The Day BEFORE Thanksgiving

Review student projects.  Email. Teach. Attend meetings.  Chat with colleagues.

This was my Wednesday at the office.

At 2 p.m., I left for a more-peaceful-than-expected Costco.  Pumpkin pie.  Dinner rolls.  Milk and eggs and sugar and cream.  20 lbs. of potatoes.  Some blackberries.  Booze.

This was my haul.

And then I drove north on I-270 and east on I-44, taking the Hampton exit and cutting over to the Schnuck’s on the Hill. The parking lot was not as full as I expected, either.

Walking in the store, though, I was assaulted by horribly-out-of-tune saxophone playing.  Apparently members of the Maplewood Kiwanas Club were trying to raise money, and selling some homemade popcorn.  Their hook was the ancient man playing sax, accompanied by a trying-to-keep-up-with-the-drum-sound-on-the-keyboard guy.  I mean, this was movie set comedy bad.

I fled.

And then, somewhere between the celery and the yellow onions, I melted. The older woman next to me was humming along with the dying sax.  I was too.  For one magic moment our voices joined together under our breaths. “May your days be merry and bright . . .”, we hummed.

And all was right with the world.

I spent the rest of my minutes in the store saying “Happy Thanksgiving” to complete strangers, smiling and thanking the staff who were everywhere and harried on this busiest day of the grocery year, and generally atoning for my ill will toward the sax player.

Merry and bright, indeed.


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