Eat what you can carry
Due to an unforeseen event in early April (someone speeding on the highway possibly fell asleep and definitely crashed into us), I have been doing my grocery shopping on foot these past weeks. As grocery shopping used to be one of the rare tasks for which I would use the car, this has been an adjustment.
Luckily, we have a selection of shops just a couple kilometers away, an advantage I am aware that many people do not enjoy. And my legs still work well, even after said unforeseen event, yet another advantage. Overall, I can’t complain too much.
But having to physically lug stuff around, even if only on the 20 minute walk back from the shops, will make you much more aware of your consumption.
According to an online population estimator tool I consulted, 30,000 people live within 2 kilometers of the shopping center I’ve been visiting. Not many people get their groceries on foot around here, and I think it’s possible they could learn something if they gave it a try. Even if that “something” is just greater empathy for people who never enjoy the use of cars and aren’t lucky enough to live so close to stores.
“No, I’ll wait until you’re done”
I go to appointments at a place where there are various offices that share common hallway bathrooms. As the hallways are technically outside, the bathrooms are always locked, so you borrow the key from whatever office you’re visiting and off you go.
I was in one such bathroom this week, washing my hands, when came a knock at the door. This had never happened before. Weighing the fact that a person wishing to enter should have a key (rules!) against the possibility that the knocker was in urgent need of a toilet, I paused my handwashing and popped open the door, waving the fellow in. He shook his head and declined. Puzzled, I let the door close and completed my handwashing. “There you go,” I said upon exiting, as I held the door for him a second time. “Thanks, sorry,” he said as he hastened past me into the bathroom.
It was only after I’d had a little time to process the particular words he’d spoken that I came to understand the nature of our confusion:
“No, I’ll wait until you’re done,” he had said the first time.
You see, friends, my theory is this: He didn’t know it was an always-locked bathroom! No one had bothered to tell him about the keys. He thought it was locked because a person was in the bathroom. And the kind of bathroom where one person can go in and lock the door behind himself (or herself) is… a single-person bathroom!
Not a multi-stall bathroom, as this bathroom certainly was.
So, it’s just possible he thought I was inviting him to come right in and use a single-person bathroom while I was still in it, like some kind of weirdo!
I wonder if I’ve got this right and when, if ever, he realized his error. If I had gone back, perhaps we both could have had a good laugh about it. (Or perhaps this would have made it even more awkward.)
More sidewalk acquisitions
Since we last spoke, sidewalk acquisitions (curbside offerings I find on walks and drag home through the neighborhood) have included a rather nice matching couch/loveseat set and a screen door. The couch/loveseat operation required considerable ingenuity, with old two-by-fours bungeed atop a furniture dolly to expand the surface area so it could support both sides of the frame. It was really more of a two dolly, two person operation, but I managed it with the available resources.
The sight of me rolling a precariously-balanced full-size couch down the middle of our street (the pavement was smoothest there) prompted one neighbor, watching from his front yard, to remark “It’s not every day you see a couch coming down the street.” Indeed, it is not.
Let me know if you think of anything more ridiculous than a couch to transport in this fashion. So far, all I’ve been able to think of is a piano.
Mockingbirds are everywhere
I read the Harper Lee novel before I ever encountered one in life, but now I can hardly open a window or go for a walk without hearing untold numbers of them, each working his individual perch with endless birdsong and spectacular gymnastic maneuvers. From sunrise to sunset, he tries to catch the ear and eye of a passing someone. It’s only a matter of time until he succeeds and gets too busy with family life to continue this way. For now, he has our attention, and we enjoy his antics.
(Contrary to the book title, however, I wouldn’t kill any bird. Though I have been known to politely request that a hawk leave our birdbath.)
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Naomi Judd, who succumbed (per the family’s statement) to “the disease of mental illness.” Which I fear may mean what many are assuming it means. Here she was three weeks ago. The usual admonition to never judge your insides by someone else’s outsides applies.