When we left California in 2008, we didn’t realize we would be leaving behind Trader Joe’s. Our standard Sunday routine in California was farmers market, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods. That combination gave us the greatest variety of foods at the lowest cost. In Utah, the farmers market only ran mid-June through mid-October, and there were no Trader Joe’s. Our reliance on Whole Foods increased dramatically, especially during the wintertime, and our grocery expenses increased along with it.
But now we’re back in Trader Joe’s country. I got three well-priced bottles of wine, along with chocolate-covered frozen banana slices (which, it turns out, only I like), mini rice crackers, freeze-dried blueberries and strawberries, and a 4-flavor variety pack of hummus. I still like my hummus best, but until I get my VitaMix tamper back (I accidentally let the movers pack it), I’ll be relying on store-bought. And Joe’s hummus was pretty decent.
We ate our purchases (except for the wine) in the car amid calls from the backseat for more “dip” and more “boo-babies”. We ate our impromptu lunch on the shore of Bartlett Pond while waiting to tour a rental property. An elderly gentleman out for a walk gave us tips about where to hike and where not to hike to avoid ticks, and suggested that if we were planning to fish, we wait a bit because they just put chemicals in the pond to kill off the weeds. He also talked up the local high school, from which his granddaughter just graduated, and gave us directions to some walking trails that involved statements like, “go past the old state hospital on the left, but going this direction it will be on your right,” and then a quick series of first lefts and second rights that we promptly forgot.
“Have a nice walk!” my husband called as the gentleman went on his way.
“Oh, I’m just staying on the road,” he said. “I’ve had enough ticks in my lifetime.”
As he left, I wondered if I should have offered him some hummus.