Here is a ‘no words necessary’ slide show of my visit to Lake Winnipesaukee. A thin space where concerns and mental chatter float away. Be still and know that I am God.
Dear General Mills,
I’m sure you’d like an update on the Wheaties situation at my local supermarket. But more to my point, maybe you can update me on what to expect in the near future concerning my Wheaties supply.
As I shopped this morning I couldn’t resist checking to see what was on the cereal shelf. And, would you believe this? A good supply of Wheaties! As I mentioned in my previous letter, I am aware that Wheaties are particularly popular with us old folks, those of us who grew up before all those sugared cereals appeared to support the Ritalin market. And yet, I must confess that that very form of ageism perpetuates my fear that alas, those boxes are leftovers from your warehouse, and that your plan to change the packaging will again keep the shelves bare for a several months.
I shouldn’t be worrying about this but I must admit that with all the fake news going on, I don’t know who to trust. General Mills, I’m sure you can empathize with me, because as I mentioned in my previous letter, you and I are in the old folk category together. In fact, now that I think about it, you are part of my mother’s generation, because when I was a kid, I was eating the Wheaties that you were producing—I know because your face was on the box. My mom died in 2011 at age 101, so OMG that makes you very old. I sure hope you’ve stocked away enough Wheaties to last your lifetime. In fact, I think I’d better do the same, so back I go to the supermarket.
for listening to my ramble.
Your Wheaties friend,
Dear General Mills,
I have been a Wheaties fan all my life, from the time I started eating solid foods to now, 78 years later. The moment I was allowed to pour my own cereal, I would add sliced banana and top it all with dark brown sugar--lots of it. When I was in Italy for my junior year of college, my Uncle Don sent me a box. A dish a day continues to be part of my daily menu, although this ‘breakfast of champions’ is now often my ‘lunch of champions.’
Whenever I feel like a champion I give credit to those brown flakes inside the orange box. I remember when the first champion appeared, and since then the featured champion has continued to stand tall and encourage me on. I did notice, however, when you, General Mills, added more sugar to the recipe, but I’ve always had faith that I could count on that recognizable Wheaties box and all that was in it.
I am writing you in desperation, however, because I fear you are undermining my days as a champion, and I must admit that as I age I need all the help I can muster to keep winning. Here’s my story.
Four days ago I went to buy Wheaties at my local supermarket. The little space, way up high, where I always find them, was vacant. “Not to worry,” I told myself, “you always have a couple of boxes in the pantry.”
Two days later I was back at the store, this time shopping for myself and a friend in her 90s who has also been a Wheaties fan for her entire life. The space was still vacant so I asked the manager when they would be coming in. Now, General Mills, normally I wouldn’t be telling you this, butsince the reason is so incredible (as in not to be believed), I pass it on in case you want to clean up the mill in any way.
Here’s what I was told. I paraphrase: The company is changing the packaging, and they don’t want to have the old and new packaging together on the same shelf. So, until they can get all the orange boxes of champions off the shelves of grocery stores all over the country, and, out of all their warehouses, they will not be supplying Wheaties to any store. This will take at least a couple of months.
I can’t believe that Wheaties are going to disappear until way into the fall. It makes me wonder about the future of the breakfast of champions. It makes me wonder if the only champions left are old folks (hmm, is this ageism creeping in). It makes me wonder if you, General Mills, have given up on champions. I figure you are older than me. I bet you love Wheaties. If you wait too long to get those boxes back on our shelves, we’ll all be dead.
As I get older, my needs are simple. What if my dying wish is to have a dish of Wheaties, topped with banana and dark brown sugar? How are you going to feel about that?
Your Wheaties friend,
We finally replace the screen door to our sunroom. Actually, the door we had was broken so we didn’t have one. Either way, we were suffering from mosquitoes or limited circulation of air.
This go me thinking about doors throughout history, particularly in Rome. Matthew Kneale, in “Rome: A History of Seven Sackings,” writes that in 1084 gates/doors/portas both kept Henry 1V out and let him in during his invasion of the city. His purpose was to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor, and tradition had it that he had to be crowned by the Pope. He brought his own candidate (who became Clement III) because reigning Pope Gregory VII wanted no part of him.
As far as the mosquitoes and flies now being barred from entry into my house, I figure they’ll find another place to go. I wish them well.
I’ve had a few days of relative solitude since the active July 4th week. For me, I don’t crave solitude because I need to get away from it all, although that is sometimes an added benefit. I need solitude because it restores me so I can get back into it all. Too much of a good thing, be it time alone or time in community, and it becomes not a good thing.
What I’ve just written sound simplistic, you might say, and I might agree. Nevertheless, I seem to need to clarify that for myself, and so I do, here in public. Sometime I can’t tell the difference between my simple thoughts and ones that might be profound.
Back to my reading, both simple and profound.
June was a productive reading month; thirteen books, bringing the count to 43 for the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I’m over half way to my goal of 78, may age.
July so far as been a little slow, but now that the 4th is behind us, I can pick up. We had about forty people watching the parade and enjoying a cookout. Folks brought delicious salads and dessert, my son-in-law was a masterful grill chef, my daughter did whatever was needed, and my husband was head gardener, but there’s still a great deal of work preparing and cleaning up.
And now for a reading day, and once again the power of reading washes over me as I sit outside with my books. Contentment, release of fear, trust in human beings, affirming that life is purposeful, and letting go of judgments, are some of the feelings that settle deep within me. I am aware I am privileged with the gift of time to read; with that goes challenge to offer something back to the universe. Reading time is not something to hoard.
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