Friday, March 1, 2013

No humility without humiliation...

Anyone who has followed my blog for any time will recognize the title of this post as one of my favorite catch-phrases.  God knows that most of us can do with a little more humility, and if we are sincere in our quest to grow closer to God, we will be presented with plenty of opportunities to grow in this most important virtue.  And it isn't fun.

The shop where Bret works has been a bit slow this week, so yesterday he stayed home and installed our new water heater.  As there was still no work at the shop today, we decided we would go into Bowling Green and hit some thrift stores and consignment shops, as the kids are in need of a few things.  We left with the usual hustle and noise fairly early this morning, and after a few shops and fewer finds, we went to Aldi for groceries.  Cart heavily laden, we checked out, or rather tried to.  Bret had forgotten his debit card and I couldn't recall my PIN number, as I have gotten two new cards in the last month, both of them having been compromised. In truth, I hardly ever use them with the PINs, so I haven't quite committed them to memory.  And I've never had a terrific memory to start with.

After two fails, I went to the nearby ATM and tried there.  No go.  Well, to make a long story short, we had to abandon $150 worth of groceries at the store.  I was in tears as we went to Wal-Mart, where I still had a few things to get.  Bret told me to talk to someone at the little bank branch there at the front of the store, and although he was sympathetic, he couldn't do much for us, but he did look up the phone number for the main branch of our bank.  Bret called and the lady to whom I spoke, after verifying my identity, asked me what my former PIN had been.  I told her.  "Would you like to have that PIN again?"  she asked, and I replied with an emphatic, "Oh, yes!"  She told me to give it ten minutes, but then I could use my card.

Bret rushed us back to Aldi and told me to see if our cart was still up front. I prayed hard that it would and enlisted the kids to pray, too, but alas, when I went into the store, I didn't see it.  So I grabbed a cart and began to load it all over again.  I had just finished shopping the first aisle when I spotted an employee with a cart, and it looked as if some of my groceries were still in it, so I stopped her, explaining what had happened.  She told me that the rest of the items, the non-refridgerated, were in another cart up front, and went to get it. Well, all my stuff was there, but I didn't have the nerve to run the card through, and so made Bret do it.  He came over to me with the employee and told me that it didn't work, but thought that ten minutes hadn't passed yet, so he chatted rather merrily with the employee for a couple of minutes and tried again.  It worked.  I almost started to cry again, this time from relief and gratitude.  And I was happy, very happy, to get my 39 cent avocados and 99 cent Danish blue cheese...

Back to Wal-Mart for the few items I couldn't get at Aldi, but this time with a light heart, weary as I was.  We had spent six hours running all over town, and I had to struggle to stay awake as we prayed the rosary on the way home.  Bret had his own penance to deal with, the fact that the connections at the top of the water heater were leaking.  Anyway, all the way around, it was a stressful day.  A perfectly penitential Friday.

Now that you've read through that long, drawn out little nothing of a story, here's a bit of fun from the thrift store.  There is hardly a better place to bring a camera.