Harrisburg Speaks: A Community Blog

Rovenia Braddy writes about Harrisburg from the point of view of someone who lives, works, shops and socializes there.

"The Poor House and Grandpa"

Written by Roe Braddy, Community Blogger | Oct 21, 2013 8:58 PM

Earlier today I had to make a quick trip to the grocery store.  Grocery shopping in the middle of the day has always been an adventure for me.  I love to people watch.  Watching the behavior of complete strangers has always interested me.  Today I had the opportunity to witness a quant interaction between a man and his granddaughter.  What's in a person's grocery cart can really tell you a lot about not only what that person likes to eat, but about their interactions with the people that they live with. 

I was standing in the express line behind the man and his granddaughter.  The little girl, who looked to be around four sat patiently in the cart while her grandfather placed his purchases onto the counter.  I quickly glanced into the cart.  There were several packages of donuts, Oreo cookies and several other assortments of sweets.  As he placed each item onto the counter he engaged the cashier in a conversation about the eating habits of his granddaughter.  Apparently she had the habit of eating all the cream out of the center of the Oreos and leaving the cookie part for him.  He went on to explain that he was not very fond of eating just the cookie, because he too liked the middle the best, but it was her favorite part and he just couldn't take all the fun away from her.  

By this time the little girl and I were quietly giggling at the story that her grandfather was telling the cashier. As he gave the cashier the last few dollars from his wallet he looked at his granddaughter and gave her a loving smile.  I began to picture the relationship that the two had; spending his last dollar did not seem to be a strain.  He cheerfully handed the amount over to the cashier and said to the little  girl,"You're putting your old grandpa in the poorhouse."  The little girl asked, "What's a poorhouse?"

He smiled and patted the little girl gently on the head and the two of them left the store. It was a tender moment, which is often rare in a world where people are rushing from one thing to another.  I quickly paid for my items and left the store.  As the two of them headed toward the parking lot still engaged in their light-hearted banter several thoughts began to play in my mind.

Have we forgotten that warm fuzzy feeling that we get when we sacrifice the little that we have for the ones that we care for?  Do we always have to have the Oreo with all the cream? I could just imagine that years from now when that little girl is much older she will remember the trips to the grocery store with her grandfather and he will remember all the cream-less cookies that he ate simply to make his granddaughter happy. I wished that I could have told him that he might have spent his last dollar, but he definitely was not in the emotional poorhouse in the eyes of his granddaughter. 




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