A Place at the Table: Days 30 and 31

Friday and Saturday – Friday was a ho-hum day of fasting: pb&b sandwich for breakfast and fried rice with lentils for lunch. Saturday was much more eventful.

On Saturday, I did my weekly grocery shopping and I decided to take the bus to the grocery store.  I chose Giant and Target as my shopping locations at the beginning of this fast because I knew I could take the bus there, and I wanted to take the bus at least once before the fast was over.  I took my daughters with me as well.  They have enjoyed watching “Bertie” (the name of the bus on Thomas and Friends) drive up and down our street since they were two-years-old and I thought they’d have fun riding the bus (I was right.).  I grabbed my backpack and a couple of reusable shopping bags and off we went.

We caught the bus just after 10:30am.  The ride (a distance of only a mile or so) took about 20 minutes with all the stops the bus made.  We spent 30 – 40 minutes shopping in Giant.  I bought the things I knew I needed for the next few days plus a short list my wife had given me for household needs.  I was very conscious of the fact that we (meaning I) would have to carry everything we bought from the register to the front door – and that there may not be much space on the bus going home to set our bags – so I kept things simple.  The receipt shows we checked out at 11:26am.  Here’s what I bought for my fasting meals:

1 loaf of Nature’s Promise whole wheat bread: $2.00 (still on sale!)

1 bag of frozen green beans: $1 (on sale)(store brand)

2 cans of diced tomatoes: $1.50 ($0.75 each)(on sale)(store brand)

1 jar of Smucker’s all-natural peanut butter (the kind you have to refrigerate after opening): $2.50 (on sale – which made it a better deal than the store brand peanut butter I’ve been buying).

6 bananas: $1.78

1 sweet onion: $1.77

Discount for using two reusable shopping bags: – $0.10

Total: $10.45

Since I had $1.01 left over from last week to carry over, that leaves me $5.53 to pick up a couple of other things if (when) I need them. I know $2.49 will go to more half-n-half in a couple of days.

Once we made it back to the bus stop, it took what seemed like forever for the bus to come. We must have just missed it while we were checking out.  Thankfully, there was a grassy area near the bus stop  where the girls could run around while we waited.  (That is not the case at most bus stops).  We made it back home around 12:30pm – a two hour trip for a half-hour’s worth of shopping at a store approximately one mile from our house.
Wow.  This gives me a whole new perspective on the amount of time people who have to rely on the bus have to invest in their grocery shopping each week, especially if they have to travel any distance.  (And if you have a family, you probably have to make more than one trip, unless your children are old enough to help carry the bags).
Lord, continue to bless the poor. Give them the strength they need to traverse the obstacles in their path. And open the eyes of the fortunate that we may see (and begin to understand) the obstacles they face.   Amen.
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