Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Grocery Shopping at Ward's

I love to grocery shop and cook. One of my favorite things about Florida is all the locally grown produce, much of it organic, that's readily available around town in farmer's markets and in my favorite grocery store, Ward's. Ward's is locally owned and I can remember going there as a kid with my mom, when the meat section scared me (it smelled like seafood, which I've always feared and loathed).

Ward's is great because it's just too small, and you're forced to interact with--and sometimes even touch--complete strangers while maneuvering around the store. (I try to be in a good mood when I go shopping.)

It's also a very mysterious place. I go there almost every week, but each time, without fail, have to ask the nice people who work there where things are (sometimes three or four times in one shopping trip). Olive oil, for example, is in two or three different locations. So is rice. I'm sure it makes sense in someone's mind, but right when I think I've figured out the logic, they rearrange entire sections of the store. "Excuse me, but, um, where did the chocolate go?"

I also always run into at least three people I know. Shopping takes longer than expected, because I have to have catch-up conversations while squeezed up against jars of artichoke hearts or bottles of red wine.

This Sunday on my way into the store, I witnessed a horrific car accident in the parking lot. This F150 pulling out of a space suddenly lurched forward and smashed into four parked cars. I spent about a half-hour talking to the car owners, the police, and all the onlookers who wanted to know what happened. Then I went grocery shopping.

It's the end of the summer, which is always bittersweet. On the one hand, I love autumn. I'm thoroughly sick of the heat and humidity of summer by this point and I am really tired of my summer wardrobe. Plus my car smells like mildew. But I do love summer produce, and it will be sad when the collards and avocados and green peanuts disappear from the shelves, not to be seen again until next May.

In the meantime, though, I bought some zipper peas and organic, locally grown spring salad mix, talked to a bunch of people, and said "Excuse me" about forty times. So: a good Sunday.

No comments: