Bag Lady

I wonder if that what’s the employees at the grocery store and Wal-Mart and Target say (or just think) about me. Because I am a bag lady.

Whenever I go to those places, I almost always have a bag full of bags slung over my shoulder. And I’m a little surprised that more shoppers don’t.

My parents, and generations before them, used up, reused, and recycled (before it was a thing). They save used envelopes for list-making and note-taking. They kept wrapping paper from gifts, ironed out the creases, and re-wrapped and re-wrapped gifts. They kept all their leftovers and ate them all up in subsequent meals.

And then things became disposable, not-worth-the-effort-to-keep, and groceries went home in those flimsy plastic bags instead of the nice brown paper, stands-up-by-itself bags. If those brown paper bags got blown away in the wind, they just ended up stuck behind some garage or in some ditch, where they got sunshined on and rained on, after which they deteriorated and became mulch and enriched the earth. And when those flimsy plastic bags got blown away by the wind, they got stuck high up in tree branches where they are to this day.

So. I try to do my part. We recycle the cans and the bottles and the plastic and the paper, and sometimes our blue recycle bin is filled to the brim on recycle pick-up day.

And I take my bags to the stores.

Target has a variety of sizes and weights of reusable bags. They are pretty and red and useful. I’ve purchased several. One of my favorites was a bag that folded up and there was a zipper that held the whole thing closed. It disappeared. I think that maybe it was on the edge of the car’s seat and may have fallen out, unnoticed, when I opened the door. But then, they made another kind, similar, but it had a Velcro fastener that kept it all together.


I love this Target bag. It’s canvas and big and heavy-duty; holds a lot. Typically, I’d put all my other, smaller Target bags in it and go off shopping to Target. See this bag? This bag from the inside? It’s empty. It’s empty because it’s a brand-new bag, and it’s the only Target bag I have now. I think what must have happened, because I have searched and searched the house, the car, the house and car again. And again. No bags. I must have gone to Target, with the bags, down in my cart, didn’t find what I was looking for, and, without thinking, put my cart back at the front of the store, and left. After several days, of looking and wondering, befuddled, and finally thinking that maybe I knew what happened, I went to Target to check the lost and found. No luck. No luck at all. And, after shopping that day, I was checking out and saw, behind my checker, the nice canvas bags. “I’ll take one of those,” I said. I’m starting over.


Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.

Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice

Psalm 96:11-12 (King James Version)

Let’s hear it from Sky,
With Earth joining in,
And a huge round of applause from Sea.

Let Wilderness turn cartwheels,
Animals, come dance,
Put every tree of the forest in the choir—

Psalm 96:11-12 (The Messge)

Once, when I was checking out at Wal-Mart, but using my HEB grocery store bags, the Wal-Mart checker sort of took me to task. “You’re bringing those HEB bags here to Wal-Mart,” she asked, sort of skeptically. “Really,” I said. “Here I am, with my HEB bags, but I’m shopping at Wal-Mart, instead. You’d think that the Wal-Mart people would be overjoyed.” Nobody at Wal-Mart has ever again said anything to me about it. And me, I’m just trying to do my part to keep the sky, the earth, the sea, and the trees all singing their happy songs!



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