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The ice melted. I wonder what she did with 7 loaves of bread

Sunday, January 27, 2013

You gotta love winter in central Virginia. You get to see some snow and ice and if you are able to wait awhile, you don’t even have to shovel it. It just melts.

On Friday as I left the gym, it began to snow. Temperatures have been in the 20s so it started to stick. I stopped at the supermarket as I had planned. I needed only ground turkey for my meat loaf and English muffins for DH.

The parking lot was jammed and I briefly considered an alternate vegetarian dinner and offering DH my whole wheat bread as an alternative. However, I’m retired and I have time, so I grabbed my 2 items and got on the express line.

Behind me was a woman with a few items in her cart along with 7 loaves of white bread. I wondered if perhaps I had missed a weather report about the impending storm of the century.

We got about 4 inches of snow. The main roads were well salted/cindered in advance, but as expected the little country roads had accumulation.

When we retired to our lake house, this city born and raised woman learned to keep a supply of staples in the house just in case. We’re 3.5 miles off a main road. You don’t want to run out of toilet paper, right?

Yesterday morning my road was ice covered and my blog entry involved my dilemma of dusting off my lifecycle or waiting for the sun to do its usual thing.

I waited and by 11 am it was 44* - off to the gym. So our entire weather emergency was over in less than 24 hours.

This brings me back to the woman with all the bread.
Was it panic buying or did she have a good reason?
Did she have a lot of children at home? Was she entertaining a girl scout troop for the weekend? Was she shopping for a neighborhood of elderly residents? Was she planning to make a lot of stuffing? Maybe she intended to feed a flock of birds?

It’s none of my business, but I am curious. Do you observe this behavior in other parts of the country/world?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    The announcement lady at our church comnented on surviving the storm of 2013 ( we didn't even get the sleet that was a possibility). Then asked what is it about a storm forecast that wants us craving french toast and beer. If we had a power outage we couldn't make the french toast (all electric homes) but we could put the beer outside to keep cold.
    1972 days ago
    My mom calls people who do that (stock up before a snowstorm) The French Toast People.

    Because they always seem to be buying eggs, milk, and bread. emoticon
    1973 days ago
    I was at the store that morning too for my usual weekly trip. I agree it was crazy, usually a weekday morning is well stocked and quiet but that morning I saw a lot of bare shelves. Funny thing was, there was many men there stocking up on football food. The brat shelf was nearly empty! There were 2 men in front of it looking as serious as if they were deciding the fate of the free world while picking several packs of smoked sausages. So yes, not only had people stocked up on bread and milk, but football snacks. I am not a fan of football so I really don't get this, although I enjoyed your grandson posting the play by play on Facebook last night.(Future Sportscaster?) For the record, I only bought one loaf of bread, in spite of there being 7 of us at home now, and only because my husband requested it.
    1973 days ago
  • DEBBY4576
    Haha, well, if it'd been me with the 7 loaves of bread, I would be feeding birds. Behavior here is snowbirds here for the winter. I call them locusts. It is almost impossible to find sale items after a stroe is open a few hours. The snowbird locusts have hit the store and left the shelves of the sale items gone.
    1973 days ago
    Here in Georgia, if the weather report even mentions snow or ice there is a run on miilk, bread and eggs; not to mention beer, chips, and snacks. Usually if you wait 24 hours, it all goes away. It is funny to watch and like you I try to make sure we have enough in the house to last a week if we need to.
    1974 days ago
    I have seen lots of panic buying over the years, not often, but it does seem scary when it happens. The Cuban crisis in 1962 was my first and largest one, I had a 2 month old baby, and made his formula with Pet milk and Karo syrup and water, anyway, there was nothing in the stores, and I lived in Southen California, a suburb of Los Angeles, so lots of stores (and people) it only lasted a few days, otherwise, not sure what I would have fed my son, I have also seen it other times, when we heard on the news something was going to be hard to get, (there it would go) earthquakes have a way of emptying them too, as well as this yearly (be prepared).

