Great-Grandpa Went Out For A Loaf Of Bread: Returned 5 Months Later

Lefty Graves

** This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by my father, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

My father has long had a habit of going to the grocery store and coming back with everything on the list, except for the loaf of bread. We were laughing about this the other day when my father suddenly remembered this story.

My great grandfather was sent to the store for a loaf of bread, and he didn’t return that night. My great-grandmother, who he had been married to since he was in his late teens, didn’t bat an eyelash, according to the family story.

One afternoon, about 5 months after my great grandfather had gone for the loaf of bread, he returned home. Great grandmother knew that there had to be a story behind why it took him five months to go and purchase a loaf of bread when the local grocery store was only a few blocks from where they lived at the time.

My great grandfather walked into the kitchen that afternoon and placed a loaf of bread and a large sum of cash on the dining table as he took his bride into his arms. After a hug and a kiss, she asked him what had taken him so long to go and get a loaf of bread.

My great grandfather smiled and said that as he got to the store that day, his friend that lived out of town showed up with a herd of sheep that he had been talking to the market in a nearby town. His friend needed help herding the sheep.
Herding SheepHan Mengqi/Unsplash

My great-grandfather told my great-grandmother that there wasn’t time to run home and tell her because the sheep were scattered, so he had to hurry to help his friend. In exchange for his help, my great grandfather made nearly $500, which was a lot of money in that day.

I laughed as I heard this story because I knew my great-grandmother before her passing, and I remember her as a fun-loving lady who wouldn’t put up with any nonsense. I’m sure great-grandpa had his share of a stern talking to before he went to the grocery store ever again.

The next time my father was sent out for a loaf of bread, we all reminded him to come straight home and not to go out herding sheep. My family is full of great stories from yesteryear. Does your family have any funny stories from yesteryear? Please share your stories with us in the comments section.

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Lefty has been writing online since 2000 on various topics, including youth mentoring, addiction, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming & more. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington state.

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