I just got back from the commissary. I do love the prices at the commissary, but let's face it - the commissary is never a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. Particularly if you are shopping with children or your visiting parents from California who look at the produce section with dismay.
Another issue at the commissary that can be difficult to process with is the plethora of retirees of various ages ranging from late thirties and ecstatic to be remaining in the area for more than three years, to mid-nineties and accompanied by oxygen tanks and motorized wheelchairs. Whomever designed the commissary did NOT take the store's intended volume and ages into account at any stage of the development. The aisles are not wide enough for two carts to pass; let alone the three carts, two motorized carts, four children-on-board carts that are shaped like trucks, and seven free-range children running amok in the aisle.
So, after having my butt rammed into twice by motorized shopping carts, my shins hit with a cane that was being dragged by an erstwhile cart pilot, seeing someone cut in front of me in line after telling me to "back up, because I'm coming through", and being given six different child-rearing opinions (none of which had me doing the right thing with my children); my mind was not thinking rationally. In my irritation I was choosing not to remember exactly how important our retiree community is to those families serving today.
For instance, those blessed retirees and veterans who find out when plane-loads of deployed military members will be returning from overseas and then go to the airport to applaud as our guys (gender neutral term for me) file into the terminal, finally home. Talk about a scene that can reduce me to tears!
Well, not actually reduce me to tears as I steadfastly refuse to cry. But somehow there always seems to be a lot of dust in the air when I see a scene like that and my allergies start really acting up.
And then there are the retirees and veterans who seek out opportunities to talk to service-members and their families and serve as a sounding board for them. I myself have one such confidant, and just having someone who has already been through what hubby and I are going through now effectively gives me a lot of warning and time to prepare. It gives some perspective to what I'm going through and reminds me that, yes indeed, time will keep marching on. It's a very special relationship to be blessed with.
Last week I had the privilege to attend a "teaching Seder"at our base chapel. It was amazing; both in beauty and in the way it was put together. And it had all been put together and sponsored by an American Legion Post that had seen the need and fulfilled it.
It was also very dusty at the Seder. My allergies were particularly pronounced that night.
It didn't take me long after leaving the commissary to remember how important and special military retirees and veterans are to those families that are currently active. In fact, it took me about ten steps- as I walked out and saw a stooped elderly man who nonetheless walked proudly into the store. He was wearing a hat that said, "Pearl Harbor" and had a ship's emblem on it.
This time, I remembered to say thank you.