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Meeting in the Supermarket

Rosemary Roberts always went shopping in town on Saturday mornings, when her husband could look after the four children.

It was for her like an outing. She enjoyed picking what she needed in a supermarket, working through the list she had with her, comparing the prices and differences in quality, pushing the trolley in front of her. She had become so used to the geography of the building with various lanes that she never had to ask where she could find a particular item. She had also noticed that there were obviously more women who planned to do their shopping on Saturday mornings. She recognized the faces and started to greet some women. This time there was a surprise. A voice said, “Hey, Rosemary, I’ve not seen you for years!”

“Well, no, Olga, how are you?” Rosemary had always admired her, because Olga never had so much as a hair out of place and seldom put a foot wrong. In the years since school she was also married and she had two children, but she lived in another city and was only in town because of a visit to an old aunt and her husband, who were married fifty years.

“Let us have a cup of coffee here in the little restaurant of the shop. Look, the stairs are over there,” said Rosemary. They did, and had cake too.

“Now, tell me, how is your family.”

“And how is yours.”

Soon they were talking about the education of the children.

“It is not always easy,” said Olga, “but my husband is a farmer and he often compares them with his riding horses. He says that they all want to know for sure, that we are serious with our discipline. His sister has twins and they go sometimes straight against the rules of their parents. He tells her too what he does with his horses. And I know he is right. He says, “Maintain an even pressure to bear upon the bit, through the medium of the reins. Solidly seated, mindful of everything. Guide the horse being the master, quietly but firm, clearly showing the way to go. Correct immediately, whenever that is necessary, and dare to punish wrong behavior.” Now, he has the best riding horses in our district and has won several prizes with them…. We don’t need any prizes, but up till now the Lord gave us wonderful children, obedient, helpful, active members of a society of the church.”

“O, I see, I can still lean something from you. We should meet more often. Could we chat now and then by telephone with each other, if you don’t mind?” asked Rosemary.

“But of course,” said Olga. “That is what friends are for.” They exchanged their telephone numbers, jotted down recipes, and finally had to hurry to finish their shopping. But they agreed it was worthwhile to meet again.