Thursday, June 01, 2006

Jesus in Walmart....

I had to run to Walmart the other night. I'm not fond of the's the size of a football field, and I was tired, but it was the closest.
The nature of the area that I live in has changed. There was a big hoo hah going on when they wanted to put in this Walmart . Seems that some of the folks in the area resented having a Walmart in the area because of the "people" it draws.
There seems, however, to be a good quantity of Beemers, Benz's, and Jags in the parking lot.
Seems they got over their concerns.
Halfway through shopping, I realized that I had not heard one English word during my shopping.
I looked around. I was the only Caucasian person there. ( I am not "Anglo," but that's another post) There were Asians, Hispanics, Arabs, Indians....and me.It didn't used to be like that. I was fascinated...then kind of hacked off at one Hispanic bunch because the kids were running amok. Screaming, running, giggling, they were, and I kept ending up in the same aisle as these 2 women and their rowdy children.
They all looked tired...every single person that was there. They looked like they had worked so hard all day, then had to go to the store. The 2 women were just too tired to reign their kids in...but I wished they would.
Of course, I ended up in the check out line with the rowdy family. The check out lady was the only other Caucasian woman there...she was tall like me, probably in her 60's or older. Large woman, strikingly lovely. White hair, crystal blue eyes. She didn't look tired in the least.
She treated the rowdy family like they were royalty, complimenting the kids when they were helpful to their moms. Speaking gently to the moms.
Her attitude and her manner with them completely deflated my irritation at the lack of discipline going on there.
When I got up to check out, she looked at my haul and said," Looks like you haven't been to the store in some time!" I explained, "I have tall, hungry teenagers." She nodded knowingly. We started talking. She came from a large family, and she was the shortest one in the bunch, at 5'11. She was WAC, served in 'Nam; was in the contingency that lined the streets when JFK's funeral procession went by; related women in war stories as she was checking out my stuff; I think she said she had a lung removed about 20 some years ago. Never married, had the chance twice, tho. Worked in NY City as a graphic artist; wore Chanel suits because back then, you dressed up for work.
I told her she was great to talk to, and would like to know more. She said come by for a cuppa some time.
I think I will.
She served our country a long time and has had a feisty, adventurous life.
Now she works at Walmart, and I thought...gee that's kind of a crappy way to wind up your life.
I don't think she thought that way. She walks the walk. She treats everyone as if they were the most important thing to her, at that moment, at that time.
She likes the kind of "people" that Walmart draws.
Her name is Katherine, and she made my day.


Bruce said...

That was a great story. I know so well the feelings you were experiencing, especially at Walmart, but Katherine's attitude made me really stop and think. I would love to know more about this fasinating woman. Perhaps you will have a chance to talk with her again.


bjk said...

Yes to what BRUCE was saying just when I am convinced about my own all soften me up ...well you get me to thinking and HE softens me up....enjoy that cuppa

Michael said...

I love it when you are graced by the unexpected like that.

Take Care

Christine said...

I needed this very much~ thanks!

Paige said...

Sounds like she likes being with people in general. So you were at my walmart
I hope she remembers she invited ya to a cuppa, enjoy

Kansas Bob said...

Thanks for the post Karen. I was in the Army during the Vietnam War but stayed stateside - Ptl. With a son back from Iraq I am always thankful to hear stories about vets who made it back safely. Keep us posted about Katherine.

C. Fish said...

wow. I really love this post. An eye and a heart opener.

Dave said...

Praise God for Katherine!

I just loved this post.

Bar Bar A said...

What a great Wally's experience you had in meeting Katherine! This story made my day.

Tracy said...

Lovely story, Karen! Thanks for sharing it.

I have always tried to teach my kids that everyone is entitled to a certain dignity, and sometimes it's so easy to forget that.


Joe said...

How could you and Katherine have said so much while checking out? Women are amazing. Two men in the same situation might have covered the weather in two sentences (one each). Two women will bond while queued up together. I suspect that some women's movements were organized in a checkout lane.

Men only organize when they are angry or want to compete. Women organize whenever they are in a group of two or more. Men organize around the strongest of them to exert control. Women organize around the most caring of them to support their weakest.

Tell Katherine that I know that she's met a good friend.