Great Advice in an Unexpected Place

16 Jul

When I was checking the weather over the past few days and for the next few days to schedule some flying time the low ceilings of the past few days and forecast for the days to come reminded me of this post that I wrote this winter but never published. It was shortly after we returned from our first trip to Florida for a few days vacation away from the Minnesota cold.

This morning my flying lesson was canceled due to low ceilings. While in town I decided to take care of a few errands. I had my backseat of my car filled with bags of clothes that my youngest had cleaned out of her closet this week. After dropping of the bags at Goodwill I headed over to the mall to get a long overdue haircut.

I pampered myself and said yes to have my hair washed, cut and styled. I rarely leave the hair salon with dry hair. Usually a quick cut and out the door with wet hair and back to work. This morning was a treat. It was as close as I’ll ever get to going to a spa.

 Two weeks ago our local grocery store’s roof collapsed due to a heavy snow load. It has forced me to change my shopping habits and actually plan out my meals. While in town I went to the grocery store to pick up food that I needed for this weekend to feed our family and some guests for Sunday evening.

 I gathered my groceries and headed to the checkout lines and surveyed which line I thought I might move faster through. Each of the lines was long so I just got in line in the closest checkout. As I moved forward in line I noticed that the clerk was a small-framed older woman I guessed to be between 75-80 years old.

 The closer I got I watched her efficiency in her task of checking out the groceries and loading them back into the cart to be bagged by me later. When I was by the register I noticed the pin on her smock that said 5+. I assumed that it was her years of service at the store and asked her about it.

I said,  “Have you worked here for 5 years?”

She said  ”No, almost 9 years.”

I don’t usually engage clerks in personal discussions because they can sometimes lead into awkward subjects but I was curious as to why and almost 80-year old woman was checking out groceries.

I asked her “So do you have to work here or do you want to work here?” I was curious as to whether she was one of the many elderly that need to supplement her income or was there another reason that she was working.

“I just had to get out of the house” she replied. “I lost my husband a few years ago and the house just seemed to big and quiet.”

“How long were you married?”  She replied “54 years”

“Let me give you a bit of advice dear” she said to me. “Do all you can while you are young and able because you never know when you won’t be able to do what you planned. My husband and I did some traveling but always planned to do more and then one day he was gone and everything changed.”

A bit of advice I plan on using…..









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15 responses to “Great Advice in an Unexpected Place

  1. Meanderer

    July 17, 2011 at 8:46 am

    That’s such a useful piece of advice.

    • flyinggma

      July 17, 2011 at 11:45 am

      I agree. My husband and I have done a better job of taking advantage of shorter vacations or an afternoon off here and there just to do something special in the past year and plan on improving on that this year.

  2. nrhatch

    July 17, 2011 at 10:21 am

    None of us know how long we have . . . best to make the most of THIS moment. 😀

    • flyinggma

      July 17, 2011 at 11:47 am

      I couldn’t agree more Nancy especially when it comes to wasting time being angry about something that won’t matter next week or five years from now.

  3. Carol Ann Hoel

    July 17, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Yes, it is good advice to use our time together wisely. What a difference a day may make. Blessings to you, Jeanne…

    • flyinggma

      July 18, 2011 at 7:03 am

      It’s so good to see a comment from you Carol. You and your husband have been in my prayers. i hope he is doing better.

  4. planejaner

    July 18, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Sweet post…and great advice…hard to follow though, with children and schedules and college and mortgages and all the rest…you know?

    but still…something to strive for.

    • Jeanne

      July 18, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks Jane. It’s true it’s hard to follow through but if you don’t even try just a little…Where will you be?

  5. pattisj

    July 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Wise words, I wish I had heard them years ago.

    • Jeanne

      July 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      You can always start today…..

      • pattisj

        July 18, 2011 at 7:19 pm

        True, but I don’t travel as well these days. It would have been better when I was younger. But I’ll keep trying!

  6. pearlsandprose

    July 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Definitely good advice. I’m so glad I traveled a lot when I was younger.
    My heart aches for that woman.

    • flyinggma

      July 18, 2011 at 10:35 pm

      She reminded me so much of my grandparents. They worked hard all their lives with plans of traveling after Grandpa retired. One year later he was diagnosed with cancer and a year later he died leaving Grandma mourning for him and all the things they didn’t get to do.

  7. Linda

    July 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    So sad and sweet.

    • flyinggma

      July 23, 2011 at 11:39 pm

      I love that she knew that she needed to be out with others but sad that she didn’t have her best friend to spend time traveling with.


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