1982. My first adult job. My first apartment. The first paychecks that were about to teach me the meaning of responsibility. Yeah. Those were the days. I moved six hours away from home and though they tried, Mom and Dad couldn’t ensure that I had everything. I had all that I needed and even a little more, so there was no reason to whine or complain. Rent was $165 / month for that awesome apartment. I was being paid starting teacher’s salary to work as a Christian Education and Music Director in a church. Even more awesome.
One of the first things I remember doing to celebrate my incredible independence happened when I went to the grocery store. No longer did I have to live with generic brands of food. If I wanted Heinz ketchup (and I did), I purchased it. It’s been thirty-four years and I still remember buying my first jar of macadamia nuts.
Carol’s college roommate was Hawaiian and I’d gotten a taste of those wonderful little bits of joy, but Mom refused to put them in her grocery cart. What a ridiculous waste of money. Well, bah. I was living on my own and they were going right in my cart. Right there in the little seat of my cart so I could look down on them and smile as I traveled through the grocery store.
It didn’t take long for the reality of my living situation to settle in. Money was tight and I soon discovered that my grocery shopping excursions were about the only time I got to spend any money. Let me tell you, I cherished those moments in that Hy-Vee. I walked up and down the aisles, memorizing where everything was and exploring new tastes and flavors. If that was what I could afford, I was going to enjoy every minute of it and I did.
When I moved back to Omaha and Carol and I lived together in an apartment, macadamia nuts were still special treats. When we felt like we had a little extra money, those were what landed in the seat of the grocery cart, right there where we could think about how they would taste when we got home. They have never failed me.
A can of macadamia nuts made it into my world this afternoon and it makes me smile. I still feel as if I will only buy them when there’s a little extra money available. They are still special and I wouldn’t want it to be any other way. I love that even at this age, there is a lifelong treat that makes me smile.
What is your treat? What do you indulge in when you get the opportunity?