Thursday, October 20, 2005

Blowing in the wind

Question of the day on the radio:
Q: We will probably do this for 8 minutes this week?

Today at the big new Giant Grocery Store that opened in our town, I noticed three grocery carts that had been left in the parking lot. That's not normal. It's also not right. People here return the carts to their proper places.

The store is huge and different and exciting. Yep. An exciting grocery store. It passes for entertainment in these parts. But the carts left stranded in various places in the big parking lot are a sign of something. Change.

I'm not usually against change. And I like "different." But I like change that is better. Different should be better too.

People who don't live in our borough are being drawn to the store. Of course. It's not like anything else around here and it has been touted in the Harrisburg newspaper, and so on. Big Ballyhoo. (Oh, I've waited forever to use that word!) So folks from "across the river" are coming. Too bad they don't realize that they are giving themselves a bad name here by not doing the expected "correct" thing. Makes me sad.

At the store I bought a nice big basket full of fruit to give to my new next-door neighbor. They seem like very nice folks. They moved here from a suburb of Houston, Texas. I gave them a book on Pennsylvania Historical sites too. They have four kids. It's a big house. Now that I think about it, most of the houses here are big. That's 'cause the folks who built them all had kids.

They asked if they could trim the branches that are on their side of the row of about fifteen trees that separate our back yards. I'm big-hearted so I said sure. At some point I will be sure to mention to them that the trees are actually theirs. I don't want to overwhelm them with too much information right away. Wouldn't be prudent.

We've lived in our home for 33 years. Now there is only one couple on the street that was here when we came. They are the original owners of that house. They're pretty old and not all that well. They're next to go I imagine.

A "boy" who I saw hit a home run when he was 12 bought Mrs. Keller's house when she had to go into a nursing home. That's kitty-cornered from us. He's the mayor of our borough now. And the former Lillian Smith lives on our street too. I remember her from when she was in the third grade. She was an overweight sour kid. She's a thin, sweet mother of two now.

So many changes. In the beginning everyone had kids. Then all the kids were gone. Now there are kids on the street again. That's a good thing. That's a good change.

Little people to knock on my door and sell me magazines and cookies and decorative candles for school and scout fundraisers. *Sigh*.

Decorative candles. Puke.

Answer to radio question of the day:
Wait in line at the grocery store.


Mike said...

You have a memory like a steel trap, that's awesome girl. You like kids running all over the neighborhood? Hold on a sec...I'll drop my 2 off and after a few hours then decide ;)

kenju said...

I can relate to the neighborhood having kids - and then not - and now they're back. We have lived here for 23 years and followed that same cycle. Actually it is nice to see kids out playing here again, and it is more fun on Halloween, since we actually get some trick-or-treaters. But I also shy away from the numerous sales by the schools and scouts, for wrapping paper, candy, popcorn, magazines and various assorted crap I don't need. I have to buy all that from my grandchildren, don't I??

Keith said...

The kids around here a little horrors, and that's not sour grapes! They know that the law cant touch them if they are under 12. The parents can't hit, tell them off or restrain them (against the law, thanks to the 'do-gooders') so they run riot around the streets vandalising anything and everything. Last week a new bus shelter was erected in our street; within hours the kids had wrecked it! Just this morning 2 of the little shits on their way to school were yelling abuse at my neighbour, he's 88 and lives alone and is terrified of going out on his own nowadays. Can I come and live on your street? Please?

Sorry this comment turned into a posting, but you touched a nerve there....

Keith said...

The Little Shits (continued). This morning I have to sort out my steel plate to go over the letter box opening on Haloween. They usually drop fireworks or lighted matches in our boxes as a 'trick' unless we give money as a 'treat'.

dddragon said...

Did you know that I'm giving private art lessons to Lillian's son? Nice boy. Nice family, in fact.

And yup, us locals are waiting for the ballyhoo to die down so that we can have our grocery store back. I hope we don't have to wait for the Wegmans to be built for that to happen.

Doug said...

That wasn't the answer I was expecting. Either way, it would be a good week for me.

Lesser_Lumpkin said...

I hate the whole can't-take-10-seconds-to-put-the-cart-where-it-belongs-thing too. Of course here in NY that seams to be the rule rather than the exception so I always end up taking about 3 carts back where they go whenever I'm at a store.

The Lumpy

OldHorsetailSnake said...

33 years? Can you remember what you paid for it? It's probably "only" got 4000 square feet, so it probably set you back about 1/5 of what it's worth now.

And, about the trees, start tending them and grab off some land by adverse possession. It's the American Way.

Libby said...

our neighborhood sounds like yours...trouble is, we're at that in-between stage (we've only been here 15 years), so there are no kids left to volunteer to mow lawns for $10.00...! i cross my fingers every day in the summer for a new one to knock on the door!
BoUnCeS!! LibbY!

Jamie Dawn said...

Changes: I much prefer the good ones.

Your neighborhood sounds nice.
I've come out from Walmart or the grocery store and had someone's cart up against my car. I think they just leave it and it rolls against my car. I've had this happen a couple of times, and it irks me.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Yes! I hate decorative candles. Burn 'em, for gawd's sake! I can't stand how gummy and dusty they get. Bleah.

Amber said...

Most of the homes in our last neighborhood were young families starting out but there were still a few diehards who had no doubt been there since the homes were built.

The couple across the street from us was a nice elderly couple. Dan and I always got a kick out of watching all the cars and RVs pull up as their grown kids and grown grand-kids would visit them on the holidays.

He still puttered about the yard, trimming the trees and raking the leaves, depending on the season. His wife would come out and bring him a sandwich sometimes and they'd discuss whatever needed to be discussed.

