Today was the day my two friends and I drove an hour south of me to pick-up our bulk orders. I now have 50 more pounds of oats, 50 more pounds of wheat berries, plus other necessary things such as salt, sugar, cocoa powder, and the like. Oh, and I picked up another large food grade storage bucket, because we needed to have a place to store the game bird feed for Q. This amused my friends enormously. It actually amuses me enormously as well, though I'm the one who has to figure out where to store another bucket. (It's more difficult in this kitchen. In my kitchen in the Big Ugly House, I had designed the pantry to accommodate my dozen plus buckets.)
While being able to buy in bulk is helpful, what we really look forward to is going to pick it up. This is because it means several hours in the car (without children) and uninterrupted time to catch up with each other. And because we leave in the morning, there is no way we could get home without also having lunch as well.
Today was even better since we added in a little thrift store shopping. Elburn has a great thrift store that I have become a frequent visitor at. My friends also really appreciate a good thrift store, so we had to go. I scored a couple of very nice scarves for 69 cents each. I also picked up a couple of small Christmas gifts.
But most of all, it's just a giant excuse to spend some time together. Between us we have 28 children. While a good half of these children are grown, it is still a bit difficult for us to find time to see each other during the course of our ordinary days. Me moving an hour and a half away has not helped the situation, either. So twice a year, we use the bulk order pick-up as an excuse to clear our schedules and spend time together. We've been doing this for well over eight years, possibly a lot more, I lose track. It has becomes a sort of sacred time in all of our calendars. Not all of us can make it all the time, but for the most part, we do our best to make it work. Really the only downside is that the fourth member of our twice yearly bulk food excursion team (the H-S mom) moved and cannot join us. I really don't know why she doesn't want to come to Illinois from the west coast to purchase her oats!
So now I'm stocked up again, both on food and time with friends. Once we figure out the snow clearing situation for our drive, it can feel free to snow with abandon.