Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Saga Begins

I get asked all the time how me and Terri met. People who haven't known us for very long assume we met at HSN, which is where we are currently both employed. Our story did not begin at HSN, although it did begin in the workplace.

The picture on this page is of Kroger, a grocery store chain that is prominent across the southeast. Specifically, this is Kroger Store #513, on Clinton Highway, in Knoxville, TN. Or more accurately, it is what remains of Kroger #513. Last week we spent our vacation in Tennessee visiting our folks, and as we drove by this sorry-looking structure I had to snap a picture. Kroger #513 was an old store, which had stood in this spot ever since I could remember. I started working there in 1991, and continued there until we moved to Nashville in 1998. Kroger paid for college through its scholarship program, it paid for my car, put me in the middle of a real-life stick up (no kidding!!!), it taught me how to unload an 18-wheeler with a motorized jack, and so many other great life lessons (such as how to fudge the expiration date on the milk so you can get rid of the old stuff before stocking the new stuff).

And of course it was where I met Terri. She started in November of 1994. And, well, I guess it was here at Kroger that my life changed forever.

As I pulled into the cracked ashpalt of that parking lot and snapped off a few pictures, it was interesting to think that if not for this old building, that I wouldn't have been sitting in the car with the woman who was my wife and my beautiful young daughter. Putting it in perspective like that, it made it a little sad to see what had become of the once-bustling with activity #513.

And then I remembered having to clean those bathrooms and all the warm fuzzies went away!

Good luck, old friend! May you be spared the wrecking ball and turned into bright and shiny retail space once again.