“Always remember to double-bag your pickles!”

Hello, dear reader.

I’m sitting here at Cyberia Cafe in Houghton drinking a non-fat frappuccino. 

Feeling pretty darn good.   (Although it sort of feels like someone has put a belt around my stomach and keep pulling tighter…)  Barry is taking pictures at a basketball game for his newspaper job.  I have an hour and a half in the coffee shop before he picks me up.

The gall bladder, you’ll be pleased to know, has been behaving.  It wasn’t feeling stellar earlier today, but I spent a long time meditating and breathing deeply into it…and it felt better.  Thanks for all you well wishes concerning Ms. GB!  We are still beaming at all the love you expressed.  (And you guys!  I was just kiddin’ about taking pictures during surgery!!  I get weak in the knees at even SEEING blood.  No photos!)

Firstly tonight,  I would like to congratulate our son, Christopher, for passing his oral field paper defense.  Way to go, Chris!  We are really proud of you… This was the most important news all week.  🙂

Second, I would like to talk about the importance of communing with service folk in which we come in contact with on a daily basis.  Specifically the servers at restaurants and Wal-Mart and co-ops and bookstores.  Wherever you go–there are cool folks in which just a little caring & communication can go a long way.

Please take your grocery cart.

Take our lady in Wal-Mart tonight.  I just happened to stare deeply into her eyes.  You know, see her as a person, instead of a clerk at Wal-Mart.

Suddenly she’s telling us about the importance of double-bagging pickles.  Then she’s sharing a story about how she ALWAYS double-bags jars because once in Tennessee a fella DROPPED a bag of pickles in the parking lot!! 

She carefully double-bagged our pickles and tied it in a safe knot before handing it to us.

“Always remember to double-bag your pickles!”  she insisted.

We nodded.

Milk, anyone?

We walked toward the parking lot.

“That’s a blog headline,” I said.  “Can you remember it?”

We headed on toward our restaurant dinner.  The nice server–Jasmine–went to high school with Christopher.  She shared stories about her Christmas tree.  About her kids.  About Christmas.  About her hours of work.

I like Jasmine a lot.

“What was that blog title?” I asked Barry.

“Ummm…something about double-bagging glass jars,” he said.

“Did it have something to do with pickles?” I asked.

He didn’t remember. 


We vowed to remember to write down our blog and column headlines immediately in the future.  These headlines are too slippery in the memory.  Just like a bag of pickles–they can disappear in five minutes.  

Double-bag your memories, folks!  It’s a slippery world out there…

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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33 Responses to “Always remember to double-bag your pickles!”

  1. Duly noted Kathy! Glad to hear you are doing better. Love and hugs to you and your pickles, S

  2. Cute account of your day and a VERY clever title! You are right, spreading a little meaningful attention to the “service industry” can be interesting and is just plain kind!

    • Kathy says:

      Why, Jane, I thank you VERY much. A good blog title can go a long way…and it can take your mind off gall bladder troubles. (I am glad you feel the same about the service industry folks.)

  3. Kathy it is the season for double bagged memories for sure! I am carefully taking just a few out at a time – safely, at home early in the morning before I start my day. I always miss my family this time of year. Lucky for me I will get to be with my kids for the holidays. At least that is the plan – weather permitting. Glad you are feeling better.

    • Kathy says:

      Don’t you love that phrase “double bagged memories”? Glad you are taking out a few at a time and savoring them. And that you can be with your kids during the holidays. We can be with Kiah, but not Chris.

  4. Karma says:

    I can’t help but wonder if double-bagging your pickles really does any good! If you dropped your double-bagged pickles in the parking lot, wouldn’t you still have shards of glass in with your pickles? 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Well, Karen, there you have it! Maybe she should have TRIPLE bagged the pickles! Or quadruple bagged! Maybe she should have put the pickles in a box… no, no. Maybe we should just carry our pickles safely and cautiously and with awareness to our car. lol!

  5. Marianne says:

    It is so cool how that meditation deep breathing thing works – when we just allow and love – amazing things happen. I had the same experience a few times during the summer months when my stomach was acting out with incredible pain. Within less than an hour the pain left and I was able to go back to sleep without taking stomach meds.

    And it’s so cool when we give people the gift of our presence, isn’t it.

    Great post!

    • Kathy says:

      I am so often astounded, too, how deep breathing meditation works. People should realize that it can–at times–be better than a painkiller! I am glad that you have had the experience too. Deep breathing is the most astounding thing I have discovered this year.

  6. Motherkitty says:

    Kathy ~

    Glad you’re feeling rather better. Hope this continues.

    Hooray, Chris! what a terrific accomplishment!

