My son left me a visual hint this morning - a reminder that I needed to add grocery shopping to my to do list for the day.
Since Ike we've only gone to the store a couple of times - first time two weeks ago when we got back in town and discovered we still had power. We were pleased to find milk, especially considering the sign on the door said "non-perishable items only". We've gone one other time, probably last week - I can't remember, and found lunch meat and butter - what a luxury as we've been eating out of our storm prep rations. Never knew that I missed butter so (smile). Toast just tastes better with butter.
So after lunch today, 16 days after Ike, I went to the local Super Target (I generally shop at Kroger's but needed something from the "other" non-food side so wanted to conserve gas and make a one stop shop, ya'know how that goes). Well, I have to admit I wasn't prepared for what I saw on the frozen food isle - or should I say, what I didn't see. ..
My grocery list was rather short, because as I stated, we've been eating all those non-perishables since that's where our monthly grocery budget was invested. Limited funds means limited variety - who would have ever thought storm prep and evacuation was sooo expensive! But I have to say, we haven't gone hungry so I'm not complaining! So anyway, I thought it would be nice to get a frozen dinner - a nice change from our ration of Spam (never knew Spam could taste soooo good!) and those boxed dinners that you just add water to , and since I'm not known for my cooking on a good day...well, let's just say a frozen lasagna or one of those frozen chicken stir fry family dinners would probably go a long way in pleasing my fellows tonight ...(aren't I a thoughtful wife and mother - grin)...not to mention easier on the budget than eating out (but oh weren't we thankful when the fast food establishments opened back up! even more thankful when the boil water ordinance was lifted so they could serve us fountain drinks!! Ice was an issue as was dishwashing, but that's another story entirely!)
Back to the grocery shopping.
What a shock to turn the corner on the frozen food isle, or any of the refrigerated isles for that matter - the inventory was 2/3 less than normal. Wow. I'd never thought about the loss that the grocery stores had - they too had to throw out food due to no power but on a much larger scale. I did ask my cashier on the way out about it - he said that they had to do a pen and paper inventory before discarding the ruined products to account for their losses for insurance. And I'm guessing that since all these items have to be trucked in AND that all the area grocery stores that feed the millions of people in this gulf coast area are re-ordering at the same time (depending upon their power being restored of course) that it's just going to take a while to have that variety that we are all so accustomed to. Wow. Guess I've taken my selection for granted.
Ever met an exchange student or someone coming to America from a foreign country? Seems the majority that I've visited with always comment about our grocery stores, how they are just overwhelmed with the choices. One friend of mine was a missionary to Russia for several years - she described the vast difference in our "freedom of choice" at the grocery store. Hum. Things we don't think about to be appreciative of. Kinda like the children of Israel grumbling about their daily manna from heaven. Never mind it was nutritionally sound and kept them alive, they wanted variety and wanted to "go back to Egypt" to the "land of plenty". Hum...makes me think that perhaps today we should all be thankful that we do indeed live in the land of plenty, the land that offers us choices, the land where neighbors help neighbors, where power companies come from many states away to assist in times of need, when truckers work long hours to get the products to our stores so we have those choices. Makes me hang my head in shame for my lack of gratefulness. I'm repenting and hope to be more grateful in the future of my many blessings.
I did find a frozen lasagna for dinner tonight. By the way, on the way out of the grocery, I did thank my cashier for the store being open and offering so many choices other than Spam! (grin)