Typical day, except maybe it wasn’t. After a late night of football it was noon before I woke up. A cup of coffee and classical Christmas tunes while I defogged on the computer screen. Checking the radar there was still time for a shower before my venture out.
With a break in the rain, I pull the pony out and buckle up. It is still very warm but a very grey dreary day. Timely weather for today’s anniversary.
There is not much traffic out. What traffic there is has to avoid the FedEx and UPS trucks zooming around the neighborhood placing those packages too heavy for Santa. Mounds of wet slick leaves block my usual path and clog up gutters forming huge lakes in the road.
Stopping at the entrance of the shopping mall I see where everyone is. A steady stream of cars, SUVs, trucks, min-van all searching for a spot to fill. With excellent examples of bad driving it seems I have more to dodge than natures ice and speeding elves. Safely finding my spot I notice everyone, and I do mean everyone, is going to the grocery store. They must have gotten the same memo.
Without finding a small cart, I pull out one of the battleship models and shove my way into the fray. Why didn’t I just turn around and avoid this mess? This is the Christmas spirit and I must dip my toe in. Besides, I want to get something for lunch. There are young people and old people and couples and packs of folk all checking their list then checking it twice to make sure they get all ingredients for that family recipe with rice. Every aisle is blocked with panicked shoppers but I got time so I just stroll through wherever I can find a path. All the little bumper cars were wheeling around and even a guy with a white cane.
It gives me joy to not be stressed this time of year. My biggest concern is where can I find rolls for the hamburgers I’m going to have for lunch. So I ponder the news of the day.
What is all the concern about Rootin’ Tootin’ Putin releasing member of a punk rock band? No one ever heard about Pussy Riot before all the fuss. Maybe because the Pussy Riot band are females? Maybe because the female Pussy Riot members are cute? Maybe because reporters can say Pussy?
And what is this about sending Marines to Africa to rescue Americans who are living where civility is breaking down. Why do they only send 150? They used to say a company or a squad or a division? Is that how many the government has to spare? Why are they coming from Spain? And why are they bringing Ospreys? I thought they had stopped using or making those planes/copters things? What about Marines to Chicago?
Crashing back into reality as the couple in front of me stop to discuss their list. Do they know they are holding up the flow and rhythm of the season shopping? Just back this super size wired pushcart around and head in another direction. The mustard aisle seems very popular so I’ll go over to the bakery. Seems a couple with a overflowing cart had to barricade the bread as they wandered off to view the produce or something. With no regard to this lack of proper cart etiquette, I moved on again. Should I bury a whole onion or should I try to climb over this woman’s cart to get one that is already sliced? Should I avoid the burger idea and just get another pizza like last night and the night before. Pussy. It is fun to say.
Do these people know this is my only venture out of the house with no real binding agenda? Does the woman who blocks the aisle next to the tacky Christmas decoration like she needs one more bobble or ribbon know that I don’t care? What about the health care law? I don’t care. What about the 1% pay raises for government officials? I don’t care. What about gun control? I don’t care. What about war? As long as I’m not getting bombed, I don’t care. What about….. Oh, I forgot mayonnaise. This wagon needs a warning bell to turn around so I don’t knock over any of those who were lucky enough to get those little scooter carts.
Finally the mood of the season was warring thin and my tummy was starting to growl. I shoved my almost empty wired companion into the paying line and waited my turn. The sky had gotten darker but checking the passing cars they did not have their wipers on. Are wipers becoming obsolete, as I have read? I don’t care. I thought I had chosen the shorter line but it was not moving. The woman in front of me had successful emptied her cart and placed rubber barriers on both sides but everyone was just standing around. The guy in front of her was just standing there smiling. The check out attendant was smiling. It was if we were waiting for something or someone. There was no rush or hurried expressions. Just this silly smiling while other lanes was moving the product.
They finally found and scanned the last item and we were on the path of leaving this gaiety of gluttonous consumption. Packing up to the sound of a trumpeter, the parking lot was still a mass of incoming and outgoing vehicles. It was time to get back home.
After my lunch of burgers with red onion, mustard, mayo and bread and butter pickles and watching old television shows, I went out to pick up the mail. That’s when I saw it.
On the front bench next to the mailbox was a box with a card in a plastic bag. I knew what it was but I don’t know why it is there. I looked around at my neighbor’s porches but did not see similar packages, but it was late and they may have already been collect.
The box contained a card wishing me a happy holiday from the lady who lives behind me and her son and two dogs. The box also contains a homemade coffee cake covered in a sugar glaze.
Last year I put the cake out for the yard critters. I decided they would do better on the sugar rush and I would. They seemed to enjoy it. A few years ago I delivered the holiday cake to a snowed in mother.
It is a nice surprise but I don’t know why she continues to do it? I don’t even know her name.