Tag Archives: Shopping

Across

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This blurry image, taken at dusk , from the door of the Super 8 Motel is the best I’ve got to offer tonight. The white picket fence is hiding the traffic from view, as M31 is just the other side of it. If it were clearer, and if there were no obstructions, Lake Michigan would be off in the distance.

This has been a long day!

I was up at six, to make coffee and give Rosa Parks lots of love and attention. I had loaded all the suitcases but one in the car last night. After I showered and dressed, I dropped a few last minute items into that bag – deodorant, toothpaste and make-up, after I used them – and it was ready to go, too. The little dog came with me while I ran a couple errands and brought my luggage to the airport. Then to the kennel for Rosa Parks, who did me the good service of wagging her tail all the way in, and settling right down on the fleecy rug. Back to the airport, then, to meet Aunt Katie for our flight.

What a flight it was!

When the winds of November are blowing hard, and folks ask me whether they should take the (2 hour) ferry boat ride or the airplane, I always say, “Oh, definitely the plane! That’s twenty minutes of absolute terror, rather than two hours of it!”

Well, it was terrifying today!

I’ve been on worse flights, granted.

However, Aunt Katie and I were in the very back of the plane, in the last seat. The seat that would usually have been in front of us (that I could usually grab on to, when the ride was bumpy) had been removed, leaving a wide expanse between us and the next seat. I think that made the turbulence seem more extreme.

I actually called out twice, in terror, as we tossed and tumbled our way through the sky. Even over the water, where a bumpy flight is usually calmer, we leaned one way and seemed to slide through the sky to the left, then leaned the other way, and slid to the right. Aunt Katie was trying to instruct me about the shopping list. I said, “I can’t listen right now, Aunt Katie, I am concentrating on keeping this plane in the air!”

Which made her smile.

On the ground, I got Aunt Katie situated in the passenger seat of the car, collected our luggage, a quick pit stop and we were off. First to LinCare, to pick up an oxygen concentrating machine and the necessary tubes and connectors. Then to Petoskey, to see the first of three doctors on the agenda for this trip.

“Go! Shop! You don’t have to wait,” Aunt Katie told me, “I’ll be here for hours!”

The one and only time I did that, she was out in record time, and standing outside waiting for me…on her wobbly legs…with a big scowl on her face when I got back from shopping.

“I’m fine,” I told her, “I’m going to catch up on  People magazine.”

She was in and out in less than an hour, with a good report and her next appointment set for six months from now.

I picked up take-out from Subway, and cold beer from Rite-Aid. We checked in at the Super 8. I carried in all the necessities. Aunt Katie got settled in. We had lunch.

Shopping, next. I looked over the list Aunt Katie handed me. It was pretty specific, based on advertised specials. Notes in the margin said “4 for $3.00” or “$1.99 each.” “No substitutions!” was written boldly across the bottom. The only Spartan store in the area was quite a ways north, past Bay View. It was the oddest lay out of any grocery store I’ve ever been in! I wandered the store for two hours, before fulfilling the list.

Meanwhile, the rain continued, with dropping temperatures, then turned to an icy snow. I should have packed a winter coat!

I’m in for the night now. We had pizza delivered. I just opened a beer. I think I’ll get into pajamas and watch Jeopardy from the comfort of my bed. Tomorrow will be another long, busy day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Things to Do

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I’m leaving the island tomorrow morning, to take my aunt to several medical appointments over the next two days.

The wind is blowing a gale, and I’m worried about a bumpy flight.If the rain continues, it will be an uncomfortable trip, in and out of planes, cars and doctor’s offices.

Rosa Parks has to be dropped off at the boarder’s at 8:30 tomorrow morning. She doesn’t know it yet. She is starting to get suspicious, though, about how freely I stop whatever I’m doing to give her attention this afternoon. By the time I get the suitcases out, she’ll be hanging her head and giving me the sad eye.

After getting the little dog settled in, I have to rush to the airport – where Aunt Katie will be waiting with my ticket – unload my luggage, park the car across the road in the lot, and run back across to get on the nine o’clock flight.

Things won’t be much easier when we get to the other side: I’ll run to get the mainland car from the lot, load up our luggage, pick up Aunt Katie from the terminal building, and be off. We have one stop in Charlevoix, first, to pick up oxygen tanks for her overnight stay, then on to Petoskey to make her first appointment. I haven’t been to any of the Petoskey offices with her before, so will be depending on Aunt Katie for directions. I can’t remember if there is another appointment tomorrow, or if both of the others are the next day. In between appointments, there is some shopping to do.

