Sunday, November 7, 2010

Shop 'N Save... oh how we miss you

I laid in bed for too long the other night awake, but dreaming of our hometown grocery store. Sad, but true. I dreamt of walking from the beautiful, large spaced parking lot, through the automatic doors and into the foyer to grab the big-enough-for-a-person shopping cart. The cart was clean enough to sit Ceiba in without di-sanitizing. At the front door, the sale add greeted us and offered oh so many wonderful bargains and beautiful choices. It was a Thursday in my dream, so $10 off our $50 purchase.

We strolled through the produce section, so clean and so fresh. The misters came on with the sound of rainstorms as we walked by picking up pound after pound of crisp produce that does not have to be bleached before eating. The cart was full of bulk mushrooms, mixed greens, vidalia onions, red potatoes, asparagus, tomatillos, sweet potatoes, bing cherries, strawberries, plums and caramel apples at the end of the section for fall before we rounded the first corner.

On to the condiments and breads, all 200 choices of each. Decisions, decisions. And to the end of the bread aisle for bear claws, powdered baby donuts and fresh bagels. Oh, how I've missed you all!

A quick stop for lean, thick bacon and on to the aisles of canned goods, pastas, quick noodle boxes, chef boyardee pizza mixes, fruit cups, and 150 juice choices. The cookies and cereals demand an aisle a piece, with more options than imaginable. We walk down the heavenly coffee and tea aisle in a dazed state.

The fresh meat section of the Midwest is a sight to behold- porterhouses, london broil, filet mignons, pork steaks, roasts, red 93/7 hamburger and T-bones, oh my. A tear is near as I reach for a Puffs kleenex (with lotion).

And on to the fresh deli meat section. "Why yes, thank you. She'd love a piece of cheese and turkey." "Is the slice style okay?" "Yes, it's lovely." We ease a sample meat on a toothpick from beneath the plastic bubble while we wait for our deli meats. And let's grab some giant deli pickles while we're here.

On to the coolers of ready made meals from the deli, cheese and meat trays, spreads and dips. All are more appetizing than the next. I ponder for 10 minutes to decide what to buy. Of course, a Shop 'N Save sub sandwich is a must! It's a near 30 year family tradition to share one in the car on the way home.

Aisle after aisle of chips, snacks, drinks, liquor, pizzas, freezer selections.... cool whip and eggos and Totinos and burritos.  At the end of the aisle are the fresh French, sourdough, pumpernickel, rye breads and more. Do we need a custom cake or cookies? Maybe not today.

But as we round the final bend, the rafters open and a rainbow lights the sky. Doves fly and music begins to play. We have found the pot of gold! The dairy aisle awaits, right before our very feet. Oh fresh milk in 20 varieties, yogurt in 200 styles (whipped key lime pie), fresh juices, sour cream and onion dip - how very much we have missed you. OH SWEET CHEESES - colby, american, motzerella, pepperjack, cottage, cream, cheddar - you name it, we LOVE you. Climb yourselves all in our cart! Butter, butter, butter... not yucky palm oil, you too climb aboard. Ice cream choices as far as the eye can see.

It is a sweet, wonderful dream, so hard to awake from. My eyes open as we near the checkout. The fantasy slips right through my fingers. So sad, but so good while it lasted.

Shop 'N Save, oh how we miss you!


  1. I'm still laughing hysterically!!! Is this a sign that the honeymoon is over??? I could just picture you saying every word of the above! My trips to Shop and Save will never be the same and I now have a new appreciation for the many "gifts" that we have. Pleasant dreams!

  2. I think I'm crying right along with you, not laughing with Carrie! :) (wink!)

    I share the same pangs and wistfulness for such a simple thing as a grocery store .... but have never been able to put it quite so eloquently :)

  3. AH but Denise, dear, this is why people move overseas and lose weight and save money! ;)

  4. You make your Aunt and Uncle proud with your commercial for Shop n Save...You made us laugh and wish we needed to go to Edwardsville and shop ourselves.
    You are such a gifted writer and photographer. Maybe you should think of journalism. Seriously.

    Love Ya... And your comments on life. Aunt Darilyn

  5. Aunt Darilyn,
    I almost had put a line in there about Uncle Ed's van at Grandma's or his 3 pagers and cell phones during dinner, about Jim filling his footsteps and how we loved to hear you over the intercom. I miss having a nice grocery store everyday! Sure makes you appreciate the conveniences we had. I think when we come home next visit, I'll set aside 1/2 a day just to walk the aisles and enjoy.

    Thank you for the writing/photography note. I always tell myself I want to write a book someday.... better get on it! Definitely adding plenty of chapters by living here.

    Love yas a ton!

  6. Oh and Julie,
    Skinny and rich is nice, but plumpy and happy was good too.
    Ha ha ha. Miss you guys!

    And Carrie,
    Please say hello to SNS for me next time you are there. Wish you could ship the whole store to us. XO

  7. Amen!! Chris and I were just talking about how much we miss shopping in the States! Maybe we will be in the States at the same time and can run through the store filling our carts to overflowing while jumping for joy!

  8. Oh, I will NOT complain about stopping at the store on the way home today since we're out of milk for Sam! One of the things I hadn't even thought about once we move next June. Granted, the stores in Norway will be much closer to what we have available here, but exponentially more expensive, so it will be a different experience for sure. keep up the great posts (yes, consider a future book on this, please!)


  9. I had to stop reading and try not to remember...especially when i got to the bacon part.