I have known about Peapod for several years now. I even had the great fortune to tour their distribution center in 2010 because of my work as a marketainer. I was impressed not just with the efficiency of the system, but with the variety and high quality of their produce. Tony Stallone, their Vice President of Merchandising, taught me so much that day about how to care for my produce to get the most out of my grocery dollars. But as life goes, despite receiving gift cards and learning great things about the company, I didn’t use the service. I just didn’t cross that starter line and give it a try, for no other reason than I just didn’t feel like trying something new. That happens to a lot of us. To deal with the hustle and bustle of our lives we establish a routine. And even though something new looks potentially like a great addition we aren’t willing to slow down enough to take a risk on change. That is until life takes a serious left turn, throws us off course, and strands us in need. That’s exactly what happened to me this past holiday month.
On that famous 12-12-12 I got 5 missed calls in a row from my mother whie walking the dog. I knew in my gut as I was redialing her that my life was about to change, and not because of the famous date on the calendar. My father had been rushed to the hospital with what they feared was a stroke. It was a tense day of confusion ending with a startling diagnosis, he had meningitis. MENINGITIS! Let me tell you what the doctors told us, it doesn’t happen to senior citizens. No one on his medical team had ever, in all of their decades of experience, encountered a case such as my father’s. The next few weeks every day was unpredictable. My father was frail, needy and just lost. He had no idea who I was, or who my children were. It was devastating to us, but even more so for my poor mother. If you think I am the great energizer bunny, it is my mother who I learned it all from. And with the holidays fast approaching, her grandchildren and I coming for the big day, and my father in the hospital fighting to recover, she was overwhelmed. For the first time she had to say “uncle”. She just couldn’t get it all done, particularly the grocery shopping. You see my father is the shopper of the house. All you coupon clippers out there have nothing on him. He was the original Coupon King. With him laid up in the hospital the refrigerator was starting to empty out. My mother for the first time in her life asked me for help with the holiday dinner. Let me tell you that sent shivers down my spine, because I, the reluctant chef, had NEVER cooked a holiday meal. I felt powerless to assist my parents 90 miles away in Chicago chasing my children from activity to activity, but it was in the stands of my son’s basketball game as I was searching my wallet for my ID that a long ago giftcard fell out and turned on a lightbulb in my brain. It was a Peapod giftcard. Maybe this was the answer I was seeking. I couldn’t remember if they delivered beyond Illinois, so during halftime I stepped out in the hall with my computer, (yes, I go everywhere with it), and logged onto the peapod website and I was startled by what I found.
Not only did they deliver to Wisconsin where my parents live, but they also now serve:
WOW! How much this little company has grown in two years. But that wasn’t all that amazed me. As I started to peruse the virtual grocery store I found many of the items that I normally buy for my kids at big box stores, and much to my delight I found a complete heat and serve turkey holiday dinner.
They had two sizes. I went for the largest portion because my son eats as much as three people these days. (6’5″ at 14 years old, you do the math!) A few clicks more and my cart was full and ready for checkout. Good thing too because the second half of the basketball game was just a minute away. Because I was checking out before 7pm I was able to secure delivery for my Mom for the following morning. I could have it there in Shorewood as early as 7am, 12 hours from that moment. How can that be? But I didn’t do that to my mom, instead I chose delivery between 11am-1pm. Yes, I chose. (You have so much control over your delivery preferences.) I applied my giftcard, plus a promo code I found on line for first time customers, (SEARCH20), added in my credit card info, hit approve and I was done. I got back in my seat for the second half of my son’s basketball game feeling a lot less powerless.
The next day, Saturday, the second to last before Christmas, I was back in the drivers’ seat of my busy life, but North of the border my mother was receiveing a lifeline. She got a phone call alerting her that she was next on the Peapod delivery schedule and less than 20 minutes later she saw this outside her window.
The driver brought all of the grocery bags directly to the kitchen. Bag after bag after bag. My mother couldn’t believe it. Her entire kitchen island was covered in her favorite packaged foods, produce, and some new delectables perfect for the holidays.
She had one less thing to worry about. And in a time when her worry list is overflowing that was a fantastic relief, for both of us. My mother called me to thank me for the gift of the food and of the peace of mind. But I wasn’t the only one she was showering with love, the driver got some too.
My kids and I made the journey to my parents house. Christmas came like clockwork. presents were torn into, joy was spread, smiles were strewn from ear to ear. Then it was time for me to take the stage in the kitchen. I had Christmas dinner to prepare. (Gulp!) Lucky for me Peapod included detailed instructions for the diner. All I had to do was read, unwrap, heat and serve. Even the turkey. I cooked a TURKEY! ( Alright I heated up the turkey, don’t burst my bubble.)
I was proud of the meal yes, but what I was most proud of was the smile that it helped to bring to my parents’ faces. Yes, I mean both of them, because we saved some leftovers for my dad too. He may not have been home to celebrate the holidays so we brought them to him in the hospital. Not even meningits could keep his spirit down, especially surrounded by a loving wife, children and grandchildren. Now that’s what the holidays are truly about.
Thank you Peapod for helping me be the best daughter I could be in a time of need.
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Level 3: Miss Lori was compensated for inserting links from a specific website in this post.
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® #CBias #SocialFabric
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