So I live in a sweet, little town. A three stop-light, no grocery store kinda town. Except we’re getting a grocery store and people would probably love more stoplights because a sweet, little town grows exponentially when people find out about it. But back to the grocery store. For years, we have driven to the town just south of us by a couple miles to get our groceries. And we go to the little grocery store there although there is a big, shiny, flashy newer one down the street. We’re little, plain grocery store kinda people, and the BF (code for husband) and I both want to get in the fetal position from the overstimulation anytime we go in the Tajma grocery. But the little, plain grocery store is closing this week so that a shiny, fancy new one can open in our sweet, little town this Wednesday (it is so close to our house that we can walk there to pick up the ingredient we forgot for dinner and still get back faster than if we drove to the other town to get it). Follow? So this past Saturday we were heading out to do our weekly grocery shopping, and we figured that we couldn’t go to our usual store because they probably weren’t refilling the shelves since it is about to close, and there were several things we needed last week (like my morning oatmeal) that were already gone from the shelves. So, we headed up the highway, to the town just north of us, to shop for our groceries there. Checking out, I smiled and said hello to our check-out person who wore a tag that said manager. AND HE WAS MY FORMER STUDENT. TEN YEARS AGO. Yep. I taught someone who is now old enough to be a grocery store manager. I have no hang-ups about my age, but I wanted to ask this sweet, dear man if his bosses knew that he was still in high school. It is funny how we freeze people into a certain time, isn’t it (and, yet, say about our parents, ‘Don’t they know that I am an adult,’ or ‘… that I can take care of myself’ or whatever makes the point that we are big now and on our own)? But I love seeing or hearing from old students– it is always so comforting to know how their lives have evolved after investing so much heart into them.
And then Saturday night, speaking of hearts, I received an e-mail about what I need to be doing to protect my heart from another former student who is in nursing school (a reminder that February is healthy heart month). Heart disease causes more deaths among women than any other health condition, and it’s important that I pass on Jen’s message. So here it is. And here’s to former students who grow up to take care of you in one way or another. When I see Jen and Michael out there in the world, it reminds me of how incredibly blessed I have been to share in the many lives I have encountered.
** The photos are from chaperoning the prom and before coaching a soccer game (too bad it is not in color because my hair is blue. I had to dye my jet black hair blue– the school color– after losing a ‘motivation’ bet to the team. It was not nearly as bad for me as for my blond coaching partner. My hair was like a midnight blue. His hair and scalp were bright royal blue).