Gold Bond Stamps

Ten items or less.  The supermarkets in Minnesota were better than anything I ever saw when I was living in Chicago.  The selections were wide.  Those ten items or less lines were never in the big city.  Supermarkets here were fun.  And this city was the birthplace of Gold Bond Stamps which later helped developed the Radison Hotel Chain.

I live in Minnesota.  We never have earthquakes here.  The ground pretty much felt mostly soft and gentle, until it froze at this time of year.  And then nothing much moved.  The days of inertia were just beginning, based upon the temperature this week.   It was Thanksgiving week.  And the supermarkets would be crowded. 


From hearing the news this month, I half expect a few beggars at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner.  Like some of those corporations who were seeking billions but had not gotten theirs yet.  Like some of those corporations who had announced layoffs.  Like some of those corporations who once argued for protection before the United States Supreme Court, asking that the 14th amendment be applied for them.  And they had got that protection under the 14th amendment.   It must have been hard times then too, as those personal rights, human rights, of the 14th Amendment were granted to corporations by the United States Supreme Court.  Panics happened.

Auto companies looking for attention.  Financial attention.  Without much of a plan.  Without many questions when facing what could be their Last Judgment Day.  Dysfunction occurred in relationships when people quit communicating.   Then people, people looking for attention, somewhere, did stupid things.  Until we miss the subtleness. 


Most guys learn at some point that the female species wants to be noticed.  At some point after puberty, a girl is in a place like a supermarket and can tell a guy is checking them out?  At least in the days when they gave out Gold Bond stamps.  Guys of all ages would  subtlely check the women out, at the checkout counter. When a guy was checking a woman out, it wasn’t really that bad.  Jackie Kennedy’s second husband was an old Greek.    When they are young, most girls had loved the attention.  Inside every woman is an awkward little girl who seeks approval not FOR her appearance but OF her appearance.  Some men actually learn these signs of subtleness, with age.  Over history, most women have always sought that approval mostly from husbands.  Many men never learned the subtleness.  Some women did not like that about their own species, of the approval seeking.  It was one of the newer judgments around, from a historic perspective.   


Today is the end of the liturgical year.  We have reached the end of time.  The reading would be about the Last Judgment.  The Feast of Christ the King.  I don’t know about you, but there was so much I wanted to say.  Before the end.  Yeah, people did stupid things.  There was a lot of greed and fear around.  This year especially. 


God in His subtle ways, in the days with so much blaring pre-recorded music, with so many televised events, this God beyond comprehension of even the contemplatives, in these times.  Beyond my total focus.  The distractions.  The things that break my focus, the things in my vision.  And I loved the distractions of the unobstructed and the obstructed views.  The 2 curling matches this week.  The hockey game last night.

The subtleness of flavor.  The differences in people.  The subtleness, in reading.  In art.  In food.  It was Sunday morning and I was drinking Scottish Breakfast Tea, a tea named after the people who drink it.  It certainly was not grown in Scotland.  Those Scots know their tea.  It was all about marketing.  And they sold it in these Minnesota grocery stores. last night.

In the newspaper today, a government report on Thursday warned of a “catastrophic” quake in the United States, which had nothing to do with Wall Street. FEMA spokesperson Mary Margaret Walker said, “People who live in these areas,” in reference to that zone in the southeast corner of Missouri near New Madrid, “and the people who build in these areas certainly need to take into better account that at some time there is … expected to be a catastrophic earthquake in that area, and they’d better be prepared for it.” Because a major quake which shifted the course of the Mississippi River and rang church bells on the East Coast had occurred in 1811 and 1812. And not just one. In states where the ground also pretty much felt mostly soft and gentle.

Speaking of ringing church bells, there would be horns today on the Feast of Christ the King where I worship. The horns say so much what I wanted to say. Before my end. That the year was great. This was the celebration that Psalm Sunday was supposed to be. If God had not been so subtle about what redemption was going to mean.

The Last Judgment. I half expected a subtleness in the questions. It was always the question. What are you looking for? Did you ever know God? Did you ever love God? The question about identity, and ultimately who I wanted to be. Did you ever change much during the time that you knew Him? How about this year?
What most impressed you about Him? How about this year?Did you ever find out who you were meant to be? How did you serve God? How about this year? What was He after in your life? Did you ever shift your course, dramatically? This year? Did the ground and the rain mostly feel gentle around your home? And how did you do on the finals, this semester?

There were a ton of questions all along. Subtle ones. My image was that of the redemption center. For Gold Bond Stamps. Presenting your stamps to the authorities. “What exactly did you want here?”
Those brass horns shake my foundation on this Sunday every year like they seldom do in ordinary time.

Copyright © 2010.

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1 comment so far

  1. edkohler on

    Minnesota definitely has the best grocery stores. Where else can you find stores with carpeting, olive bars, so many free samples, and friendly employees?

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