By Roy & Jo Ann J. Lovelace

Dear Kids,


I tell you, if it weren't for bad luck, we wouldn't have had any luck today. We needed horse feed, so I figured that wouldn't take long, since Dwayne said he would have it ready, which he did. But I went along, because I needed a few things, and thought we could drop by Wal-Mart on the way back in. There wasn't an empty parking space on the entire lot. Then lo and behold we saw this guy and his wife loading two or three bags of groceries into their car. Lucky us, I thought. Talk about luck, they're going to leave, and we're right here where we can pull into their parking space once they leave. Not true, it didn't happen. What did happen was, the guy fiddled around at least fifteen minutes before even opening his car door. Then he didn't put the groceries into the car. He just open the car door and stood there gawking around. What he was gawking at, I have no idea. There wasn't nothing there to gawk at other than aisles and aisles of parked cars. I bet he stood there twenty-five minutes gawking. Anyway, he finally stopped his gawking and went around to the back of his car and opened the trunk. He stood there looking into the trunk at least twenty minutes before putting his few bags of groceries into the trunk. I think he might have been admiring his spare tire or something because he just couldn't take his eyes off of whatever it was. Finally, I thought, but he still didn't leave. He and his wife both went to put the grocery cart up, and it was only a few feet away from where they were, but you guessed it, they had to get the cart in just perfect. After a half hour they finally came back and stood around for another five minutes. They did finally get into their car, the brake lights came on, and I thought he is leaving at last. He didn't, it sat there for another forty-five minutes. I guess he was looking for reverse so he could back out. He must have eventually found it, because he did back out. Everyone in the parking lot started to applaud, and he got out to take a bow, so we had to wait another ten minutes for him to show off and get a standing ovation. He did leave and we pulled into the parking place.
We headed for the store and the place was packed. I mean plum packed with people.  We had to wait fifteen minutes just to get in. After we got inside we had to wait another ten minutes for a buggy. Then in one aisle we waited forty-five minutes while this guy loaded his buggy with mango juice. Then we waded through blocked aisles for another two hours trying to get what I needed. We finally got the few items we stopped for, but every register had lines backed all the way around to the back of the store. That was why the isles were blocked everywhere we went.
 Well wouldn't you know it, we had eight items too many to go through the Express Lane. I was ready to throw out eight things, but your dad said, nooooooo, we needed that stuff, so I waited. After standing there seven hours and sixteen minutes behind one hundred and forty-five people thinking I might die any minute, then finally and mercifully there was just one lady in front of us. I thought, thank you Lord. Well, the lady dropped about half her groceries when taking them out of the buggy, and had to chase them down where they rolled all over creation. And she pick all those up one by one and carried them back to the register one by one too. Then she insisted Star Kist Tuna was cheaper at another store and told them which store, because they are supposed to match the price. The cashier looked it up, and it wasn't Star Kist Tuna on sale at the other store so the lady took them back and said she didn't want them then and we waited another half hour while she carried the tuna back one can at a time. On her third trip I told your dad to get the rest of the tuna and take it back there so she could put the stuff in the shelf and maybe she would get done and get the heck out of there. Then she argued about Pork & Beans, which the cashier looked up, and sure enough they were cheaper at another store. Then, she had one million and two coupons, and one of those she didn't buy the item, so the cashier told her she couldn't have that off of course. Well, then the lady gave the cashier a credit card and she ran it through, and after she had ran the credit card through, she looked at the back and the lady hadn't signed it. The lady said she would give her another credit card, but the cashier said, noooooo, that one has already been approved and we ain't going through no more of this. Then the cashier went off to find the manager to see what to do because the credit card hadn't been signed. After two hours, she came back, and said it would be all right this time, but to sign the credit card. It took her another hour to bag the groceries and get them in the buggy because the lady kept moving them around like she was reading each label or something. By that time I knew I was going to die and ask your dad if he would have me buried on top of a mountain somewhere that no one would ever be. He said yep.
I told your dad enough is enough. We're splitting up these items. You take half and I'll take half, and we're going through that express lane. There was just one lady in front of us there, so we should get through and out in a hurry, I thought. It didn't happen. The lady dropped a bottle of ammonia she was buying. It broke to smithereens all over the place. Talk about smelling awful it did. The cashier threw up her hands and said, that's it, I've had enough, and she walked out the door, jumped into her RV and drove away.   
We went to another check out lane and after waiting for two people to go through, then finally, the cashier was scanning our groceries. I had a buy one get one free coupon on jelly; you know the grape stuff that Bama makes. The cashier didn't know how to do a freebie, so it was back to the manager again. Your dad said we ain't wasting this time so he broke out the ice cream and we ate it while we waited. It helped. Another thirty minutes had gone by when she showed back up. By this time, I thought I was dead. I got ahead of myself, though, because she totaled up everything and wasn't going to take off my coupons until I told her she didn't take the coupons off. And you know me, I had dollar off coupons and one was two dollars and fifty cents off. I wasn't about to let her keep my coupons and not take them off my total bill. She finally got that done and I thought, oh, Lord, at least we are getting out of this place.  Well, wouldn't you know, it wasn't going to be that easy getting out of that place. Some lady decided to take her groceries out of the buggy right in front of the Exit door and have her son to carry them. The kid said, but Mom, there's ten heavy bags here, can't you help me carry them. His mother said, no, it wont hurt you to carry them all, you need to learn to be more helpful. Quit your whining and get those bags. After complaining and grumbling for forty-five minutes the kid did put five bags on each arm, and he waddled out of the store.
We pushed the buggy out of the way and made a mad dash to the parking lot before anything else happened to keep us there any longer. We leaped into the car, backed out, and got out of there as fast as we could.

