It was just a quick stop at the grocery store — a hand-basket, produce-department-only kind of stop.
I stepped through the doors, grabbed the blue-handled basket from the stack so well positioned by a smart store employee. I’m sure I’m not the only woman who run-walks through a store — it’s an “I know what I’m doing and what I’m here for” approach to supermarket stops and I’m positive I’ve bumped into others with the same mindset. I headed through the unnecessary take-out food section, straight to the fresh fruit and veggies.
I approached the area of conveniently precut, well-displayed fruits and veggies. I rarely buy the already diced veggies for my stir-fries and salads. I am always happy to do that myself. But the fruit is different.
There’s something about seeing the inside of fruit that helps me know it’s going to taste as good as I want it to.
If anyone ever masters the skill of whole watermelon picking, I need to take a course. I’m disappointingly wrong more than fifty percent of the time.
Reaching into the cool shelves, I pushed aside some of the watermelon pieces that looked less tasty. The well-dressed elderly woman to my left straightened slightly from her cantaloupe search to see who was joining her. As she looked at me, I noticed, ironically, that she had on a melon colored jacket and matching lipstick that I’m sure she had carefully chosen for her shopping occasion. She looked to be about eighty-years old or more — a very well kept beautiful woman, but most definitely older than my mother.
“I used to buy that for my husband,” she told me as she watched me rearrange the watermelon pieces. “I don’t buy it anymore. There is always too much for just me to eat.”
I learned very quickly that she no longer had her husband to share life with. Amazing how much you can learn about someone while choosing fruit.
I told her I like to buy cut pieces so I can see how ripe it is, and also knowing it will all get eaten quickly with no mushy leftovers. I suggested she might try buying a smaller piece for herself — no waste to worry about.
She smiled and started picking up the plastic wrapped watermelon with me.
“That’s a good idea. I do like it. My husband liked it more…”
Her pleasant voice trailed off and I couldn’t make out everything she said. Or maybe my mind trailed off, thinking about what it would be like in the twilight years of my life to go on without my soul mate. It’s obvious their preferences live on in us, even in the produce section, and will always remain a part of us.
“And this is good for your face.”
I turned to her again as she held out a neatly wrapped half-cantaloupe.
“For my face?” I came back to our conversation.
“It’s good for your skin. It gives a glow, and helps fight against wrinkles,” she smiled at me.
I knew she knew.
This would be one of those facts that I didn’t even want to double check with Google. I had no idea if she ever worked in the skin care profession, or even kept track of how many wrinkles she had not gained due to her intake of cantaloupe. Maybe her husband had been a dermatologist. But I doubt it. And it didn’t matter. The simple fact that she has lived life beyond what I had made her an expert on some things I knew very little about.
I couldn’t help but think of Titus 2:
Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.
Whichever side of the exchange you are on at any particular moment of life, there’s invaluable stuff to be gleaned from an older wiser woman. Most of our lives we’re lucky enough to be on both sides — older than some, younger than others. My encounter with the lady wearing the melon-colored-suit happened on the way to my lunch with a young mom twenty years younger than me.
Life is full of taking in, and giving out — sometimes without even realizing it.
By the time I had selected the correct watermelon, I turned to see my elderly advice-giver busy sorting through the abundant contents of her shopping cart. She had added a lovely thin wedge of pink watermelon to her stash, and I a bright half-cantaloupe to mine.
I like to imagine she enjoyed her sweet fruit reliving joyful summer memories of her husband; and I like to imagine I may have a more glowing wrinkle-free complexion in the days to come. I gained a lot more from that quick stop than my hand-basket could hold.
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
Get Our Free Ebook!
5 Ways to Live an Out-of-Control Life
Here are 5 ways to let go of control and trust your present and your future to God.
5 Creative Places to Find Prayer Accountability
Do you want to pray more, but are easily distracted? Here are some practical ways to stay focused.
How to Rescue a Day Gone Wrong in Your Marriage
Just because a day doesn't start well, doesn't mean you can't rescue it.
How To Change Your Life in 10 Minutes
Here's how you can change your life with a simple 10 minutes a day.
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Here are practical ways to help your child lean into the voice of God.
5 Strategies for Developing Lasting Love
These practical and biblical strategies can help you develop lasting love.
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions
The Psalms is a book that's rich with the reality of what life's like in this fallen world. Here are...
What Women Are Saying
-- Renee Fisher, author of Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.
Faith4 years ago
When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds
Motherhood4 years ago
Surviving a Strong-Willed Child
Faith4 years ago
7 Ways to Create A Family Altar
Friendship5 years ago
Beyond the Registry: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Expectant Parents
Relationships4 weeks ago
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Marriage5 years ago
4 Reasons I’m Not Facebook Friends With My Husband
Everyday Faith4 years ago
6 Simple Ways to Give Thanks in the Thick of It
Articles5 years ago
10 Ways Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Articles7 years ago
How to Lift Up the One You Love
Articles5 years ago
Relationships6 months ago
Facing Our Motherhood Fears
Articles8 years ago
June Cleaver Syndrome