October 22, 2011

Friends & Neighbors

I learned that my good friend, Granny Sue, passed this morning.  Such a warm, friendly, outspoken lady.  A fixture at the Ripley store for 34 years, Martha Sue Lawrence was the greeter extraordinaire.  Everyone knew her and she knew everyone.  Her intentions were to work until her 35th anniversary and then retire. Sadly, she fell while getting ready for work.

I had the privilege of spending some time with her, at her home, and it was so much fun.  She filled me in on some of Ripley's early history and shared some flowers from her garden. I will truly treasure that time. We made plans for her to visit Serendipity because she had never been invited by the previous owner but the planned date had to be put on hold.   I and the folks here will miss her.

It is interesting to watch and listen to the customers coming through the lines.  The lies some of them tell are incredible. Take the gentleman who returned a filthy lawn mower. He had to have been kidding.  The mower had received more than its share of wear and tear. It had been so badly abused until one of the wheels was crooked. You and I both know that he used it all summer mowing lawns and, now, was getting his money back.  Then there was the fellow who brought in three used batteries on the same day.  His timing was perfect. Because different people were at the service desk, they weren't aware that he had been in before.  Then he walked into someone who had waited on him previously. Game up.

Another rooked Wally out of money for those big plastic storage bins which sell for $14.  Swore that they were in the $6 space.  He was lying and he knew that I knew.  How? I've put those bins on shelves in that aisle and the large ones don't go into the smaller space.  However...I was told to let him have them for that price.  And they're on me for failing to write in the price on a coupon?  Contributing to the store's losses, you say?  Please.

Let me tell you about the older woman dressed smartly in a green pantsuit and matching beret. Sharp as a tack. Hair perfectly groomed; makeup done to a tee.  When she flipped open her wallet to retrieve her i.d., a familiar pink and green card came into view.  Well, hellooo, soror!  And she was off to the races.  All of her family is AKA, right down to her great-granddaughter. "You're not from Ripley, are you?"

Then there was the gentleman who had on a shirt emblazoned with "Hall's Speedway" on the front.  He was in pig's heaven because he had found the Barbie 2011 doll.  I thought that it was a Christmas gift.  Nope!  He collects them.  I mentioned that I had met someone years ago who also collected Barbie dolls and had a room set aside for the collection.  "Me, too! I have every one."  Got an invitation to stop by whenever I'm in the neighborhood.  Turns out that Hall's Speedway is not what I thought it was--a racetrack--but instead the name of his grandson's racing team when he raced go-karts.  "Now that he's in college, he's hitting the books, so the name is retired."

And there's the little lady who, without fail, finds my line every week.  I don't know if it's fate or if she consciously makes the beeline to where I am.  Probably fate. Always a buggy filled to the brim. Everything is placed on the belt, very precisely, very neatly.  I'm always halfway through her order and have obtained another cart to load the bags in before she is finished unloading her cart.  I would love to know why she always get four small jars of baby food.

"Oh, you've changed your hairstyle." This, from another little lady whose order had me gritting my teeth.  Guess that I'm not the only one looking.  She and her friend spotted another lady and swung into a conversation about her "boyfriend."  I chuckled as they talked about how cute it was for them (in their 90s) to have found companionship.

One of the hospitals in the Big Rip has filed for bankruptcy.  Get out! First of all, I didn't know that there were two hospitals in town.  Guess that is why they've filed.  Everybody must go to the newer one.  Sheez!  Met a couple of women relocating to the Big Rip, who intend to open a restaurant on the Square. A regular, sit-down joint.  Can't wait. 

Be Safe.  Be Blessed

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