Then we remembered we needed to stop by the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. The pharmacy was packed with people. One lady was quite angry because her doctor hadn't called in all of her prescriptions. She had a big basket full of prescription medications already. I know she had to be living on the medications, because there couldn't be any room left in her stomach for any food after she had taken all the medicines she had. She argued at least an hour with the druggist wanting the rest of her prescriptions. He explained to her that entire hour that he could not fill prescriptions when a doctor hadn't written them. She told him she knew what she was taking and that really upset her, but just to give her the three dozen more that she didn't already have in her basket. She guessed she would just have to take those, but that doctor was going to hear from her when she got home. One lady asked for a chair. She sat down and read a book while she waited for the woman to finally decide she would take what prescriptions the doctor had prescribed for her. Then we waited three more hours while they filled prescriptions for the other people who were in line. It's a good thing we ate the ice cream while we were waiting to check out of Wal-Mart, I thought.
After that I remembered I needed to stop at Sam's. I needed bread and bread is much cheaper at Sam's. The store was packed and we had to walk a mile and a half from where we parked to get to the store. But it was worth it to save money on the bread. We had to wade through people to get to the bread aisle, and had to wait at every one of those little stands where they give away itsy-bitsy bites of free food. People had the aisles blocked all the way up to the entrance waiting to get their little samples of different kinds of food. None of it looked that good to us, but I guess they figured if it was free to eat it. We did finally make it to the bread aisle and got the bread. Then we thought we would check the apples out and see what price they had on those. The horses love apples. We had some apples at home, but thought if they had some at a good price we would get a bag or two more. They had several kinds of apples. The Bob Dole apples were a very good price, so we decided to get a bag of those before going to the check-out. We waded back through all those people waiting to get their samples of food, but after an hour and forty-five minutes we made it to the check-out. There was only fifty people in front of us and they were getting them check out fairly fast. It only took two more hours for us to get our bread and apples run through. But wouldn't you know those dogged apples didn't have a bar code on them. The cashier was looking them up and rang them up as Casablanca apples that were twice the price of the Bob Dole apples. Well, there was no way we were going to stand for that and told her that those were Bob Dole apples, not Casablanca apples. She looked at us like what do you mean those aren't Casablanca apples, but did go back through the list again. There we stood another forty-five minutes waiting for her to finally find that we were right. That we did have Bob Dole apples. She didn't even bother to apologize for trying to over charge us either. At least we finally got out of there with our bread and apples. We could have planted a tree and it could have grown up and had apples on it, I thought, by the time the cashier finally found out we were right about the apples prices. So there we were on the road to home and I just prayed nothing else would happen at least until we got home. Well sometimes you get what you pray for.  
We got in, had supper, and then it was time to go feed the horses. Things did go fine there, but when we got back to the house, it was lightening and thundering and pouring the rain, and there we were getting drowned, because the key wouldn't unlock the back door. It would not open no matter what we did, and there was no way to get in, and the storm door lock was locked on the front door. There was nothing else to do, but go to the front, and your dad broke the lock on the storm door, at least there was a roof there, and we were out of the rain. The front door keys worked and we were finally in the house soaking wet with fresh mowed grass sticking to our feet. We had to clean up the whole house again after just doing that yesterday. The back door still wouldn't unlock from the inside either. Well, we couldn't leave it that way, so your dad got a new lock. He had to tear that old lock out from the inside, and then go back out in the rain and around the house and take the rest of it apart from the outside. Needless to say, he had grass all over his feet again, and that meant cleaning the house again. It was getting to be a vicious cycle.
 The new lock is in now, and I'm sitting here hoping nothing else will go wrong this day. I think I'll do a page on the shopping trip to put on my site. It was quite interesting, and I told your dad that would be a good page to put out on my site about Friday Shopping. So now you know, never shop on Friday, it's murder!!!

Well, we're exhausted. You take care and have a good one!

Love you all,

Mom & Dad