What did I learn from the Pig? Here are some things I learned as a child:
-Everybody was always smiling at the pig! I loved the red aprons and pigs on the butcher's hats.
The employees knew my parents by name. People spoke to one another, and grocery shopping was an event, not a chore. I loved the samples, especially the smoked sausage slices on the toothpicks.
-I learned a little about myself too, even as a preschooler. I must have been a little rambunctious, because I was never released from the buggy. I was given a book from the book rack in the front of the store and that took care of things. I didn't ask to get out and I learned that I loved to read! By the time I started school I had amassed a huge selection of Golden books! The not-escaping and the love of the book rack at "The Pig" will come into play much later in my life.
--Just face it, the words "Piggly Wiggly" are just fun to say! And that pig is always smiling. If you can't find some obscure spice or different item, its a sure bet you can find it there!
As an adult, God can use anyone or anything or any place to get our attention: Guess where he has taught me a few things...
--Fast forward a few years, still living in the South, Geogia this time. I'm a young mom with 3 toddlers. The Gulf War was just cranking up, tensions were high everywhere. My mother was quite the expert in Biblical prophecy and had been talking on the phone all day about Armageddon, the rapture, and the end of days. The President was speaking on TV in just a few minutes and all eyes were to be glued. However, diapers wait for no one. My husband said "hurry", so I dashed to the very large urban Piggly Wiggly to get diapers with my three year old son. In this huge, usually bustling store, I counted 4 people including us. The cashier, the manager and us...An empty grocery store is eerie...even the beloved "Pig". My son was antsy, so I make rookie mistake #1...I let him out of the buggy. He was right there, then we passed the candy aisle and he was gone. I called, I yelled, the cashier came running, we ran up and down every aisle, and it hit me: "The rapture has come and I have been left in the Piggly Wiggly and he is gone. Wow, who is gonna believe that I got left behind at the Pig? Oh, wait, everybody I know is gone, now!" More sobs. Just as I am inconsolable, I feel this tug on my leg..there he is, no rapture, no getting left behind, just me and my son, reunited in the empty Pig. Buddy, that was it, though. From now on, "sit in the buggy, get a book and learn to read!" I get the buggy incarceration, now!
--The town we are blessed to live in now is beautiful. Everything is artsy and cute! The Piggly Wiggly here has a huge papier mache Pig, there are t-shirts that say, "Party with the Pig", there is a full wine section with mahogany shelves, fine cigars and a wine steward with frequent Wine-tasting events. but there are also alligator bites, oxtails, pork brains, chitlins and fine cuts of meat!! See... something for everyone!
--I was having a particularly rough stretch a couple of weeks ago in dealing with some issues. I was tired, aggravated, hurt and having trouble finding some boundaries in my own life. Then, there it was...the book rack in the front of the store. On the side with the Inspirational books I saw it: it was way down at the bottom: People Can't Drive You Crazy If You Don't Give Them The Keys. by Mike Bechtle. I have no clue what the book is about, I may read it one day, but the title is enough for now. Now, when I encounter people, I try to tell myself that they are not getting my keys!!!
--As you can tell, there is more to the Pig than good deli fried chicken, fresh produce, wine, cigars, boston butts, butter, eggs and samples. So much more awaits...check out the book rack, the smiling faces, the kids corraled in the buggies and those having a shopping experience and maybe leaving with some life lesson that can't be bought with a debit card!