The upbeat music hits my ears the moment we step between the sliding doors. I tap around the Prepared Foods area of the grocery store with my white cane and with my family in search of lunch. The refrigerated cases beckon me over, enticing me with colorful options. Wraps, salads, pastas, what to choose, I don’t know. Oh wait, strawberries on a salad? Done.
We settle around a table and dig into our lunches. My niece sounds pleased with her cherished mac and cheese. Everyone seems grateful for the pit stop to stretch their achy legs and refuel outside the confines of a vehicle. My brother and sister-in-law take turns assisting their kids and completing bathroom runs and assorted tasks, all done magically one-handed, the skill parents perfect. Stockton and I pinch hit, offering distractions and bouncing knees to stave off meltdowns. It’s the least we can do.
I grasp my salad dressing packet to tear off the perforated edge, but I stop. It’s quite pink for a raspberry vinaigrette. I double-check the label, flipping over my container lid and squinting at the printed sticker. I’m rushing. I”m hungry. I read: fresh berries and greens with a “Beet Burst”. Hmmm.
I must have looked confused. My family asks if there’s something wrong. I explain I’m not sure I’m excited about a beet purée dressing. Did I miss this foodie trend now that we don’t have cable and the Food Network doesn’t reach our couch? I’m falling behind the culinary times.
Someone was munching on an item with beets at our table, maybe my sister-in-law. She doesn’t shy away from healthy options. Plus, she can use all the energy she can get from veggies with two kids under three. Whew. Whoever it was with the beets told me the beets tasted fine. And I reminded myself, I do love me some Red Beet Eggs, I grew up in PA Dutch country after all.
I’m still torn about consuming the beet purée. I’m pretty hungry. I take another look at the label. I should have known better. The dressing? BERRY BURST. Oh visual impairment.
The whoosh of the automatic door sounds as we leave the grocery store. Stockton and I each hold one of my niece’s hands. Before we reach the cars, we do some 1-2-3-Swings sending her airborne and safely back and forth a few times. Her giggles echo in my ears as we buckle up and prepare to finish the last few hours of our journey home.