It’s All Good

I think I found my mother’s twin today!  Right in my back yard.  Well, actually —kind of in my front yard diagonally and about half a mile.  Still with me?   I had to go get some goodies to start preparations for my fabulous lunch of White Bean Swiss Chard soup for my main squeeze so I headed out to HyVee.  Now our HyVee has the great practice of giving the customer 5 cents credit for each and every bag that they bring in to use.  I have quite a collection of these fabulous bags since that is basically all that was used in Australia.  I am pretty sure that I am the only person in Mason City with a Woolworth’s reusable green bag.  Today I took a few in with me for the items that I needed.  And that is where it gets interesting.

I decided to check out in the older cashier’s line.   We will call her Lilly.  Lilly is a sweet lady—kind of a fixture at my neighborhood HyVee and one that is very careful  when she handles your produce and bread.  Not like some of these young whippersnappers who make me cringe as they toss my carefully selected items down on the belt.   Anyway, Lilly is a little slower than some of the other cashiers but it is because 1. she is talking all the while she is checking you out and 2. she is looking at your items carefully to make sure that she has the right scan and code.  Customer service at its best.  Sometimes it is worth a little extra time and attention and today I was up for being in Lilly’s line.

All checked out and groceries bagged, debit card approved and almost on my way and she realizes that she did not credit me for my 3 reusable bags.  Horror of horrors!!!   I told her “no worries” but oh no….that was not the way that this was going to go down!   She proceeds to get her personal change purse out —dumps it out on the belt and starts searching through the dollar bills, assorted change, paper clips, bobby pins and buttons for the 15 cents that I am owed.  Of course there was not the correct change.  She starts counting pennies.  The line behind me is forming.  I am saying “Please–forget it.”   But no…she finds a dime and thinks she has a nickel but it looks funny.  She said “I don’t know what this is but you can have it if you want.”   I acquiesced as I was sure that if I didn’t I would be there until dinner time.  When I got home I looked at the coin and found that it was indeed 5 cents ….from Panama.  Now since I do not have Panama as a place to visit on my bucket list I am thinking this at least will give me a taste!

My mother is so like this.  If she needs a stamp she will pay me for it.  Even back in those days when stamps cost a fraction of what they cost today.  I love my Mother and this is definitely not a criticism (she does read my blog after all—how could I ever criticize a faithful follower?) .  It is an observation of how maybe our generation is much more casual about “debt” than her generation.

And by the way—the exchange rate for Panama money is equal to US so it’s all good.  Whew.   Can’t think that I would have gotten cheated out of my bag money!!!    Happy Saturday!



  1. Makes you wonder how she got the coin in the first place. My mom is the same way, she would pay me for a stamp. Even when I tell her no, no, really its not necessary. Sounds like you had an interesting trip 🙂

    • Your mom is like mine!!! I love her!! Yep—it is just the way she is and perhaps how she and my dad managed to pay for 4 kids going to college…..with no loans. To a private school She has some good ideas about a lot of things and I think money management is one of them.

  2. Loved your story.

  3. Fine story.Credit to Lily for her customer service.

    • Thanks, LeRoy! It is those little things that make the great stories, isn’t it? Just gotta be watching for them!!! Like my blog title: Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary!!!

  4. You might have mentioned, the impeccable service and attention, that is reflected in the cost of a postage stamp. And while the price has increased ever- so-slightly (relatively speaking) over the years, the dedication to the public/mail has not waned… Oh,did I mention that I work for the U.S. Postal Service?
    And for nine of those Panamanian thing-a-ma-jigs, you could send a letter to…..let’s say….Panama! Still a bargain in my book..
    Oh, one more thing,,,Bag money? Do you have a part-time job.. working for the Mob? Hahahahaha.

    • Oh man—I totally missed an opportunity to give a shout out to the USPS, didn’t I? Actually I have not had great luck in that department but I am sure it is not due to your impeccable service and dedication, Jake!!! Oh the stories I could tell you….but I won’t.
      And you hush…no one is supposed to know that I am in a witness protection program….you might have blown my cover!!!

  5. I think most mom’s are like this… I am the same way too… I borrowed $1 from someone at my office (not the building I am in) and I didn’t see them for months, and when I did, I gave them back the dollar….they thought I was crazy, and totally forgot about it, but I didn’t..

  6. Helen Brown says:

    I had a wonderful laugh over your blog today. I needed it since I have not talked to a person today and the TV hasn’t helped me any either. As to the money, remember that we grew up during the Great Depression. Note, I believe we are in much the same situation today.

    • Glad you got a chuckle out of that!!! I know that you had good reason to be a saver and not be so casual about money. I admire that. It is a good thing and you are an inspiration!!! 🙂

  7. Great story Beth Ann! 🙂

    PS: Less than 10,000 to go…………. my onboard computer says Monday afternoon central time….. 🙂

    • Thank you, Idiot!!! I am giddy. Seriously. I told my son on Skype a bit ago that I was going to be famous come Monday. He is a social media guru so he appreciates the blogosphere. I am keeping my fingers and toes and all limbs crossed though it is making it difficult to walk…..

  8. Loved your directions. 🙂 I like to get a cashier like Lilly. I made a soup with Swiss chard and garbanzo beans recently. I’d never had it before, but we both liked it a lot.

    • Yum, Patti–that sounds good!!! I love swiss chard!!! I was going to make my usual chicken white bean chili but found this other recipe and decided to go with it and I am glad I did. Leftovers today! 🙂

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