    Service industry people rarely receive any notice, except when someone is chewing them out. I agree it’s important to acknowledge them. Making eye contact is a great start. I always carry a couple of thank you cards in my purse, and from time to time scribble a quick note of thanks to the person who has helped me. When I’m in a restaurant, I can sit and write one out without too much difficulty. Others, like store clerks, require I say thank you, then walk away, find a place to write a couple of lines of thanks, then go back and quietly place the card where the clerk is sure to see it. I always feel great when I do this. An unexpected benefit is that the next time you encounter that individual, the lines of communication are wide open, and service is even better. My daughter and I did this in a local restaurant once, and the waiter, who soon became the manager, gave us terrific service. The time my daughter broke her ankle a few years ago we stopped in on a Sunday morning when it was terribly busy. Kenny saw us and saw that she was in a cast and on crutches and had us seated in a heartbeat. A little appreciation can go a long way. I’m so glad you brought the subject up. It’s good to remind people how important people of service are. Thanks for reminding me. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Motherkitty, these are some of the most inspiring thoughts I have heard recently! That is such a great idea–to scribble quick notes of thanks to the service people. How very cool. “A little appreciation can go a long way.” That is sure true.

    • Reggie says:

      Wow, Motherkitty, I love that idea. I always try to be friendly to the cashiers at the local shop, or the waiters and waitresses at restaurants, and I find that most of them really appreciate a cheerful hello or a kind thank you. And when I’m feeling down or anxious or ill, it’s so uplifting to walk into a familiar shop, and to see a friendly face smiling at you in recognition. We’re all connected, somehow, and being kind to others has the same effect as being kind to ourselves. Hugs!

  7. Dad says:

    Kathy——–Just for info,many years ago as a young man,a double bagger in baseball was a 2 base hit! That Chris is my kind of grandson! Great NEWS! Dad & Mom PS–Glad your feeling better!

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks for that info, Dad! Aren’t you guys excited about Chris’s news? And yes I’m feeling better–but waiting eagerly for the surgeon appointment. (Although I don’t know if “eagerly” is the right word…)

      • crd says:

        If only you could have all been here to help out in the exam – it was 3 against 1 and I was practically shaking with nervousness… thanks for making me part of the blog mom.

  8. Kimberly Grady says:

    Dill or Sweet…I love them all and your blog too.

    • Kathy says:

      Wow, Kim, that is a lovely compliment, thank you! Cuz you know we bloggers sometimes blog dill pickle blogs and sometimes sweet blogs, but they are all pickles! (LOL…that was a stretch this morning…)

  9. OM says:

    Glad to hear about the low pain level!!! Thus must it be, until Monday!

    I too make a “spiritual practice” of treating people with robotic jobs as people, smile, eye contact, if they say “Have a good day” I look them right in the eye and say “I hope you do too.”

    This practice makes me feel as good as it does them!!!!

    I’m really happy to hear others do this too!!!!

    Major hugs, OM

    • Kathy says:

      OM, I am glad you do this, too. It’s so easy to gloss over service people as if they are somehow not as real and valuable as the customers. It feels good to turn that around.

      Maybe my low pain level has to do with all the prayers and Reiki coming this way. 🙂

  10. Dawn says:

    Two years ago I spent the Christmas holidays working as a clerk in a retail store. Let me tell you, people that do that on a regular basis need all the support and appreciation they can get.

    Congratulations to your son! That is a HUGE accomplishment.

    But what struck me most about your blog? The thought that THERE’S A WALMART UP THERE???

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, I worked in my dad’s drug store growing up and I remember the holiday rush. That is sure true.

      It was a huge accomplishment for Chris to “pass” on his field papers. He has another step or two before he gets to work on the actual dissertation. I think.

      And YES! You wouldn’t recognize Houghton these days. Walmart is the busiest place in town–always.

  11. holessence says:

    Double-bag your pickles translated to excellent life advice: double-bag your memories. I love it!

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie…you know about blog headlines…you got to figure out how these remarkable bits of advice translate into what matters most! Glad to have pickled your funny bone this morning.

  12. Emma says:

    Congratulations to Chris and thanks for the Pickle Tip!

    Now, I have an important message to share:

    Look at the milk photo. While looking at it, quickly scroll up and down and up and down. You will have a psychedelic experience.

    • Kathy says:

      Emma, I shall relay your good congratulations to Chris when we talk. HEY! You know what…I had that psychedelic experience last night while on the laptop Ms. Ellie at the coffee shop! It was better than the frappuccino! Those milk cartons becoming hallucinogenic. lol!

  13. Colleen says:

    Kathy, I just love this Wal-Mart-pickle-story and how it came about! It is such a great story and a wonderful reminder…….
    I can attest to the power of deep/meditative breathing too.

    Many congratulations to Chris and take good care of yourself. Maybe a weekend of well deserved, good old fashioned pampering…..

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, Colleen, this is the kind of story I think “Why the heck should I write this?” and here you come with affirmation! Gosh, why do we need affirmation as humans? I want to be a human who doesn’t NEED affirmation. (It hasn’t happened yet. But it’s a goal.) P.S. did you see Christopher’s comment up above?

  14. Carol says:

    Love the title and the content. I especially loved the “double bag your memories” and realized I think that’s what I’m doing when I blog and when I scrapbook. So if my pickles or my memories break, at least all the pieces will be in a bag, all together, not completely lost.

  15. Elisa's Spot says:

    I LOVE pickles, and peoples.

  16. Kathy says:

    I, too, love pickles. At lunch today begged Barry for his sweet pickle. He obligingly obliged. (He was eating from the salad bar. I had a veggie burger.)

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