    I hope you enjoyed the short season of snow, I do miss it, but that is the way to have it, I think
    1974 days ago
    There's something I read that when people hear the words "disaster or shortage" they immediately run out and buy everything they can get their hands on. I mean with two cats why would I rush out and buy dog food? And yet people do it all the time. No one buys a snow shovel in June. Snow has to fall to set it in motion.
    1974 days ago
    When I lived in Ohio, I didn't notice it. When I moved to Florida, at every threat of a hurricane people went nuts. Here in GA I notice it more too. Now I left Ohio in 1983, and I lived in a rural town. Most people canned or froze their garden produce. We bought in bulk as we had five young children-and I hated grocery shopping with them. I frequently baked my own bread, we made our own treats and always tried to keep an extra gallon of milk in the freezer-just in case I ran out before "grocery day" If Steve wanted chips or junk, he would stop and buy it on his way home. I still maintain the mentality of being prepared-I wasn't a scout until my daughter became a brownie-just the eldest of ten children.
    So I was a person who might have a large order, but not just because a POSSIBLE storm.
    emoticon emoticon
    1974 days ago
    Because I've been involved in fundraisers around here over the years I have one other thought. Maybe she was buying it as her donation to something some group she was involved with was doing. Could be a fundraiser or a project. For example when I workd for a nonprofit agency, we often had enchilada dinner fundraisers that were big sellers here in southern New Mexico. The plate had enchilladas, rice, beans, and a slice of bread. We would all volunteer to bring some of the items so we didn't have to spend so much on buying the ingredients. Or maybe she's making sandwiches for some group. Who knows. But when I see someone buying a large quantity of one or two items that's what usually pops into my head. The woman buying all those muffins mentioned in on of the responses might be for a snack before a race or for some kind of open house of some new business or something else. Or maybe they are just going to freeze it all!
    1974 days ago
    Here in PA, people do the same thing - I think it's a mix of drama, fear and survival sprinkled with a healthy dose of "seriously? get a life". Milk and bread is gone quickly from the shelves when an impending storm is looming overheard........ridiculous!
    1974 days ago
    Down in my neck of the woods (Woodbridge, VA), we were in the snow minimum last time. We stayed up in Tyson's Corner for a wine dinner and saw a dusting, but not even that when I got home the next morning. And the drive down 95 was the fastest I have ever made (good thing VA doesn't have speed cameras...yet).

    As for panic buying, I do see that, and for major storms, the grocery stores will even empty their freezer sections into backup freezers that can run on generators to prevent spoilage from long power outages. Our only panic buy was a snow blower several years ago when major accumulation was forecast, and my back just wasn't holding up. We got about an inch. But the NEXT season was the season of Snowzilla, Snowmageddon, and Snowpocalypse, so the panic buy really came in handy.
    1974 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I watched a woman in front of me at Costco buying 30 packages of muffins, nothing else. I wondered what she was going to do with them. I more often watch people in front of me buying junk food that I no longer eat!

    You are lucky that you warm up in Virginia. Our ice does not melt and it is a struggle to walk to the gym.
    1974 days ago
    I hope she wasn't bulimic. (Not funny, I know.) Once I saw a large ewoman in the supermarket with a cart piled high with nothing but junk food. The same thoughts were going through my head. Was she going home to consume it all? Feeding a day care center? Had a husband like yours?
    1974 days ago
  • DR1939
    We live 8 miles from a small city (15,000) and try to limit how much driving we do, thus I try to shop only once a week. In addition we live 90 miles from the nearest medium-sized (200,000) city and 150 from Minneapolis/St Paul. So about every 4-5 weeks we drive the 90 miles and stock up on items that we cannot get in our small city. This includes 6 bags of mini-bagels and 6 packages of salmon. People in line often remark on the size of our order. There are advantages to living in rural areas but there are significant problems also. If I didn't have the internet for shopping I would really be in trouble.

    As an example of one of the advantages, I never have to wait in line at the post office, even at Christmas. emoticon
    1974 days ago
    I would wonder, too. I probably have been around panic buying, but didn't notice what others were buying. Occasionally I do. Wish we could just transport (ala Startrek) up to snow for a day or two for the grandkids. All the school curriculum in Florida includes heavy doses of falling leaves for fall and snow for winter, when our kids are experiencing very different signs of season change. My mom recently moved to South Dakota full time (she used to just summer there) where snow stays on the ground a long, long time, but since she's in assisted living, it is someone else shoveling. I would like to visit, but I haven't driven in snow for decades and own no cold weather clothing, either. Will have to figure it out.

    Anyway, enjoy your winter treat. You are smart to keep some staples on hand. Take care!
    1974 days ago
    Oh, yes. I see panic buying all the time.
    1974 days ago
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