I was famished. The bowl of sugar-and-raisin oatmeal in the convent dining room had supported my painful break with the nuns I had lived, as well as the long drive into the city, to the upholstered rental in a fourplex. It was May 1974.

My closets and dresser and cabinets already bore the mark of its new owner. Only the shelves in the kitchen lay bare. I needed everything. I would have to make a list of groceries and head over to Kroger’s. Not having been inside such a store in seventeen years added to my distress. The stool swayed beneath my weight as I grabbed pen and paper and recalled items that my mother used to keep in our kitchen when I was growing up. I would do likewise.

Such were the first of years of forays into supermarkets, each one stoking confidence in caring for my nutritional needs, despite the late start. Eventually, my grocery lists began to reveal patterns of entertaining others, as well, the result of sharing recipes and cookware. Working in my kitchen no longer set me on edge

Fast-forward to 1987 saw another significant change in my grocery list: no sugars, no wheat products, because of which I enjoyed more energy and less arthritic symptoms.

And still another in 1999: the Edgar A. Cayce diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis, one I still adhere to, with almost no joint inflammation.

But the most significant change of all occurred on September 17, 2020. As I prepared to make another grocery list at my kitchen counter, my helper recognized my weakened condition and took over.

A small change engulfing my present world, to be sure, but still significant—It smarts, bruises my ego…