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August 20, 2013

A Canuck in Kantuck: Back to school behavin’

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — I don’t know about you, but for me there is something about Back to School that makes me feel especially industrious. This is always surprising to me, as I would normally define myself as someone who likes to buck, rather than embrace, routine. But this time of year is different. The house is quiet, the season is on the brink of changing and, far in the distance, there is the delicious promise of Thanksgiving and Christmas. What better time to put your nose to the grindstone and re-establish habits that had been whimsically dropped during the luscious summer?

Yesterday, this involved re-committing to using reusable bags at the grocery store. Again and again over the summer, I’d get to the cashier, realize I forgot my bags, and plead with the bag boy to fill up the plastic bags as full as he could to try to compensate for my forgetfulness. But bag boys at Kroger, I’ve found, are somewhat reluctant to do this. They don’t like the soap touching the produce, the meat touching anything else. So inevitably I’d end up with several bags every trip, which I’d stuff into another bag. Eventually, by the end of the summer, that mother bag had become a big, springy puff that hung in our pantry and was exactly in the way of me getting to my aprons.

I didn’t even realize the bag was slightly stressing me out until yesterday when I finally pulled it down and took it to the recycling center. I also filled my car with all of my re-usable bags that were hanging beside the puff, also preventing me from having easy apron access. Now the pantry is wonderfully clear of the clutter and I feel like I’ve gotten an important part of my life in order.

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