The grocery store was awash with shoppers filling carts of silver wire on rolling wheels of four. Rounding the bend I spotted plastic jugs of milk, a sack of red potatoes and two boxes of Mini-Wheats heading straight away. I swerved to the side before racing a plush bunny in blue. One long and lean leg swung over the side, enjoying the ride. And, just in front of him was a young woman checking her list, pushing a buggy brimming with apples and oranges, boxes of diapers and a tall can of whip cream tipping next to mold of bright green J.e.l.l.o.
Slowly, I scanned the array of fresh, red meats, not sure of what to fix or eat. My kids were coming to stay with grandbabies too. I needed something easy to throw in a pot, to cook all day while I finished working. What would it be for me?
Just then, an elderly man of about 75 years or more, tapped my shoulder.
“Excuse me, do you know where I might find the corned beef?” “Hmmm…it should be right here,” I responded. “Let me find it for you.”
I scanned the coolers, but couldn’t find corned beef anywhere. “Do you think we should ask someone,” inquired the man with the kind moon face. His hair was balding blonde, and his eyes were clear and crystal blue. Looking into them, I sensed something faraway, as if he felt all alone in the world. Surprisingly, he took my hand to introduce himself.
“Hello, my name is John, what is your name?”
“Kim,” I answered, grasping his long fingers in my own.
“Kim, that’s a beautiful name. Nice to meet you.”
John smiled, making me blush. A warmth surrounded him, making me feel comfortable, and happy to meet him. I went on to find an employee of the store who soon discovered a fresh batch of corned beef in the back room.
“How do you cook it,” John asked? “It’s just me, this year,” he said, bending his head.
With a gentle smile, I told him how my mother used to cook corned beef. “She added a plump head of cabbage with a bunch of carrots before dropping in red potatoes together with an onion and spices. Then, she simply cooked all of it together in one big pot,” I added with a big grin!
“Thank you!” John’s spirits were starting to lift. Perhaps my enthusiasm was rubbing off on him a bit?
“You know, John, I’m glad I met you,” I said, scooping up a package of corned beef. “This sounds really good to me!”
Together, John and I rolled over to the cabbage bin, new friends by happenstance.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!