cronechronicler

Exploring the poetry of everyday life

Haiku: Sky Music

Gray gloom lifts baton
Band of clouds picks up tempo
Till sun changes tune

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Meatloaf Mystery Resolved

The other day as the word game ladies and I were playing our ever-fascinating game our friend Thelma joined us. She sat down next to me and asked about the frozen dinners she had left for me in my freezer. It was a totally unreal moment! I had begun to despair of ever unravelling the mystery.

My first question was how had she gotten into my apartment. Thelma replied that she rang my bell and then knocked. When I didn’t answer she turned the knob and found my door unlocked. She walked in and put the bag of meatloaf dinners in my freezer. OK. Then I asked her why she had brought me the meatloaf dinners. She told me that since our word game friend Mary had entered Hospice and moved into a nursing home, her daughter Carol was in the process of cleaning out her mother’s apartment. Carol found the frozen dinners and wondered what to do with them. Thelma had stopped by to help Carol and suggested that I might like the dinners. She knew that Mary and I share a love of Lean Cuisine and offered to take them to me. So Thelma put them in my freezer intending to let me know they were from Mary but forgot as she moved on with her day. If I had not just come from shopping and was putting away groceries when I found the mysterious blue bag of meatloaf dinners, I might not have been so unsettled and also sure that there was no way I had put the dinners in my freezer. I am relieved to know that I did not, and will continue to count on myself to remove groceries from the plastic bags before putting them away. Now I have a new action to worry about that I was certain I would never do. I would have sworn that I always lock my door when I leave home.

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Meatloaf Mystery

I opened my refrigerator freezer and was startled to see a blue plastic Heinen’s shopping bag. True, I had just returned from the grocery store and had been in the process of putting things away. I had already arranged many Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine frozen dinners (there was a sale) in the freezer in my accustomed order. But what was a plastic bag doing in my freezer? And what was in it? I always take my groceries out of their plastic bags before putting them away. I looked inside the blue bag and found four frozen meatloaf dinners, that I did not buy and which were not on my receipt. Who put them in my freezer inside a blue plastic Heinen’s bag?

Each of my two sons has a key to my apartment. I thought I remembered that Bob’s wife is giving up eating red meat. Maybe she decided she did not want the meatloaf dinners and Bob brought them over as a surprise. I emailed him about my strange gift from either Santa or an elf. Or possibly him? He emailed back “Not me”. He suggested that the bag was included in my groceries by mistake when I checked out. This could be how it happened. But this did not explain how the meatloaf dinners still in the plastic bag got in my refrigerator freezer. I emailed my son Fred to see if he was my mysterious “Secret Santa”. “No ma’am” he replied. Well, it certainly wasn’t me. So I accepted that this was an
odd occurrence possibly related to aging.

Then I did the only sane thing I could think of and called the grocery store to report the frozen dinners that had accompanied me home. I hoped the customer service woman would tell me that the person who checked out just before me had contacted the store about the frozen meatloaf dinners she was missing. I envisioned a happy ending. But the customer service woman just told me to return the dinners next time I did my grocery shopping. I felt like I was acting as a model citizen. But still the person in me who put away groceries in a certain order, and had been doing so for sixty years, refused to believe I had put the blue-plastic-bag-enclosed boxes of meatloaf in my freezer.

First thing this morning I struck a match and lit my little red candle to burn cheerily while I drank my morning coffee – just as I have been doing for twenty-four years. Then I put on my warm sox and my bedroom slippers. Then I blew out the candle. Oh, dear. I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

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