Cute couple.

One day as I was writing on my first blog, I saw the husband raking and realized I hadn't seen the wife for a long time; several days as a matter of fact. And as he raked, it seemed he was moving more slowly than usual. There was an aura of sadness abouthim. He stopped at one point and looked up at the sky and suddenly, I realized she must have passed away.

Tears stung my eyes as I watched him slowly go back to his raking. What would he do now without his beloved partner of so many years?

I turned back to my screen and began to write about him. "The old man carried his rake out to the yard the way he always did this time of year. Stopping for a moment to check the weather, he looked up towards the darkening sky. Did he wonder about his loved one, so recently gone from his side? Or did he...?"

At that point, I heard some talking and, turning around, I saw his wife come out and bring him a sandwich.

Well, drat.

delete, delete, delete

Good blog entry gone down the drain again.

I hate it when that happens.

AP3 said...

Wow, grocery store as entertainment! I'll have to check that out the next time I'm there.

actonbell said...

The Giant we visit has special covered islands in the parking lot for carts, and people are pretty good at rolling them to the nearest one. I'm sorry that people are leaving them anywhere! That's irritating.

I must check out the new store, sometime!

Bela said...

No kids in my block of flats - thank goodness: there's enough noise as it is.

I like the sound of your neighbourhood, though: disciplined and cosy at the same time. :-)

Peter said...

It's not that your area is starved for entertainment is it? never miss a grand opening!!!

lime said...

we have all the new yorkers moving into the poconos here. i can appreciate the changes newcomers make to a community. holy moly and how! once i came out of the store in a downpour and had no umbrella, there were no les than 10 carts encircling my van. i was soaked to the skin before i got them all moved and could pull out of the parking space. i was not expecially happy.

Big Dave T said...

Last time my wife and I headed out to Pennsylvania (her original home state) we went to a open air market called the Green Dragon. Got scrapple there, which is hard to find in Michigan.

Tom & Icy said...

So many changes! Seems like many changes are just more of the same in a different way, or from a different perspective for us.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Mike,Kenju,Keith, we don't exactly have kids running through the neighborhood yet. But yes, I do love to see kids moving in. I buy something from any kid who rings the doorbell. I know how tough it is to sell that junk. I was a Girl Scout leader for 11 years. I've never, ever, had a kid vandalize my property here.

ddd- yes, I did know that. They are good folks.

Doug, I actually spend zero time in line with this new store. They have a wand system. I have a "bonus card" which I wave at a sensor when I go in. I pick up the wand that lights up and beeps in response to my card-waving. I scan each item as I go, placing it in bag(s) as I go, weigh my produce and such, scan the price tag that is printed as I do, order deli items and meat on one of many screens placed throughout the store, pick them up at my leisure, etc., when I am finished shopping, I go to one of the the Smart Shop check outs, scan in my wand, pay by one of several methods, and I'm finished. The stuff is already bagged since I've been bagging it as I go. I also know exactly howmuch I will owe because the wand has a screen that shows the running total, etc.

If I choose, I can leave my stuff with the FREE valet service where it will be kept in a temperature controlled area (safe for frozen foods, etc.) have a cup of coffee or eat at one of the cafes, finally stroll to my car, drive through the valet pickup, pop the trunk, wait for them to load the groceries, wave goodbye and drive off.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Lumpy, I cannot understand this behavior. There are places to leave the carts, and besides, one can use the free valet service. Just don't get it.

Hoss, I remember exactly what we paid for it. It would sell for approximately seven and a half times as much now.

schnoodlepooh said...

I hate to wait in line at the grocery store. I don't think I wait 8 minutes, maybe two or three. My store is pretty efficient.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

LibbY, kids around here don't bother themselves with menial jobs. Sad. It's one of the things that I don't admire here. I have a "yard guy" who does everything. Too lazy myself. I don't admire that about me either.

J.D. Yes, we all love the good changes. We all get the changes that happen.

Saurkraut, aren't they the pits?

Amber, I feel your pain. LOL

Aral, it's so much fun! Of course I will drag you there!

Acton, You'll love and hate it.

Bela, these kids seem to have built in "cones of silence." Never hear them.

Peter, save me! I'm a party girl in hicktown!

Lime, I know folks who came from there. When they go visit now, they are so saddened and shocked at the behavior that's going on.

Big Dave T, I took Mama to the Green Dragon. It's open only on Fridays. Next time go to Roots Market in Manheim. Open only on Tuesdays. Much bigger and better. Scrapple, ugh. You fry it?

Tom and Icy, yeah, changes, changes. Some good, some bad.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Hi schnoodlepooh. Not waiting is a good thing, huh?

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

8 minutes is like an eternity to wait.

I think that there should be a deposit for the carts. Then people would be more willing to return them. Just my two cents! (but they could charge 50 cents)

Meegan said...

Ugh, people just don't have cart courtesy. One of my biggest pet peeves!

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Barbara and Meegan, glad you're on my side! No excuse to be so lazy.

Monique said...

I find it really fascinating to read about the changes that have taken place in your neighborhood over time.

33 years, huh? We've been in our house for 9 years but it could be 9 days, it's gone by so fast.

Fred said...

Eight minutes a week times 52 weeks equals 416 minutes. That's about seven hours a year waiting in line to buy food. Now I know why I avoid the stores.

Thirty-three years? Wow - you don't see that very much at all nowadays. We're in our current house for five years, and that's a new record for us.

The Little Red Hen said...

I like "ballyhoo" and another good word is "brouhaha." I really enjoy your writing.