Grocery Freedom, But Not For Steve

Grocery bags 2017-10-11 07.48.28
Getting ready for grocery shopping

On Sunday, Mom was anticipating our grocery trip.

Mom (to Vickie): Today’s our grocery shopping day.

Vickie: Yes, it is.

Mom: But Kay’s not going to let me go. She says I’m too slow.

Vickie: You are, and it’s dangerous in the grocery parking lot. If you practice, you can get faster. Do you want to walk to the mailbox with me?

Mom: No, I don’t want to. You can go.


Vickie and I tell Mom ‘bye and head out, but before we can get to the car, Vickie says, “She calling for Steve.”

We go back into the house.

“Grandma, what do you need?”

“I don’t need anything.”

“Why are you calling for Steve?”

“Because I want to tell him not to go outside until y’all get back.”

“Mom, Steve can go outside if he wants to.”

“But what if the phone rings?”



Grocery Freedom

Grocery bags 2017-10-11 07.48.28
Getting ready for grocery shopping

A couple of weeks ago, I finally got up the nerve to tell Mom that she wouldn’t be going grocery shopping with us anymore.

“Mom, you’re not going to the store with us anymore.”

“You’re not taking me?”

“No, Mom. It’s too hard for me when you go.”

“I don’t believe it.”

“It doesn’t matter if you believe it, you still won’t be going.”

“Well, thanks for nothing.”

“You’re welcome.”


This past Sunday, as she was having her lunch, she asked about grocery shopping.

“Y’all are going to the grocery store this afternoon?”

“Yes, we are.”

“But you’re not going to let me go with you, are you?”

“No, we’re not.”

“You’re mean.”

“Yes, I am.”


Later, when it was time to go:

“Mom, Vickie and I are going to the grocery, now.”

“You and Vickie?! No, take Steve and leave Vickie here. When Steve is here, he won’t stay in the house. He keeps going in and out the door, into the yard.”

“Vickie is going with me, Mom. You’ll be fine.”

“Well, thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”


It was the most relaxing Sunday I’ve had in the past two years.





Grocery Shopping Pickle

We like our local Publix. This is not it, but it looks a lot like it.

We do our weekly grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon, usually around 4:00 or 4:30. Today, as I was finalizing this week’s menu and the shopping list, Steve asked me what time we would be leaving and I started feeling anxious and agitated. I didn’t know just what was going on, until I saw Mom had gotten dressed for the shopping trip, and we began the too-familiar script.

“Mom, did you change your Depends?” I ask.

“Yes, I did.”


“Just a little while ago, before I got dressed.”

Mom heads for the couch to put her shoes on and Steve reminds me about the hidden socks. I lean over the back of the couch to get the socks from behind the pillow, and I smell urine.

“Mom, I think your pants might not be clean.”

“My pants are fine.”

“I smell something. It smells like pee.”

“I don’t smell anything.”

“You can’t smell anything.”

“Can you get me some clean socks?”

I get the whiteboard off the fridge. I write: Something smells bad. I think it’s your pants. You need to change them.

She reads what I’ve written and tells me that she does not want to change her pants.

Then I write: If you don’t change your pants, you will not go to the store with us.

“Fine. I’ll change my pants.”

And as she stands up, I see that the back of her pants are wet from the saturated Depends that she didn’t actually change.

“And you have to change your Depends!”

“No, I don’t.”

“Yes, your pants are wet because you didn’t change like you told me you did.”

“Okay, I’ll change my Depends, too.”


All this, every week, so she can ride to the store, push her walker from the handicapped space to the bench in the front of supermarket, sit and wait while we shop, and then push her walker (slowly, oh, so slowly) back to the car.

I’d been thinking lately that I must be getting the Sunday Night Blues, which didn’t make much sense to me because I really like my job and the company I work for. Today it dawned on me that I have my very own version. Maybe I’ll call it the Sunday Shopping Blues.