By LEE SCOTT
If you have lived in Beaufort for a while, there is something you will have become accustomed to on Saturday and Sunday mornings during the summer. It is the vacation crowd at the grocery store.
You might think you need to do your big weekly shopping then, but don’t. Just get your express lane “must haves” and get out.
Because when tourists are heading out to the Hunting Island campground, or their Fripp Island rental, or maybe their boats, they must stock up on food. And that means large orders of anything from wine and sodas to hamburgers and hot dogs.
Their baskets spill over with potato chips, cookies, and other snacks too. I have seen husbands and wives both pushing their own carts filled to the brim.
But every time I see this in the store, I am reminded of my friend Stephanie. Now that was a woman who understood shopping for a vacation.
Stephanie is the mother of my daughter’s childhood best friend. My daughter always went on these annual trips to Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland. Each one of the three kids could bring someone, so that meant Stephanie was not only feeding her own family of five but adding three more bodies to feed.
But she was a pro. The first time I dropped off my daughter at their house for the trip, I stood in awe.
While her husband hooked their ski boat up to his Jeep, Stephanie did everything else. That meant sheets, towels, toilet paper, medicine kit, sunburn lotion, and other necessities.
But it was the food organization that was the most impressive.
She had several coolers packed to the brim with pre-planned meals. There was beef stew, spaghetti sauce, hamburger patties, hot dogs, and chicken casseroles all stacked and marked, Sunday-Saturday.
Then there were large cardboard boxes (this was before we all went plastic) filled with lined shoe boxes filled with homemade cookies, brownies, and Rice Krispy treats. Every box was marked.
She also had an entire section for all those condiments like salt and pepper, mustard, and ketchup.
All of this was so impressive to me, but Stephanie said it was self-preservation. As a working mother, she said everything in her life had to be pre-planned, Besides it was more cost efficient.
Now as I watch these vacationers in our local grocery stores fill up on all their supplies, I am reminded of Stephanie’s organization.
“Good luck,” I want to say to them as they pack up their mini-vans and SUVs to the hilt.
Because I know, none of them have it together quite like Stephanie, and before they get to Fripp Island they will be saying “Ooops, we forgot the kids.”