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Friday, May 10, 2013

Worth the Wait for the Grand Opening of the New Commissary Today

Wow, what a gorgeous but warm weather today, Friday! It feels like summer now! It's time for shirts and shorts, my dear folks and friends! With plenty of sunshine around Hampton Roads and possibly in other parts of the world, there's nothing to worry about. Thank you, God, we're alive, and doing well, I would safely say!

Yes, TGIF! Thank God, It's Friday! And we're alive and bouncing! (And recovering from a recurrence of chronic lower back pain, slowly but cautiously!) Hope that you're doing great, my dear folks and friends. See the tie-dyed shirt that I'm wearing today? (Please view the photos below, if you will. Thank you.) Thanks to my wife Freny who tie-dyed it when they had a lab in her Chemistry class with her students last year. As you know she teaches Chemistry in one of the high schools in Hampton. She has been teaching there for more than a decade.

Btw, to all mothers all over the world, Happy Mother's Day, in advance! That's right. This Sunday, May 12th is Mother's Day---a special day to honor the life, love, and sacrifices of all mothers worldwide. May God bless you all mothers! And to all of our beloved deceased mothers, may they rest in peace. Amen.

This morning, after having eaten my breakfast (which consisted of two slices of whole grain bread with slices of avocado, and a glass of organic milk, and a piece of pear), I thought about the grand opening of the new Commissary or I'm not sure if today, Friday, or tomorrow, is the opening of that new Commissary building at the naval base we usually visit every now and then (especially on Sundays after Mass) for a couple of reasons, like shopping at NEX for clothes, kitchen wares, electronics, having haircut at it's barber shop, or dining, or grocery shopping at the old Commissary building, etc. That's why I went there to find out. I was right. Today is the grand opening of this new Commissary building in Portsmouth!

Man, what a surprise when I arrived at my destination---traffic was evident and there was this long queue of Commissary customers or shoppers awaiting their turn to get in to the new building! I got lucky to find a parking spot on the new parking lot just in front of the new and bigger Commissary building. Walking to the new store, I saw people carrying each a plate of food, something like hot dog and/or cheese burger sandwiches, etc. I didn't bother going to those booths where they served (free) food and drinks/beverages. I just proceeded right away to where the line of people was. Man, I was already having slight back spasms after thirty minutes standing on line. Thankfully, I found a mounted concrete area where I could sit down while maintaining my spot. I met/saw my old master chief also falling in line, like the rest of us. He said that he came from the NEX building first. That was my original plan, too, to go there first and find out what I can buy, like jewelry, for my wife. But I got carried away by the flow of traffic, of cars directed to the new Commissary building. Now, after another thirty minutes, I was able to get in to the new building. Truly, it was very much spacious and more organized. Nice and new! And it smells good, with that pleasant feeling that you love to shop there!

With the exception of police officers (military and city) roaming around in and out of the new building, trying to maintain security and order, there were Commissary staff/personnel, mostly civilian employees, distributing coupons, free samples, and just being transparent to be readily available if we have a question or need help. I saw some characters and a clown roaming around the aisle, too. And, mind you, I called their attention to have a souvenir photo with me. (See the embedded photos below!) What a shopping (grocery) experience I've had today!

OMG, what a long line of shoppers again (but this time with their carts filled with goodies, other stuff) when it's time to go to the cash register to pay your groceries! But I had to go with the flow, and wait, like everybody else. It's a good feeling that I got a free Portsmouth NNSY T-shirt, and a Smithfield black cap, and free sample AXE anti-perspirant or deodorant. Also, I felt relieved while engaging in a lively conversation with an old couple, Joe and Carol who were in front of me, pushing their grocery cart, too. And they happen to have or share the same faith as mine, when I found out that they go to the same parish (Holy Angels) where my family used to go before, for years. I learned, too, that Joe is a retired US Navy, like me. He and Carol have five successful grow-up children, all boys with their own families. Right now, they said, they're hosting a foreign (female) high school student from China. I told them how much I appreciate what they're doing right now, that of hosting a foreign student from China. (Too bad, I forgot to take a picture with the two lovely, sweet couple! Know why? We were so carried away in our conversation! God bless them.) My back has been acting up again while in that queue! But, there's nothing I can do but be on that line with the rest of the shoppers. My, oh my.., I had no choice but to hang in there...with my back spasms, and wait for my turn to pay my groceries in one of the cash registers available!

Thank God, after almost half an hour standing, pushing sluggishly my grocery cart, I got served!  With all the haul I got on my cart---fresh vegetables, i.e, broccoli, Vidalia onion, celery, vegetable salad; different fruits, i.e, bananas, strawberry, cantaloupe, water melon; canned goods, cookies, Italian sausages, a bag of shredded cheese, a dozen 7.5 oz. packages of frozen gourmet TV dinners (fettuccine alfredo, macaroni and cheese), cereals, two half-gallon carton organic milk, and two cases of Dasani bottled water, etc.---I paid almost a hundred bucks. But I was able to save $$ with my manufacturer's coupons with me. Well, that savings I got I gave it to a young teenage male bagger who helped me push my cart to the parking lot and load my groceries to my van.

From there at the new Commissary building, to home sweet home...tired and already hungry! Mind you, I was snacking Milano cookies on the way home, while listening to American Idol, season 11, first runner up Jessica Sanchez's maiden album Me, You & the Music. (Yes, I was glad to see her in a cameo role in Glee last night! She was dancing with her group while singing an upbeat new song.)

Well, this is all for now, and thank you, my dear folks and friends, near or far. Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful and peaceful weekend, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!"-chris a. quilpa, 10 May 2013

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