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Finished Grape Jelly Waiting to be StoredI don’t know how many of you may be familiar with the store called WinCo Foods.  For those who aren’t, it’s a supermarket chain based out of Boise, Idaho.  So far as I know, in our neck of the woods at least, they lead the other supermarkets in bargain pricing.  Our local branch is undergoing a major remodel.  The eastern wall is slowly being torn down to make room for expansion and the rafters are frequently hung with plastic sheets, like bunting during voting time.

Anyway, my husband, jak, spent the better part of last night making grape jelly.  Just so you know, about half of it jelled.  The rest of it turned out to be nothing more than “fancy pancake syrup,” according to jak.  About half-way through the operation, jak discovered that he didn’t have enough sugar or pectin.  So, I offered to go to WinCo to buy more.  In addition, jak asked me to procure a package of fly paper strips.

Now, what with the remodel going on, I had only been into WinCo about twice.  Both times, I discovered that the shelves had been rearranged and, with them, their contents.  The result was that the shelves were something of a maze and I didn’t know where half of everything was.  To top it all off, the remodel had closed the front door.  Customers were being let in via a side door, which, at ten at night, was shut.  However, when I got there, a nice construction worker not only held the door open for me, but got me a cart.  Wasn’t that nice?

Then, afterward, as I was wandering around, I noticed that the area I would usually search for the sugar in was draped in plastic sheets.  Apparently, some construction work was taking place in the rafters as well.  I felt so overwhelmed and completely lost, that I was actually nervous about going up to an employee and asking for directions.  I did so anyway, choosing to approach a group of three men shelving meat and cheese and a young woman with dark hair and colorful tattoos on her arms who was chatting with them.

“Excuse me,” I said, interrupting their conversation with a certain amount of reluctance, “I need a 25-pound bag of sugar and I don’t know where it’s being kept, now.”

Immediately, the young woman detached herself from her erstwhile companions and led me to the place where the sugar had been relocated.  She even pulled one out (it just happened to be the last one) and put it in my cart.  When I told her I also needed fly paper and pectin, she turned around and led me to where they were as well, talking animatedly with me the whole time as if we were long lost friends.  I also got the last fly paper strips, which we had some trouble finding.  She helped me there as well.  Then she asked me if I needed to find anything else.  I said I didn’t want to keep her from her work and just to direct me to the juice.  She did so and I went and added a jug of raspberry lemonade to my cart before I headed for checkout.  All in all, it was a very pleasant experience.  I just wish I could remember the name of the nice young lady who helped me.

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