Years ago (1970s) my parents bought a country grocery store. It was the epitome of a white trash grocery store. But, we were way out in the sticks of Louisiana and it was miles to the nearest small town. I have a great many memories of that old store. No air, one space heater, outdoor toilet, and early mornings..great memories.
I was twelve and my brother was ten when my dad bought the store. After working all day the four of us would retire to our house behind the store. We did have window units, but usually did not use them. I think we were hardier then than now. At night I just wanted to go to sleep, I was that tired. My brother (whose room was down the hall) always wanted to talk to my parents. At night I can still hear him order what he wanted for breakfast. It did not matter that we just finished one meal, he was ordering the next. My mom would always answer him. Honestly, there were a lot of nights I would yell “GOOD NIGHT JOHN-BOY!” This always produced a round of good-nights and laughs. I was not amused.
We had been in the grocery business about a year when the following occurred:
“Is this it?” My brother groused from his room
After a few beats, my mom replied “Is this what, Jeffrey?”
“I mean is this all of it?” He sounded really cheesed-off (1970s remember?)
“All of what???”
“Well, we get up, go to the store and work all day to make money to buy food…just so we can eat it and go back to work. Is this it?” He asked in the most irritated voice imaginable.
After a few minutes, I hear my mom say “Well, yes, I guess this is it.”
Sometimes when I want to get the grumbles, I remember…this is it.