s not like me. Usually I’m eager for a new thing to try – a new experience – but not yesterday.

Then I went to the prescription counter for the first time. They needed information and of course my birth date was required. “This will be $9.99 he said. Ready in fifteen minutes.”  I had never wandered aimlessly in this store before but with 15 minutes to kill that’s what I started to do. There were aisles I had never been down. Organic foods I had never seen before. A salad bar which said “sampling is forbidden by law.” Couldn’t think of anything we really needed but bought some natural chicken (no antibiotics, fed an all vegetable diet, no growth stimulants or hormones), some Gorgonzola (a passion of mine), and some cranberry-raspberry juice. All I could think was that the store was just too big and had just too many choices and I couldn’t be bothered thinking and deciding about so many options. I felt I looked like what I was – an old lady wandering aimlessly around.

My sister’s home is just a short drive from Stop & Shop and early on I had thought of visiting her after shopping. But now I just wanted to get out of there and go home. I’d visit another day when I felt more up to it. Back to the prescription counter and the medication was ready. When, oh when, are they going to make those credit card scanners uniform so you don’t have to figure out each time which side of the card goes up? It seems that at every store they’re different. Anyway, I muddled through and the sad part of it is, I felt I was muddling through.

When it came time to check out my purchases, there were the usual “scan ‘em yourself” stations which I have used before with some success, but was certainly not ready for today. I passed about six of them looking for a nice open check-out station with a nice short line where the nice lady would scan my things for me and put them in my cart.

Some days I am up to a challenge. Some days I’m not. Yesterday I was old.


So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day.  For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison… – 2 Cor. 4:16, 17.