Messages from the IGA

Life has been pretty hectic since my pilgrimage to the Bedlam Farm Open House. A new school year began the day after I returned home and with it came seven new faces in the program where I am  a special education assistant. That alone has kept the teaching team on our toes. I have also become a Marching Band Mom, as my daughter now plays in the percussion pit. Add in her violin and piano lessons on alternating weeks, yeah the Mom Taxi had to hit the ground running from day one.  It took longer than I wanted to complete my blog entries about the trip, but that was an essential piece of this process for me.  Something in my consciousness shifted, connections were made and  I felt a need to document that shift. The creative spark fired by the Open Group this summer has become a reliable ember I can draw from day after day. I am taking a digital photography class to become more familiar with my new camera’s features. Homework week one?  Use the manual to find a whole list of specs and features. Week two? Shoot using only manual settings.  Hit the ground running.

So, I am building a small portfolio of photos and blogs post ideas. Oh, I’ll throw in a few of those bad haikus from time to time too. Meanwhile there was a whole garden and a little fish pond to tend to over this long weekend.  I am facing a small dilemma regarding a bullfrog, but that’s the background for another post. Unseasonably warm weather has kept things in bloom far longer than usual. Without a killing frost, the weeds have held on longer too.  It was quite a jungle out there. We lost a few trees in the big thunderstorms this summer,  so I had quite a bonfire going last night. It was the first time since the Open House that I have had more than a few minutes to sit and just be.   What a beautiful night, even though clouds prevented any stargazing. I found it surprisingly easy to get lost in the flames and just watch the sparks shoot like fireworks into the night sky.  I found myself sending a few prayers of gratitude soaring with them.  Life is balancing out nicely right now.

So this afternoon when I looked at my grocery receipt I was confused. “Turn your groceries into towels!” it proclaimed in large print across the bottom.  Why on earth would I want to do that? While my family is pretty adventurous when it comes to cuisine I doubt they would consider eating towels. I was not wearing my prescription sunglasses so I could not read the smaller print that might enlighten me to the advantages of converting groceries into towels.  It was a mystery that had to wait.  I ran several errands, came home, made dinner and forgot all about it, until I sat down at my computer. There on my desk was the receipt with the mysterious offer. So I read the details.  Apparently grocery purchases at this store earn points towards  featured items, which this month happen to be towels. Bear in mind this is one of the last IGA (independant grocer alliance) markets in our area, a midsized Upstate New York city.  Like the small family run farms Jon Katz blogs about, IGA are a vanishing breed. Granted, I (like Alec Baldwin’s now famous Mom, Carol) cannot imagine living beyond driving distance of Wegmans. Still something about this offer made me feel a little guilty.  I realized I don’t shop at the IGA very often, even though it is closer for quick trips where I only need a few things ( which happens every other day it seems)  Maybe my life is not as balanced as it seemed. I should (no, not should  I made a vow not to “should” on myself a few decades ago) I will stop there more often…after all who doesn’t need a new towel or two once in a while.


Deborah H Rahalski

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