My plan is  – after all of that is taken care of – to get Aunt Katie safely back on the plane to come home, day after tomorrow, and to head downstate. I am meeting my daughter, in order for her to help me get a better understanding of the design software I use for the Beacon. I’m concerned that it will be too much work and not enough visit…or vise versa.

All of that worry is playing around on the outskirts of my mind, while the main focus of my present state of near hysteria is the whole mountain of stuff I have to get done before I can leave!

I have to pack what I need to wear, which involves trying to predict the weather and washing and drying at least one load of clothes. I need to remember medicine, vitamins, a few personal hygiene necessities, and make-up.

I have to pack for Rosa Parks: one zip lock bag with her special food, another with her treats, written instructions for dispensing each, her special dish, harness and leash.

I need to be able to work, which means unhooking this computer and packing it up with all it’s cords and surge protectors. I have to bring my big notebook, and my small one, past issues of the Beacon, and my address book for contacts.

I need to water the plants.  There are a couple things that are close to the edge in the refrigerator; they need to be dumped into the compost bucket. The compost bucket needs to be emptied into the bin outside, then rinsed out. I should finish off the macaroni and cheese left over from last night so that I can clean that dish.

I have to get this post written and say right out, I’m not sure where we’ll be staying tomorrow night, or if there will be internet access there. If you don’t here from me for a day or two, don’t be concerned: I’ll catch up as soon as I can.

Oh…well, there…I can check one item off my list. I feel better already!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Week Away…and Other Distractions

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The sun was shining yesterday, when I made my way home down the Fox Lake Road after a week away.

Today, it’s raining.

That’s fine with me, as I have work inside. I’m finding plenty of things to lead me away from the writing and other desk work I have to do; I can live without the further distractions of yard and garden.

After a day’s delay in leaving the island, several hours of waiting for the fog to clear for the flight to the mainland and a great deal of traffic and road work to make the drive a nerve-wracking one, I had a good time down-state. My sister,  Brenda, included me in her twice-a-week water aerobics class. Another sister, Cheryl, arranged for all of the sisters  – along with our friend, Joel – to play Pub Trivia one night. Another evening, we played Scrabble. I had good visits with each of my daughters. I received a beautiful hand-forged gift from Kate’s husband, my son-in-law, Jeremy. I had the opportunity to become better acquainted with Jennifer’s friend, Jamey. I met my two little great-granddaughters for the first time, and managed to get hugs and smiles from each of them. I spent a wonderful afternoon with Madeline and Tommy, wandering in and out of the galleries, bookstores and specialty shops that – along with a few good restaurants – have come to define downtown Lapeer, Michigan. I met the newest member of our family, my grand-niece Hannah, just ten days old. I had a nice visit with my brother, Ted. My brother-in-law, Keith, presented me with a pair of cowboy boots that he found for a price he couldn’t pass up. They fit me perfectly! The week was filled with walking and shopping, and lots of catching-up. There were meals out and meals in, all wonderful, and even better for the companionship and lively conversation. .It was a good week!

Now, it’s time to get back to work.

I made a pot of coffee and turned the computer on first thing, ready to get at it.

And yet…

The little dog reminds me frequently that – after a week alone in the kennel – she needs attention. Rosa Parks is a very social animal, and this was her first trip to the boarders without Clover to share her space. Dropping her off alone was traumatic for me (I saw none of the usual tail-wagging when we got there) and I’m thinking it seemed like a long, lonely week for her. When she wants attention, I indulge her; I was lonesome for her, too.

I have made several trips to the laundry room, to keep things moving there.

I’ve paused more than once to page through new reading material – books and magazines – that came home with me.

I called to check balances on each of my credit cards, to assess my spending habits while away.

I threw out a bouquet of long-dead tulips and watered my houseplants.

I went through a stack of mail, made a grocery list, answered a few Emails and returned a couple telephone calls.

I balanced my checkbook.

Then, it seemed of absolute necessity to report here, on my trip.

That’s it…I’m done! It’s time to get down to work…just as soon as I put those clothes in the dryer.

#38 Johanna Spyri and Heidi

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My life has been greatly influenced by Johanna Spyri and the character she created, Heidi.

