"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Getting food at grocery stores: a dated habit?

I made a cake this past weekend, Easter weekend. It is no longer so practical for me to do such a thing. We're a family of two, and our long-time neighbor with whom I shared has passed on.
I remember bringing a piece of cake to the neighbor, Les Lindor, when Steve Poppe happened to be visiting. "You mean you have cake delivered?" Steve said with a smile. Steve and I graduated with the Morris High School Class of '73. He was one of the "little wrestlers" on Al Hendrickson's team, Craig Murphy being another. I'm sad to learn that Al is dealing with health adversity now. The sands of time cannot be stopped.
Many of the names I drop in my online writing are unfamiliar to the generation of young adults in Morris. They were household names once. Hey, even mine was, no doubt. So I made a cake in the year 2017 partly for old times' sake. It went well.
I cracked the eggs into the mixing bowl just fine. Which reminded me of a radio discussion I heard not long ago on WCCO. Young people of today "don't crack eggs into a pan," I heard. They don't really want to deal with the hassle of all that. You have a lot of clean-up while making a cake, and when you're done eating it, there's the pan that can be a hassle to clean.
Large families were common when I was a kid. The "housewife" took on the chores of preparing meals. All very Norman Rockwell-ish. Times change and our norms of behavior change. Few people seem very interested in spending time in the kitchen preparing meals in a manner that requires multiple steps.
These days, the population has so many young singles and elderly people who either live alone or with their elderly spouse. The young and the old aren't likely to want to prepare meals in an elaborate way. I walk through the Willie's store in Morris and often think it's obsolete. Preparing meals at home also means dealing with leftovers. You put stuff in the refrigerator and then you have to remember how old it is. You always end up discarding some of it.
Shopping in grocery stores also means you'll be making some "impulse purchases." You end up buying more than you need. I find that even if I resolve to not do this, my self-discipline lapses. No potato chips.
Remember the opening of "Ghostbusters" where we see Sigourney Weaver entering her apartment, a single person, with a sack of groceries, eggs on the top? I think back to that scene and wonder how practical it is - a single person buying "groceries." Today I think young singles and seniors would gravitate to a deli where they could pick up a reasonable meal in a sack, maybe with plastic utensils, and just discard everything by the time they're done. There goes the chore of "washing dishes" too. Is washing dishes becoming outdated? I would compare it to the writing of on-paper Christmas cards. We used to go through our Christmas card list and just assume we'd prepare a pile of cards to send. But it seems more laborious today, in our new age where we habitually communicate by email.
My Christmas communications are unique, I'd like to think: I write an original Christmas song, have it recorded, and then send links with personalized messages to my acquaintances. I'm proud of that. We have basically ceased sending on-paper cards.
My little adventure of baking a cake went well. It reminded me of the labor requirement in doing this type of thing, how it feels more demanding than it used to. I ended up eating most of the cake because I had to. It's a distant memory of bringing a piece over to Les.
Our dog had great affection for Les. We referred to Les as "Sandy's best friend." Sandy almost made it to age 17. He was put down two weeks shy in an unavoidable decision. He was half American Eskimo and half poodle. Sandy and Les are together in heaven now.
Sandy got to an age where it seemed he couldn't run anymore. One thing would get him to run. Les might be coming in from getting his mail and I'd say to Sandy: "Let's go see Les." Sandy would take off!
I look at various items on the Willie's shelves and I wonder: who buys this stuff? The frozen flounder? I experimented once with the frozen northern pike because I wanted to prepare it on my Foreman grill. So many bones! Pike may taste good but the bones make it totally impractical.
Thank goodness we dine each weekday noon at our Morris Senior Community Center. We trust Robert to put the best food in front of us.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minneosta - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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