Yesterday I could see some of the veins in my left foot. It was thrilling. It might not seem exciting to you, but I hadn’t seen left foot veins in two months. First there was the cast and then there was the boot. When I finally was able to give the boot the boot (ha, did you see how I did that?), my foot continued to be so swollen that it looked like a sausage ready to burst out of its casing. When I would put on a shoe, by time I could once again take it off the straps of the shoe were imbedded in my foot. But overnight, the swelling had gone down measurably (if you count being able to see veins as a measurement).

Because I was feeling so foxy, I decided I would take a trip to the grocery store. An actual trip into the store where I could pick out my own bananas. There is a Kroger store (called Fry’s here in AZ) down the street about three miles from us. Between our home in pretty Sonoran Village II and the grocery store lies an area of houses whose inhabitants seem to make their living having garage sales. I’m not being mean. They really do. It might even be a lucrative endeavor. I don’t know, having never even had a single garage sale. But the items that litter their yards — items that haven’t sold or are yet to be up for sale, including washing machines, faded children’s toys, and auto parts — certainly don’t add a lot to the ambiance of our neighborhood. Still, I pray for these people every day.

I like this particular Fry’s, despite the fact that several years ago, Bill pointed out to me that one of the many young people that seemed to hang out in front of the store at that time had a face that was covered with red paint. I naively asked him why her face was red, and he explained huffing to me. Ew. Just ew. I might suggest at least a different shade of paint.

I’m happy to say that Fry’s has cleaned up the store. There are no longer huffers (or any other kind of apparent drug users) hanging out in front of the store. In fact, the store is filled with old people like me, cheerfully blocking aisles with their carts as they try to remember if the Campbell’s tomato soup was 15 cents cheaper at Safeway.

As for me, I was looking for apple juice to use in smoothies that I plan on making for Bill and me over the next few days. I must have had a confused look on my face, because one of the stocking clerks walked up to me and asked if he could help me find something. His question caught me off guard, first, because nobody seeks out customers to help them these days; and second, because he had no teeth. Well, that’s not entirely true. He was missing what I consider essential upper and lower teeth in the front of his mouth. Important for eating corn on the cob. The remainder of his teeth seemed to be predominantly black.

It reminded me how difficult it is to find employees these days. Don’t get me wrong. The man was very helpful. Well, mostly helpful, because he actually was unable to find the juice. Luckily, we ran into an employee who both knew where the juice was and had teeth. The complete package. Nevertheless, I am happy that this man, who likely wouldn’t have been hired to work with the public in a grocery store prior to COVID 19, had found a job. And now he knows the juice is on Aisle 10.

By time I completed my shopping and returned home, I could no longer see veins in my foot, which also hurt like hell. Baby steps.

And here’s to hoping that Kroger offers a dental plan.