Notes from Jan

So, What’s for Suppah?

September 29, 2023

Her smile welcomes me into the Walgreens, just down the hill from where I live. She watches as I wrestle to free a cart that’s determined to stay put. Then asks, “Can I help you?”

“No thanks. I think I’m OK.” (Famous last words.)

“Well, just yell if you need me.”

I like her. She likes her job and people. It shows. Which is why I always hope she’s working when I stop in. She adds grace to the place.

Later as I’m checking out she asks, “So, what’s for suppah?” She’s a New Englander. “Suppah” gave her away.

“Leftovers.”

“Oh, I just love leftovahs!”

Well, her enthusiasm made me feel like a gourmet feast awaited me and the microwave. So I looked forward to part II of the turker dinner I bought at Henry’s two days ago. You know, the kind of meal that comes in a silver-like tray with compartments, like a TV dinner. Which it often is.

But back to the two of us liking leftovers. Apparently, God does, too. The scraps of our lives matter to God.

You, I and the woman at Walgreen’s matter.

So after glacing at some newspaper headlines and wrangling my cart back into place, I turned around to return the smile she gave me earlier. But she was gone, a young man worked the register, now. It was a little past five, so I guess her shift was over.

But, looking back, I realize she gave her best right up to quitting time: a smile, welcoming and helpful words . And then a personal touch with “So, what’s for suppah?”

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make a differece. And this time, it felt like God showed up through an older woman at Walgreens, doing more than her job.

And, because of her, I headed home with more than I came for.

But it wasn’t stuff.

It was a good-sized portion of leftover grace.

And an example of the importance of giving my best, right up to quitting time. And God only knows when that will be.

Meanwhile, “What’s for suppah?”

Leftovahs?

Don’t you just love leftovers!

Especially served with a side of grace.

And gratitude.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Carolyn Sylvester September 30, 2023 at 10:35 am

    A “side of grace” has no calories!!! I love it.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg September 30, 2023 at 8:34 pm

      That’s for sure, dear Carolyn. But it sure is life -giving . It’s soul food at it’s finest.
      Always good to hear from you.

  • Reply Maggie Wallem Rowe October 1, 2023 at 3:58 pm

    Jan, I hope you will print out your essay and give a copy to her next time you see her. She may have no idea what impact her friendly manner makes, especially to those going home to a quiet house. May we all try a little harder to add grace to each place we occupy!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg October 1, 2023 at 6:24 pm

      Thnaks,dear Maggie. God seems to love seemingly ordinary people and days. Next time I’m in Walgreens I’ll try to let her know how extraordinary she really is in how she treats people and does more than just a job. Hope your times in Switzerland was beyond your expectations. Sp happy you could make that trip.

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