Monthly Archives: February 2022

Grocery Line

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by

I was rushing in the wegmans line, trying to get all of my stuff up on the belt, wondering why the older woman behind me was looking at me funny. Was it because she had just a few items, and I was unloading a full cart? I quickly looked to make sure I hadn’t accidentally gone to a 15 items or less line.

No, I hadn’t! In fact I had followed a Wegman’s worker’s invitation to this line!

“Excuse me, ma’am?” She finally asked and I turned around.

“That mask looks so comfortable. Where did you get it?”

First I had to feel my mask… I don’t know why, since I get all of my KN95 masks from Amazon.

“Oh! These? I just ordered these from Amazon, actually!”

She shook her head with obvious disappointment. “Oh. I don’t get anything from amazon. I refuse to order from them.”

I found myself explaining to her that I too, don’t like Amazon. “I know I should stop ordering from amazon too!” I said. “It’s on my list! I promise!”

She looked at me, with kind but slightly judgemental, or maybe pitying eyes.

“Well, I know. I know. You stay healthy, okay?”

I told her thanks, and “you too,” and noticed her stack of cloth grocery bags in her cart.

And then I paid for my groceries, and pushed my cart to my car, feeling guilty about amazon, and the plastic bags my groceries were in.

I wondered for a moment if I should go back and explain that I reuse my grocery bags and that I’m trying my best during a really hard chapter of life.

But I kept pushing my cart, just wondering if I’ll ever be as good as that older lady at Wegmans.

I just have some questions about mornings

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by

I just have some questions about mornings

why do I set my alarm for 6:05?
and also 6:45?
and also 6:55?
when usually I’m up by 5:30?
but then stay on the couch having my coffee
until the last possible minute
before running upstairs to get ready for the day?
why are mornings so very rushed,
when I’m up for at least 2 hours before I have to leave?

why do I sneak around downstairs
to get my coffee without waking up the dog
because I don’t want to take him out in the dark yet
when he just sits and stares at me from the couch when I am ready
and when I need him to get moving or soon I will be late?

why does the dog,
the same one who hates rain and snow
and shakes off his paws when he’s walking on anything wet, or cold, or wet and cold
always walk to the middle of the snowy yard to poop in the morning?
also – why would I ever forget to wear my snow boots when I take him out?

why don’t my alarms wake anyone else up?
why does time move so weirdly in the morning?
why do I always think I’ll wash my hair when I know I’ll most likely use some dry shampoo?
why do I ever think I’ll have time to make, or pack, or make and pack oatmeal for breakfast?
why do I have to beg my children to wear coats to school?

Why mornings?
Why mornings?

My van.

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by

When we needed to replace our old van, we found a used Honda Odyssey and I called Mardi. “You like your Odyssey, right? Like you would recommend it?” I asked.

She said she definitely would recommend it.

We drove in Mardi’s van a lot. Sometimes it was to lunch during an in-service, or to a friend’s for wine, and sometimes it was to New York City or the mountains for a weekend. We always had perfect road snacks, and I almost always rode shotgun because I get carsick in the back seat. I’d sit and hand her dried mangos, or hold the dip so she could dip a chip or a carrot in as she drove. I’d hand her chips until she said “No more! If I ask for another chip, don’t let me have one.”

I knew she liked her van, I knew I liked her van, but it was still nice to get a little reassurance before I bought one.

On our last road trip together, I drove her van for an hour or so. As I put on the turn signal to switch lanes, I noticed her van had the same problem my new matching van had: The signal only clicked the light a few times before turning off, and didn’t seem to care what direction I wanted it to go for a moment or two.

I pointed this out to Mardi, who looked at me kind of funny.

“It’s not broken,” she explained, “It’s how it works – so your signal can be on for a lane change.”


One of my favorite van features is the backup camera with perfect lines that help me back into spaces. (Well, and out of spaces. But, I’d much rather back into a space.)

“Aha!” I said to Mardi one day. “Now I know why you are such an amazing backer-upper! This backup camera is perfect!

“Oh no,” Another friend said. “Mardi’s always been good at backing in.”

“Yea – I don’t really use the camera,” she said and I think I detected a little pride in her voice.

“Well. Now I can back in too.” I said. I already knew I’d never be as good at backing into parking spaces as Mardi was. Now it was confirmed. She didn’t even need the camera. She had a way of just finding a spot, and POOF! She was in.

This is what I’m thinking about today as I try to back in at school. There is winter dirt on the camera, so the view is fuzzy. I can’t tell if something is a parking space line or snow or a smudge on the camera. I leave that space and try the next one. This time I can’t tell if something is the line of the parking space or the crosswalk line. I leave that space and try again.

Finally, I drive off and around the parking lot, hardly even wondering if the whole school is watching me unable to park.

I have a feeling Mardi was watching though. She was probably laughing hysterically and maybe even rolling her eyes.

vacuum vacuum

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by

A few weeks ago, we bought a vacuum. My 15-year old wanted me to get the fancy one that was almost $300, but there was one right there for $80!

“You’re going to regret it, mom,” he told me.

“Nope,” I shook my head. “We don’t need a fancy vacuum. We just need one that works. And we are on a budget.”

He shook his head at me as we carted it to the checkout.

At home, we put it together and vacuumed. You had to push it, but it worked well.

“See?” I said with a hint of I told you so in my eyes.

A couple weeks later, when the vacuum handle broke off, he was the one who had the told-you-so in his eyes. Mostly he just raised his eyebrows at me, as I got ready to take the used, broken vacuum back to Target.

If you’ve never carried a cheap, broken, dirty vacuum back into a store, you’ll have to imagine the walk of shame, the explanation at customer service, and the gratitude when they handed me my $80 back.

Now I have a robot vacuum that was recommended for homes with pets. My pets are pretty freaked out by it, and it scared me a couple times already too. My 15-year old kindly set it up for us, and he has the app on his phone. So he thinks it is funny to have it suddenly start vacuuming when I’m the only one home.

At least there’s no handle to break off…