Thoughts from the Crossroads

Dear readers, a couple of days after Christmas I went to the Zion Crossroads Walmart to pick up some milk. And thank goodness I did! Because the store shelves were already fully stocked with Valentine’s Day candy, and I was able to purchase some before they ran out. Everyone knows heart-shaped chocolate tastes best when it’s eaten with the last bit of Christmas eggnog!

I like to shop at Walmart with as few people around as possible. Early-morning hours are generally the least uncrowded times. Of course, that’s easier to do in the summertime rather than now, when it’s still cold and fairly dark outside at that time. But I still make the effort, and it feels great to get the shopping done and get back home. The times I try my best to avoid are late afternoons, evenings, and weekends.  

Once Rick wanted something specific for Saturday dinner, but it didn’t occur to him until about 2 p.m. So we went to Walmart in the middle of the afternoon on a weekend. Yes, I could have gone by myself, but I thought it would be a great learning opportunity for him to personally experience the joys of a crowded parking lot, wall-to-wall people, and long check-out lines. Amazingly enough, once we were in the midst of all that “fun,” Rick decided he really didn’t need the item after all. We left without purchasing anything, and now when I ask him if there’s anything I can add to the grocery list, he really thinks about it. A win-win for both of us!

Speaking of a list, I’ve learned the hard way not to shop without one. How many times have I gone to the store without a list, because I only needed one specific item for a recipe, and come home $50 later without (you guessed it) that one item? Seriously, how difficult is it to remember one item without writing it down?  And yes, I’m old school and use a piece of paper and a pen to compile my list instead of some newfangled app on my phone. Wait, what did you say? You’ll have to speak up if you’re going to make fun of me, my hearing is starting to go!

Of course, the entire store can be practically empty, but there always seems to be someone standing in the aisle right in front of an item I want. Looking around leisurely. Talking on their cell phone. In no hurry. Usually I go elsewhere in the store to pick up a few other things from my list, and come back later to get the item. No sense in rushing the other person or becoming impatient.  Life is too short.

After all, I can always go and check out the Valentine’s Day candy. And probably by now, Easter candy too!

Laura Schupp resides in Zion Crossroads with her husband Rick and two cats.  She would love to hear from you at

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