I cannot separate them.

I cannot separate them, even, from the book that brought them into my life. I have it here in front of me. The cover has illustrations from other children’s books – Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, Pinocchio – in many colors over a gold background. A large blue rectangle in the upper left hand corner displays the title in bold white upper-case letters. The binding is torn and the edges of the pages are discolored. Inside, there is only one color illustration, at the front. There are a very few black and white pictures at the ends of some chapters. Some child wrote “T e e” in pencil on the page that lists the contents; lines in red ink frame the word “HEIDI” on the title page. On the last page, in a childish scrawl in blue ink, I wrote, “A very very good book!” My name is written in cursive on the top right hand corner of the first page, just inside the cover. The “Y” in Cindy has a curled flourish at the end of the tail and the “G” in Ricksgers looks much more like a “Q”. The entire signature looks a little wobbly. I had just turned ten-years-old when I wrote it.

I received the book from my mother and father, for my tenth birthday.

I was an early reader, and enjoyed books, but had never owned one all to myself.

I don’t know if I’d ever read a chapter book before.

Heidi was sassy, smart and kind. She loved animals and the outdoors. She was not intimidated by her gruff Grandfather.

I fell in love with the mountains and the meadows and the wind in the treetops; with Meadow Nuncle, his cabin and workshop, and with the goats. I cried when Heidi was sent to the city, and suffered through all of the horrors of loneliness, confusion and sadness with her. I despised Miss Rottenmeier and pitied little Clara. I rejoiced when Heidi was able to return to her mountain home and read with interest how her new knowledge and worldliness improved the lives of those around her.

I remember the feeling of wonderment, that words on a page had such power over my emotions.

I wonder at it still, though I’ve learned to expect it.

This was the beginning of a lifelong love of books and reading, that has enriched my life beyond measure.

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Distractions

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The dog days of summer.

Heat.

Humidity.

Lethargy.

We take our walk early, the dogs and I, before the sun gets too high in the sky. I take a cup of coffee with me these days. No brisk walk for exercise, but rather a leisurely stroll. I watch the dogs chase chipmunks and listen to the birds and chipmunks tease them from the treetops. When my coffee mug is empty, I fill it with wild blackberries. Leaves are already turning color in the woods. Cool mornings make me aware that Fall is just around the corner. Sometimes, back home, I sit in the shade of the maple tree with a book, savoring wild berries for breakfast, enjoying the breeze, slowly getting ready for my day.

The days are busy enough.

Many employees have gone back to other lives on the mainland, so our work force is diminished. Vacationers are looking at the “last chance to get away before the weather turns” so business is still good. I’m still learning and adjusting to new routines, and I’m getting more hours in than I did for most of the summer.

I’ve had company here. Three of my sisters and other family and friends came for a week on Beaver Island, and to help me celebrate my 60th birthday. We had good talks and several excursions, outstanding meals and lots of puzzle and game time. Every spare minute, I wanted to spend with them!

I decided to read Jonathon Kellerman this summer. He’s a good writer of not-too-dark murder mysteries that are written in series with the same cast of characters. Easy to follow, not too heavy, mindless summer reading. Except that I find them hard to put down. And he’s a very prolific writer. Having never read his books before, I’ve been blasting through a book a week, and will still never finish his Alex Delaware series before the summer is over.

Blackberries, as I mentioned, are ripening. It’s easy to start by just looking, fill a hand, then a hat, then rush back to the house for a bowl. A wander ’round the yard turns into a serious walk around the property and before I know it, an afternoon is gone.

In my garden, I’ve been harvesting potatoes and tomatoes and squash. Everything else is finished for the season, and just as well, because I’m weary of it. I had big plans this year that never quite came to fruition, and left me feeling behind and discouraged in the “gardening department”. I’m over it now, and looking forward to next year.

We are all noting the passage of time, here on Beaver Island. Many restaurants and gift shops are seasonal. Fall is in the air. School will be starting soon. Every day I hear someone say “I need to get out there before they close for the season” or “We won’t have many more beach days this year”.

I have a list of things I’m anxious to write about. In anticipation of my birthday, I wrote a list of the sixty most influential women in my life. My sister, Cheryl, and I had a long talk about Life Lessons. I’m planning to elaborate on my visit with my family, my jobs and on turning sixty.

Right now, easily distracted, I’m trying to experience and enjoy all the summer has to offer, before the season is done.