My name is Trudy Cox and I’m a Hoarder! I never realized it until now, but the time has come to accept the fact. This week, as I looked back upon it, I realized that maybe I’m not one of those “pushy” people at the store throwing in 20 packages of toilet paper, but just a little more sophisticated one. Feeling that I was better than some of the folks out there that are on TV as the camera shows them loading enough TP to take care of the entire state of Iowa, into the back of their car, I opened my freezer door. Once I had picked up the 5 packages of frozen chicken, the 3 huge bags of frozen blueberries and 5 lbs of ground round off the floor when I opened the freezer door, it dawned on me that I truly was a hoarder. In the past few weeks, as news covered the closing of several meat plants and showed rotten tomatoes laying in the fields, it drove me to thinking, “oh no, that is this week, what will be disappearing next week from the stores?” So quietly hiding behind my cute little mask that a friend made for me, I was running the TP grabbers down in the aisle, on my way to the meat department. Luckily for me, there were several packages of pork roast left, plenty of hamburger meat (but didn’t want to take any changes they might be gone next week), so began throwing them in my basket. Oh, and before it is all gone, I should load up on bacon. Because, who can actually go through a pandemic without bacon? Heading over to the frozen food aisle, I remembered that stores everywhere were out of active yeast, so wouldn’t the frozen bread be next to disappear? So into my basket went Rhoads frozen rolls, Sister Schubert rolls and oh yes, there is the Rhoads frozen Cinnamon rolls I have been wanting to buy. So happy they had a couple of bags left. I grabbed those as well. Blueberries, we cannot, we CANNOT survive without frozen blueberries for our health shakes that start off most of our days before moving on to cookies and pies throughout the day. So in went two huge bags of frozen blueberries. But wait, chicken, the last grocery order I had picked up curbside was out of chicken. Oh please Lord, let there be packages of chicken left. Turning the cart around and waddling as fast as these two little cellulite legs would carry me, I pushed my way past the folks hoarding up all the dried pasta. Oh please, people, like there is going to be a shortage of pasta! Get out of my way, because chicken will be the next meat to disappear. Whew, getting there just in time to the chicken section, only to see 30 or more packages of chicken breasts and thighs, I didn’t want to take any changes of not being able to find any on my next store run, so throwing in several packages of chicken into the basket, I made my way up to checkout. Feeling pretty smug and proud of myself for being “smart” and buying necessary items, I proceeded to make conversation with the cashier, “can you believe some of these folks that think there is never going to be another roll of TP left in the world and think they have to hoard it everytime they see it? Oh, can you let me run back for something I forgot? I’ll be right back.” She frowned at me and told me to hurry up. I returned with an armful of canned goods and Jiffy Corn bread mix, because, well, you never know when we might not loose power, due to spring storms and at least we could open up a can of Bush’s baked beans and if we do indeed run out of bread, I can still make corn muffins, (when the power returns). So feeling so happy that I am returning home prepared for the next month, I drive home knowing Randy will be so proud of his industrious and smart wife.
As Randy comes to the car to help me carry in the necessary items to the house, he asks me where in the world are you going to keep all these frozen foods. As I lug up the stairs with sacks of frozen fruit, chicken, pork roasts, bacon, ground round, I assure him that I will just reorganize the freezer and it will fit perfectly.
It didn’t. Having to use much of the fresh veggies I had bought the previous week, I needed to make room for the new stash. This week, well, this week, I have made, a pork roast, spaghetti, vegetable lasagna, shredded chicken sandwiches, stuffed zucchini with beef and rice. A lemon pie, carrot cupcakes,ooey gooey butter cake, chocolate chip cookies, baked beans, potato salad (twice because the potato stash I had bought were getting a little soft), tacos, chicken spaghetti, King Ranch casserole, brownies and peanut butter cookies. And we ate out one night. Yes, we actually ate in a restaurant, which we learned is really hard to do with our masks on. Takes a little more time when you have to pull it up off your mouth with every bite, but we did it and the stuffed chile rellanos were wonderful.
As we near the end of this trying time and look back at what we have learned, and hopefully never have to do again are several things:
1. Never buy more than your fridge or freezer holds.
2. Walking back and forth to the kitchen does not burn enough calories to allow me to eat as many cookies as I bake and eat in a single day.
3. This one is very important, ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT when you take your computer into the bathroom when you are on ZOOM, people can hear and see you.
4. Thinking that because you have plenty of food to share with others, they are just going to throw it away, because they don’t trust that you used a bleach rag to wipe off the groceries you purchased before putting them away in your pantry or fridge.
5. Eventaully, one day, we will be able to get out again and get to wear something besides sweat pants. And stores have not been open to buy bigger sizes. SO…….order a pair of elastic waisted pants now, before someone hoards up the bigger sizes. Gotta close and shop on-line before the cute ones are all gone.