Darling Husband is on vacation this week so we’ve been doing vacationy things and will do a few more vacationy things before the week is out. For example, Friday was the Cryptology Museum, and tomorrow is Hershey Park.
Today was…The Grocery Store.
Oh-ho. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. We drove 30 miles and 45 minutes (one way)to get to Wegmans grocery store, just to gawk at all the cheeses.
For those of you who currently live in civilization, you’re probably numbed to the wonder that is a Wegmans grocery store, as I would have been nine years ago. But I’ve been out of the civilization circle for so long, that I forgot what it’s like to be surrounded by bustling crowds and real, live choices.
Yes, yes, we have choices here…a bit. Someone from an impoverished nation would walk into any of the stores around here and weep with either joy or disgust at all the stuff piled on the shelves.
Which is rather how I felt walking into Wegmans. All the stuff! We were the country bumpkins in the store. We may as well have been wearing Amish clothes and walking around looking up at the ceiling and pointing. On wait…we did look at the ceiling and point, because there was a model train going around a track that was suspended from the ceiling. Not sure why. I’ve only been to the deep south once, but today I found myself drawling and say, “Hooooeeee! Will ya lookee here?!” a few times.
So, why the special trip?
Darling Husband works near this Wegmans and has been coming home with yummy dried strawberries and raving about the grocery store and saying, “I’ve got to take you there one day!” And I have to say that while I’ve been polite, I haven’t exactly grabbed my keys and gone rushing out the door to pile in the car in excited anticipation whenever he says he wants to take me on a field trip to the grocery store.
Last week, when Nephew13 visited and we were considering what sorts of fun things we could do with him, Darling Husband said, “Hey! We could take him to Wegmans!” And I said, “You want to take a 13 year old boy…to a grocery store…on his vacation?” Darling Husband was only half convinced that Nephew13 probably wouldn’t be interested.
But then, today, after our long drive, we arrived at the store. And there was So Much Stuff. So much stuff. For instance, before we even began touring the store, the boys used the bathroom, and reported back that each stall had a dispenser of toilet seat sanitizer. Wha…? Not only were there the little tissue paper seat covers, but, each and every stall had a cleaning solution for the toilet seats, for those customers with a particularly high level of germ paranoia.
And then we started walking around the store. Darling Husband said, “Let’s start at the food court!” And so we did. And very quickly after we got there, I started taking pictures.
An entire Wing Bar. Eight different types of wings to choose from.
A wall of drinks. No, nothing’s being reflected in a mirror in this picture. The drinks really do just keep going and going and going….
Rolls, and I only got 1/3 of them in the shot. In fact, in most of the below shots, I got only about half, or less, of what was actually there.
Sticky bun things
Asparagus, in green and white. I never knew it came in white!
…and here’s where the pictures stop. Just when I was getting to the good stuff. Oh! The good stuff! There were 400 thousand different cheeses, all artfully arranged, berry tarts that I’m sure weren’t rancid, whole fish with their eyes still attached, packed in ice, tanks of clams, a florist shop, an aisle of candies in those tubes where you can put your bag under the tube and pour in the candy…it just goes on and on and on…
But even though my picture-taking energy was back at full level again, there are no pictures of all that. Because right as I was done with the cupcake shot and moving to the tarts and a fish shot, a very pleasant worker informed me that no photography is allowed in the store.
There’s a no photography rule? In a grocery store?
Are you wondering why?
I know why. It’s because everything in there was so flipping amazing that if they allowed photography in there, every photographer in a 50 mile radius would be clogging up the aisles, crouching down, setting up tripods, and blinding everyone with their flashes, taking pictures.
Aside: Becky and Melissa—there were a billion Gluten Free foods everywhere in the store. I had to hang on to the children’s shirts, because there were so many gluten-free foods in the store, the boys kept falling over them and hitting their heads on all the organic stuff.
So, the plan was to eat lunch in the food court, but Darling Husband pointed out to me before entering the store that there was a Chipotle (pronounced Chip-oat-lee, not Chip-ott-ul, like I thought) in the same parking lot.
While the Chinese food bar, the vegetarian food bar, the homestyle food bar, the wing food bar and the Mexican food bar all looked lovely, once I knew there was a Chipotle within a few meters from me, I couldn’t resist it’s lure.
I got the tacos at Chipotle. They look a little gross, but they taste like a little bit of heaven.
The first time I was in Chipotle was last December. We’d gone on a Photo Club expedition, Kevin, Scott and I, and were on our way home and stopped in for dinner. As we were just sitting down to eat, Kevin was talking and then said something about, “…God healed my leg.” ?? “Healed your leg?” I asked.
He took a breath and started to explain, and he tells the story infinitely better than I’m about to tell it here.
When he was a child, he had a rare disease that making his leg grow wrong, or something like that. It was a big mess and he couldn’t use it properly. He was 8 or 9 at the time of this story, and had had many treatments and had been wearing a brace but nothing was working. He was a normal 8 or 9 year old, and wanted to run and play, but he couldn’t.
For years and years, the doctors had tried everything until there was nothing left to try. There could be no more treatments. And in the end, Kevin and his mother were told that he would be in that brace until adulthood and there might never be a good outcome, even after he was grown.
They left the doctor’s office, depressed and quiet. A while later, Kevin’s mother gathered her little son close to her and said, “We’re going to pray and ask Jesus to help you.” And so they did. Kevin’s mother made up a little song for them to sing together, something along the lines that the doctors were wrong and God would make it right.
Now, at this point in the story, Scott and I aren’t eating, but are just staring at Kevin, who lifted a finger and choked out, “Excuse me,” and took a sip of soda.
His mother made another appointment to the doctor to check the leg, because she believed that God had healed her son’s leg. And some time later, a week or so? I can’t recall when, Kevin went to his appointment. And the doctor examined the leg…the leg that had the rare disease and there were no treatments left and had to be put in a brace until adulthood…and the leg was fine. Completely healed. Just, poof! All was well.
Kevin went out and immediately joined the local little league baseball team and went on to play all through his childhood and teen years, winning awards and trophies and his leg has been fine ever since. He’s in his thirties now.
Of course, at this point, the three of us were still sitting in the crowded Chipotle, with the blaring music, sniffling over our burrito bowls and there were tears welling in our eyes, and we had to wait for the lumps in our throats to clear so we could finish eating dinner.
And oooo—this post has too many words, so…signing off until tomorrow. And sorry Kevin, for not telling your story as well as you did.