Thanksgiving is just two days away, what is the LAST thing you want to do?  You may have a list of things you don't want to do and I can bet one of those things is go to the grocery store.

 I do my weekly shopping on Friday, so my Thanksgiving load was done last Friday.  But... (you knew there had to be a but) my in-laws are coming out to celebrate the holiday this Friday.  (Which I still don't have a good name for. Come on, people, help me out here...) So I can go to the market early on Friday (like usual) and pick up what I need, right?  Right!  However, one of the things I want to/have been requested to serve is coleslaw. I make my own using vegan mayonnaise (My personal favorite is grapeseed oil vegenaise.)  In MY opinion, the coleslaw needs to marinate for a day before serving, which means I need to make it on Thursday or maybe Wednesday.  Buying the pre-shredded cabbage and carrot (no, I'm NOT that dedicated in making my coleslaw) last Friday didn't seem like a good idea.  (Even if it is well sealed.) So I was going to have to go to a grocery store before Thursday.

 This wouldn't be too difficult, I thought.  Monday night my son and the high school choir were going to be singing (and fundraising) at a Barnes & Noble.  In the same mall is an Amazon Fresh.  I would drop him off, run to the store and then go back for the singing.  One problem, the Amazon Fresh store isn't opening until 2023.  (Oops!)  Okay, let's go to plan B.  Across the highway from the Barnes & Noble is the ShopRite I frequent. I could run in there AFTER the mini-concert.  Great plan.

 My husband I go in, do some shopping (which helped to support the choir), listened to the kids sing, and head home.  As we pass by the ShopRite I see the parking lot is PACKED to the gills.  Just finding a parking space would have taken me 10 or more minutes and then I would have to run into the store and find what I needed, check out and...It was just too complicated.

 Let's go to plan C.  There is a Fresh Grocer sort of on our way home.  It would not be as crowded as ShopRite.  I head home a slightly different way so that I can hit the Fresh Grocer.  The parking lot is fuller than usual, but I am able to find a spot.  I run in and immediately head to the produce section and...there is no pre-packed coleslaw.  There IS prepackaged Kaleslaw, but I didn't think that would go over well, so...

 This morning was Plan D.  After my son went to school (the car he drives was blocking mine in the driveway), I would head out to a different ShopRite (because I was NOT going back out to my regular ShopRite which is right by several schools and I knew that would be a traffic issue).  My son pulls out of the driveway and I'm right behind (but going in a different direction).  Traffic is not too bad and then...

 As I'm getting ready to pull into the lot, I notice the small lot on the left side of the store is packed and that the HUGE lot to the right is cordoned off with police tape.  The lot, which is predominantly for ShopRite, also is for a restaurant, a Total Wine & More and several other small shops.  The WHOLE thing is blocked off.  There are a couple of police cars, but no activity so I can't figure out why this whole large area is blocked.

 Instead I head up the hill to the small section behind the store and because it is just after 7 in the morning, I am (barely) able to find a spot.  I grabbed my bags and headed in, passing a woman (puffing and) pushing a cart up the hill.  I said something like "you're getting your cardio in this morning," and she replied, "at least the store isn't busy."  And it wasn't.

 Amazingly, although there were people in the store everyone was pleasant and kind to one another.  People I passed smiled and wished me a Happy Thanksgiving.  It was one of the most pleasant grocery shopping experiences I have had.  No one was grousing.  No one was fighting.  Even standing in a line to check out was a positive experience. (Although no one seemed to know what was going on and why the lot was blocked off with police tape.)

 As I pushed my cart up the hill to my car, I was followed closely by man doing the same.  I made sure I kept my pace and also kept an eye to make sure he didn't fall too far behind.  (It was not a big hill to push a cart up, but...)  I loaded my bags into the car and another man offered to take my cart.  I backed out carefully so that someone else could take my spot.

 Even with the confusion and me not knowing where everything was in the store, I was home in under an hour.  And ready to tackle my work day in a much better mood than I had been in prior to my trek to ShopRite.  I'm still in a good mood as I write this.

 There is something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  Even in the midst of the holiday crazy, people CAN still be kind and considerate.  Today a simple trip to the grocery store (although maybe it wasn't too simple) has proven to me that there is hope for humankind.  With a smile and a kind word, we can make a day better.


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