There won't be a picture with this story, but I hope you will read it anyway.
Many of you know my late husband was an Army officer who served 24 years.
He has been gone almost five.
I still shop at the Commissary and PX at Fort Leavenworth, our closest post.
Because of the pandemic, I felt so much safer, because no one but card carrying members could shop there for the year of the pandemic, and you had to show your card to get in. Everyone was masked, and the stores were cleaned constantly. I felt safe.
On Wednesday, I went up to do my weekly grocery shopping. I do supplement with some things from other stores, but I do my main shopping at the Commissary. For those of you who are not familiar, the baggers at the Commissary are not employees, but independent people who bag your groceries and accompany you to the car and unload them for you. When Keith and I first married, we shopped at a tiny Commissary at Great Lakes Naval Air Station, because he finished out his enlistment in Illinois. I asked Keith at that time (2003) what I should give the baggers who helped me, because you are expected to "tip" them for their services.
Keith told me the "going rate was 25 cents a bag". I was surprised, but that is what I stuck to for a time.
Anyway... I try to be generous with the baggers at Fort Leavenworth, because they make my life so much easier. They are a mixture of young and older people, some native born Americans, some spouses who came here with their husbands from other countries. I am friendly to all, and also to the check out people and they look out for me, they all know I am diabetic and they have actually run and gotten me orange juice when I stupidly have not eaten enough.
One bagger who has helped me frequently is from Japan originally. She lives in Leavenworth, and like me, is widowed. We visited as we walked to the car on Wednesday, and we talked about our gardens and how they were doing in the middle of this heat we have been having. In the course of the conversation, we talked about how much we both liked to mow grass. I told her I had a riding mower, and I loved riding and mowing. She told me she had a push mower. We both confessed that sometimes we were NOT pleased to be out cutting in the hot weather, and laughed.
She is 84 years old.
EIGHTY FOUR YEARS OLD.
I immediately said a prayer that I would still be cutting grass at 84.
Here she was bagging and hauling my groceries for me.
I guess I could say that I will not let her do it any more, because... my gosh... but... she obviously feels good and is staying active and wants to earn the money. More power to her!
We should all be so lucky.