Photo Provided – Jim and Pat Edwards, 2022
I was shopping in one of the big-box stores the other day when I passed a lady pushing her cart in the opposite direction. She had a little support dog on a leash and wore a frown on her face. As she went by, she commented, “I can’t believe the prices these days!” Without thinking, I replied, “I just wish I could find what I’m looking for!” Both scenarios are understandable, but at the time, for me, mine was the most frustrating.
Having a husband who was a manager of Mayfair Markets for many years in the area before they sold their Oregon stores, I know that the strategy is to keep moving merchandise around so that people, in looking for what they come in for, will find other things to buy that they ordinarily would not see if the displays stayed in the same places. But, come on! … some of the recent “remodels” don’t have any rhyme or reason anymore.
Part of my frustration, I know, comes from the fact that I no longer have the “luxury” of leisurely shopping for anything these days. I’ve never been a die-hard shopper. I’ve always had too many things on my plate to spend much time (or money) looking at or buying things I really didn’t need.
But, I have enjoyed occasionally walking up and down the aisles to see what’s available should I need it without worrying about having to run into the store, grab what I went there for and head back out to the car. I’m finding, though, that with the change in our circumstances since I now have a fully retired husband, I’m saving money while at the same time finding myself dashing to and fro to pick up what’s on our list and heading back out to the car.
Jim has never been a shopper; he’s always hated it, but with so much time on his hands during the day now, he wants to go with me on every errand that needs to be run in town. Many times, he just waits in the car for me, so the “leisure” has been completely taken out of any shopping I now do and it is so frustrating to try to find the things I want in a hurry and not being able to find them.
The hot summer days will soon be here. I never even take our dogs with me and leave them in the car when I go into town on errands, so something’s going to have to change. (Do they give tickets for leaving husbands in hot cars?)
Ok … I don’t want to make it sound as though I don’t enjoy my husband’s company. We have been trying out different restaurants and enjoying one or two lunches together each week when we have appointments or errands to do in town. And, our schedules are so open that we are usually able to go to our great-grandkids’ dance recitals and T-ball games, play bingo at the local granges and the Elks Club in Eugene and, on the occasional weekend, head to Seven Feathers for a few hours of recreation.
Vacations and short trips are being planned, but we’re waiting for the sunnier weather to embark on those. I’m now the “designated driver” – someone who has never really enjoyed driving before. I was always the one content to sit back and enjoy the scenery while he drove, but Jim’s finding that he loves the role-reversal.
While at home, I am still trying to get some writing in when I can … I’m trying to work on another book. Jim’s trying to develop interests that will give him things to do now that his life’s work in the grocery business and ranching are behind him.
For now, we enjoy the antics of our pets and watching the birds flock to the feeders we’ve set out or the little wild rabbits romping around in the tall grass we haven’t been able to mow in the backyard lately. Life in retirement has taken on a type of comfort in each other’s company that we didn’t experience when we were both busy doing our own things. It’s different and the transition hasn’t always been easy, but I believe that we all need to accept change, because it’s going to happen anyway.
Happiness comes from adapting and seeing the positives in life.