Grocery list: April 14, 2013 (and the last line of defense)

IMG_0090Group trip!

This is the second day in a row that we took a grocery-related group trip. More on Saturday’s excursion in a later post. For Sunday, the three of us (The Wife, The Kid and The Me) hit Wegmans and Target for excitement and groceries. The goal was to make the trip in less than 90 minutes, when my aunt was expected to arrive.

My aunt, known to many readers as my crazy aunt Marietta, is 74 years old and just back from 6 weeks in Florida. If you were on spring break in the south this year, she is one of those people whom you honked, cursed, swerved or scowled at because of her driving, speed in a grocery aisle, or other crime against humanity. Her and a friend of hers, another retired teacher, make the trip back and forth each spring.

She was supposed to be here at 11 a.m. We pulled in the driveway at 11:01 a.m. (iPhone time). It’s 11:49 a.m. as of this writing and no aunt Marietta.

My aunt is of the eldest generation remaining in my family. There are five of the original six left on that tier in my family. The first, my mother, died in 1997. The previous generation started dwindling before I was born. My father’s mother died long before my parents were married. My grandfather did remarry, but I do not know much about my father’s biological mother’s family. I do know that my father’s stepmother’s family is a batch of loons who would sell one another to gypsies if a good price was presented. Digressing.

I don’t know much about my maternal grandfather’s family either. He was the first of my grandparents to die, back in 1981. My maternal grandmother lived until 1999, when Alzheimer’s finally took her out. My father’s stepmother died in 2006 or 2007 (Full disclosure: No one particularly liked my father’s stepmother except for my grandfather, saint that he was. That I don’t remember her death is reflection of more symbolism than I care to mention. Digressing.)

I mention all of this because the last vestige of my grandparent’s generation, my paternal grandfather’s sister, died. She’ll be waked today in North Syracuse. I know this one is hitting my father a little hard, confirming his own mortality. She was the last line of defense between him and the guy with the cloak and the scythe.

I don’t have a ton of memories of my aunt Caroline, other than she lived right down the road from where I grew up. We’d see her at the odd family gathering, but I wasn’t particularly close to her. I don’t feel a particular sense of loss here, but then again I deal with death a little differently than the average person. It’s probably not all that healthy, but it is what it is. For her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, they lose their matriarch. That’s where I feel some sadness.

***

This will be the last grocery trip for a couple of weeks. I leave for Washington, D.C. on Saturday and will be gone for the better part of the week following this one. It should be a good trip. We’re at a Marriott property (POINTS!) and there’s a full-on Starbucks in the lobby (WOOHOO!). Plus I get to see a lot of people that I don’t get to see often enough.

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