Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day two of the snow of December 2009

Awake to bright sunshine. It’s no warmer but the bright light makes the almost winter day feel better.

Found my stack of Christmas CDs (they were hiding during the moves of boxes and stacks of papers), so I guess I have to start listening to those old familiar tunes again.
A cup of coffee and the “Sunday Morning” show got me warmed up with lap blankets and layers.

Sting gave his feeling of the season by describing winter as a time of reflection and the ghost of the past.

Melancholy, one might say.

Christmas always has been about getting the family together, group meals, good spirits, decorating and presenting gifts.

And this year will be a little tougher than most.
Feed the yard and notice how much snow has dropped off the branches. Strapping on a backpack and grabbing the sunglasses to block the glare, I squeeze through the gate to follow the tire tracks from the Virginia Power truck that brought power last night.

I really don’t need to get out, but I do need exercise, so I do need to go out.

The ice is deceptive, so I tread slowly. My mind wanders to thoughts of falling down and breaking something or getting hit by a falling branch or run over by a swerving 4x4 thinking they can race down the street with less traffic.

To guys trying to dig their cars out, I bid greetings and salutations. No children or dogs at play this morning, but I see a lot more traffic.

At the crossroads, I decide to make the full adventure to the grocery store. I walk on the snowy sidewalk semi packed by previous explorers rather than the street, stopping now and then to rest and enjoy the postcard visions.

I was surprised the real Sunday church, the grocery store, was not as crowded as I had imagined. As I wandered through the aisles of bread, sandwich meat, sliced cheese, soup (what was I thinking? They are heavy), beer (of course) and birdseed (I’m stuck with providing the critter crewe after 30 years, the puff up cardinal reminded me this morning).

Checking out and packing my backpack, I think about Rusty’s blog on the demise of Ukrop’s to a Dutch organization. Though I don’t shop at Ukrop’s, whose name is an icon in Richmond, there has been much discussion about what the family and its brand has done for this town. Yes, they branded their family name to some events around the town while creating many grocery stores with neatly costumed workers and a reputation for customer service. Ukrop’s made as much out of Richmond as it gave, but in this community it was a religion. You may be a Baptist or Catholic, but they all shopped at the Ukrop’s church, which stood apart by not selling alcohol and closed on Sunday. It was a sign of prestige to have your recycling stuffed in Ukrop’s paper bags. So the name “Ukrop’s” became a religion, but now it is passing. To Rusty’s statement, “People eat on Sunday..” is true, but there was a time when ALL grocery stores (and any outlet for alcohol) was closed on Sunday. Families prepared and stored up in anticipation of bad weather and holidays. Does that mean in today’s fast paced world, we cannot prepare for the future, but must have everything immediately ready for us at any time or place?

I leave the church “Kroger” and start my trudge home without my trusty bike to be my pack mule. One step in front of the other brings me home.

A couple of roast beef; Swiss cheese and horseradish sandwiches and football fill the afternoon before I feed the yard again and load up the trash area in hopes they arrive tomorrow.

With frosted fingers, I settle in to watch more football with carrots and popcorn. And as the sun sets and the temperature in the living room drops to 43 degrees, I will stop writing and prepare for an extra blanket tonight.

Tomorrow will have sunshine and more shuffling through boxes. I hope the trash guys come.