This article was originally authored by Sarah Lynn Birde., a local senior, with editorial and publishing assistance provided by the editors of Mississauga Arts Guide.

The creation of this article was made possible through the support of the Seniors Community Grant Program.

It was a normal Tuesday morning, when I went to grab groceries at the Metro. That day the store was empty. I made my list last night and was ready to get in and get out out. I only needed a few things, milk, eggs, cheese, cucumbers, onions and peppers. I was also trying out a new pumpernickel bread recipe that my friend had sent to me, and needed to buy dark rye flour. I didn’t even know if they sold it here. I was trying to find a store employee for help but there was no one there. But then I saw this lady, turning down the aisle. I was already looking in this section for 10 minutes with no luck, so I asked her. She said she didn’t even know, but was nice enough to track down an employee to help look. Together we looked and the employee had to call his manager. The manager told me that they didn’t sell it here.

I apologized to the friendly lady for wasting her time. She told me, “It’s alright. This is the most excitement I’ve had all week.” She asked me what the flour was for and I told her about my pumpernickel bread recipe. She was so nice, she called her son, to see if he could find where to find dark rye flour Mississauga. He recommended Loblaws or Walmart. I was defeated, but she helped renew my hope.

We got to talking. Her name is Anjani. She moved to Canada with her son and his wife, fifteen years ago. The had lived in Brampton for most of her live. It was her grandson’s fifth birthday this weekend. They had bought a house recently in Streetsville.

I told her I was new to the city too. I moved to the city last year to be closer to my daughter, after I retired. By the time we reached the checkout, we were like old pals. I asked her if she wanted to meet again, and we exchanged phone numbers.

Saturday came, and we met up at a walking trail. It was autumn, leaves crunching under our shoes as we walked. We shared stories about our lives, dreams, and hobbies. I told her about my trip to Walmart to find dark rye flour. It was an adventure! A story I will tell another time. Anjani told be about her grandson’s birthday party. His parents bought him a lego set for his birthday. She was mad at her son because Legos are mess to clean up. A mess, she will have to clean up. We laughed a lot, the beauty of the trail matching the warmth of our new friendship.

At a spot overlooking the lake Ontario, we paused to take it all in. Anjani said it was amazing, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s one of my favourite places, and I was happy to share it with her.

After that walk, we kept in touch every so often. She invited me to her home for dinner once and I got to meet her family and her grandson. I never knew she was such a good cook. Sometimes we go on walks together at our favourite walking trail. Our favourite part is sitting down and looking out onto the lake. The one year anniversary of our friendship just passed this October. I was grateful for that chance meeting at the grocery store. Who knew that dark rye flour, can turn into a beautiful friendship.


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