Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Stroky’s Journey: Lady-in-Waiting

Spending some time waiting is a fairly common occurrence for me since my April 22 stroke has limited my mobility. I’m not walking without someone with me; I’m still officially at risk for falls. So waiting is usually a factor when I go with husband Walter on trips to Wal-Mart, our most frequent shopping place.

If hubby is just running in to pick up an item or two, I do my waiting in our van where I keep a stash of paperbacks under the front seat. If it is a more extensive trip to that temple of Chinese dry goods and foreign produce, we snag a Wal-Mart wheelchair, set a time and place to meet, and head in different directions. Our meeting place is usually the book and magazine section where I can sample the latest offerings from some of my favorite authors.

Yesterday, however, Walter materialized by the books . . . well he hadn’t actually been beamed in from the grocery section. I had just become so engrossed in my “sampling” that it seemed that way to me.

He said he needed to pick up something else before checking out, so my assignment was to meet him at the exit. Finding exactly what he was looking for took longer than expected, a lot longer. He shopped. I indulged in people-watching.

If your options for moving around at will are somewhat limited, Wal-Mart can be a great source of inexpensive entertainment. Of course, there are hazards. I endured a thankfully brief parade of exiting customers whose attire, or lack thereof revealed more than I wanted to see.

Their garments must have been that brand that has caught on dramatically in recent years. You know, the “What Are They Thinking to Wear that in Public” brand. But then the young families started appearing.

With Tropical Storm Lee still threatening heavy rain, Wal-Mart must have been a Labor Day destination for family outings with Mom, Dad, and little ones. The children were about seven and younger. They ranged from one toddler miss groomed to perfection to a tribe of four including two who looked like they may have just been rolled out of bed in the middle of a nap.

Regardless of how they were dressed, they were all happy, eyes alight with excitement. They were totally appealing. They reminded me of my grandchildren, all energy and totally in the moment.

And that brings me to another kind of waiting that is a result of my stroke. There has not been the freedom to make the occasional trips to see grands and their parents that we enjoyed pre-stroke. The wait is eased by visits they make to our home. Plus our sons and daughters-in-law keep us up-to-date and entertained via phone calls. Photos and a blog, The Daily Skup, also give us a view of grandkids in action.

Thank you Walt, Sarah, Jeremy and Katie for making the waiting merrier until my next grandkid “fix.”


  1. I need my grandkid fix and my oldest grands are in their 20s. I see one of them every 6 months or so, the others more often. That is except for the kids on the west coast. I see them every couple of years when they come here to see us. I tell my son, that we "went home" to see our parents too. Dianne

    PS Walmart is a scary place for me.

  2. You really do take good advantage of your "wait" time. Walmart really is a great place to people watch. Quite a show.
    You seem to have mastered the art of adjusting. Well done.

  3. Wal-Mart can be fun just going to people watch. There is even a video out called something like Wal-Martians. And it shows people who shop there dressed either real skimpy or just weird. There is a Christian challenge out called "How I See Jesus In Wal-Mart", where you go to Wal-Mart for about an hour and tell how you saw Jesus. I have been meaning to do it, but haven't yet.

  4. I think that fact that you have so many ways to carry out your waiting makes me think you are a very resourceful person. I love to people watch. You can find some interesting sights at WalMart, that is for sure!

  5. Walmart is definately the place to to to people watch! I always end up seeing a little more than I bargained for :)

    I'm so glad to hear that your family is keeping you supplied with regular "grandkid fixes" until you are able to travel.

  6. this is a delightful story of waiting and watching. I love people watching and can entertain myself any where from malls to sitting in the car like you did, and at long red lights, i love to watch all the other cars and what the drivers are up to. it's amazing people watching out there and i do know the what were they thinking brand. of course sometimes i try to think what the people I am watching think about ME

  7. While you are keeping mentally active the enforced physical waiting can't be quite so hard to endure, that's what I hope, anyway.

    observing and writing about your observations is also keeping the family in touch with you, don't forget.

    Best wishes for a continued recovery.