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Four Years at the Mount

Freshman year

The Jubilee

Leeanne Leary
Class of 2017

(11/2013) We find usefulness in the saying, "Donít judge a book by its cover" each and every day with people we meet, classes we start, buildings we enterÖand sometimes even books. In this case, letís take a minute and take a deeper look at Jubilee Foods. Jubilee is a typical grocery store with anything and everything a shopper could possibly want inside. However, it has a lot more to offer that canít be seen at first glance, or maybe not even during a quick trip inside.

As a freshman at Mount St. Maryís, Iím new to Emmitsburg and am still exploring all of its charming little details. Despite this, I am convinced that discovering Jubilee during my second week here will be my most important find in our town. I started school under the impression that I would have to drive to the Wal-Mart in Gettysburg every time I wanted anything more than a bag of apples or a box of Cocoa Puffs, so you can imagine my excitement when I learned there was a place within a few minutes that I could go to for an ice cream fix or a case of water. With its initial appeal and its sheer convenience being obvious, I pulled into Jubileeís parking lot for the first time at around 8 oíclock on a Thursday night and saw a typical small town grocery store. I went inside, got what I needed, and left. It was nice, a little busy, and filled with many Mount students, but nothing really stood out to me as being different than other grocery stores.

The next time I went I had a slightly different experience. I went around noon on a Wednesday and realized there was something undeniably charming about this place in its noontime serenity, before students got out of class and while the atmosphere was still calm. I noticed things I had missed during my first quick trip Ė the small newspaper distribution boxes out front, the American flag poster on the wall, and the "OPEN" sign blinking in the front window. All of this was more noticeable in the natural calm of a weekday morning, but once again, I got what I needed and left.

It was not until I visited Jubilee on a particular Tuesday morning that I realized the true value the store holds. Instead of entering right away, I decided to stay in my car for a little bit. I was in awe at how much happens outside of the store. I felt like I was witnessing a true "parking lot party." Jubilee is so much more than a grocery store; it is a community center of its own breed. It brings together the people of Emmitsburg like nothing else. The parking lot, strangely enough, is the perfect depiction of a small town. I didnít see a single person walk past another without nodding or waving; some probably know each other, but others didnít. I canít count the number of conversations Iíve seen at the back of cars while people are unloading groceriesósome conversations lasting just a few seconds, and others lasting a few minutes. There are single shoppers, couples, friends, and families. There are children, but mainly adults. The atmosphere is unique and incredible, and coming from a small town myself, I found it very comforting.

Iíll continue to make the easy trip to Jubilee because I have yet to have an experience that I would call anything but pleasant. Each time I check out I have been greeted and told to have a nice day. The most eye-opening encounter I had while at Jubilee was when I asked my cashier how she was doing, and she responded, "Well Iím wonderful! Nothing to be mad about. Even if there was, that wouldnít help anyways now would it?" This simple answer showed a distinct knowledge that not many people have, and even fewer would take the time to share. I didnít know how to respond at the time, but I immediately wanted to be her friend! Folks like that, individuals who can brighten someoneís day, are what really give a small community irreplaceable value.

Walking back outside, I experienced firsthand what I had been witnessing from inside my car. I passed three people on my way out, one who had just stepped out of a "Folly Antiques" van, and two men who were walking in together. I had never seen these people in my life, but as soon as I looked in their direction, not one of them hesitated to smile and say, "Hello." In my opinion, itís the simple things like this that are the best parts of a small town, or in this case, a local grocery store.

Jubilee Foods may seem like just a place to shop with some homegrown food inside and an "OPEN" sign on the outside, but from what I experienced, the people in and around Jubilee make it into so much more. They make it a community center, an experience, and a truly pleasant place to be. Never in my wildest imaginings would I have thought a grocery store Ė a place typically characterized by busy shoppers and maybe some screaming children Ė could brighten my day and make me look closer at things all over. At a glance, it is just a simple place, but if you take the time to talk to the shoppers and employees inside, or smile at the people passing in the parking lot, you will see that it has so much to offer the community.

Read other articles by Leeanne Leary