Winn-Dixie—they remodeled this store not long ago. It’s something else. A little too fancy, if you ask me.
I’ve been shopping here since the old days. Back then, it was your average supermarket. Linoleum floors, decent beef, clinically depressed cashiers.
Today, they have deli counters that sell salmon sushi. I’d rather lick the restroom floor than eat salmon sushi.
The woman behind me in the checkout line is old. She is frail, with white hair, and big glasses. She is every American granny you’ve ever seen. I’ll bet the closest she ever came to sushi was a wild night at the Baptist clothing swap.
She is holding onto her daughter for support.
Her daughter is Hispanic—black hair, dark skin, late fifties. The two women couldn’t look more different.
They have a full cart. They have purchased all the usual supermarket fare. Chicken, tuna cans, jars of peanut butter, Duke’s mayonnaise, Colonial Bread, and enough paper towels to sink the U.S.S. Uruguay.
We make friends.
“Howdy,” is the woman’s first word to me.
“Howdy,” I say.
The old woman tells me about herself.
She adopted her Hispanic daughter when the girl was three. The toddler had been abandoned at a shopping complex. The child didn’t understand English, and she was sick with a chest infection.
“She almost died,” the old woman says. “I had to do something to help.”
The old woman met the girl at a foster facility. Some of the her church friends used to visit local foster homes to give attention to needy children.
“There were only a few of us who did that,” the old woman goes on. “We were so young. We’d hold the babies, play games, read stories, sing to’em sometimes. You know, mom stuff.”
“Kids need touching to survive,” the lady adds. “It’s been proven. Look it up.”…