Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chronicles of A Left Turn at Albuquerque, continued

Eventually Grace and I wandered back to the car and got out the salads that we had packed for lunches. I had brought lots of extra spinach (those premade salads never have enough greens) and some dried fruit/nuts, and we enjoyed it all at a picnic table in the breeze.

In fact, the breeze may have been a bit more than some bargained for. The nice volunteer from the program they were having at the Nature Center that day who was doing an art project with the children at some nearby tables under the overhang got a bit more wind than was strictly necessary for drying the projects a couple of times. It was all laughs and smiles, though, because it really was a beautiful day, the art was a fun project involving paint, and it was a time just made for fun.

Lades wandered over and shared some fruit and nuts, and the talk turned somehow to Trader Joe's.I had heard, of course, of the store, but we have none of those in Louisiana (just like we don't have Costco, BJ's Wholesale, or Aldi -- I guess we are too far into the back woods for some chains to get to us, or they don't like our weather, or something). Grace, it seems, lives in an area that does not have this particular retailer, but she loves the place, and goes whenever she can find one where she is traveling. This time there was one difference, however. Most of the time, she is flying, and therefore limited in what she can buy there. This time, she was in her own vehicle, and if we could pull off a visit, she could enjoy buying what she wanted, and not have any trouble getting it home.

We went back to where it was time for the volunteers to pack up for the day, and helped Pickles get everything boxed and bagged and into Lades car. Script had decided to go back to her hotel to rest. She has a few health related problems, and really needed to do so, especially as she had been "official photographer" for Pickles during the 2 days of this event. Lades was looking a bit peaked herself (turns out later she had forgotten to take her thyroid medicine, and was feeling it). She still agreed that a trip to Trader Joe's sounded good, so we packed Pickles and her stuff into Lades car, and followed them there.

Turns out Trader Joe's is a very nice place to shop in many ways. I was feeling tired, but they had small coffee samples, just enough caffeine for me for that time of the afternoon. I didn't really get to "see" as much there as I would have wanted, but I did see enough to know that I
want to go back, and that I have to watch what I buy there.

I came to these conclusions as I wandered the aisles talking to Pickles and buying her something to eat (I had been wanting to get her something, anyway, and this seemed very practical, she needed to eat, and soon, it was already halfway through the afternoon and she hadn't had lunch), talking on the phone to West, one of the people who had wanted to come out to meet us, but couldn't, and negotiating the regular Saturday crowd of shoppers.

The adventures continued as we lost track of and found each other through the store, passed the phone around (West wanted to talk to all of us, and we all wanted to talk to her, too), selected purchases, and I, as the new person to the TJ's experience, oohed and aahed over the interesting selections. Grace's debit card, it turned out, had a block put on it by the hotel, which swore it didn't do that, but did, and a nice man in the line actually paid for her purchases -- I didn't realize
all of this until later, or I would have done it, and just worked it out on the return trip. We found ourselves outside the store, I was a bit breathless, and Pickles rode with Grace this time while I rode with Lades, just to give us a chance to talk to someone we hadn't chatted with as much yet.

Lades and I didn't follow Grace and Pickles directly back to Pickles farm out in the countryside. First, we stopped off for gas. We drove past the interstate on ramp to look for a station, and found one a few blocks over. At first, Lades thought we were lost when we did this, but I pointed out my philosophy of lost, that we are still in the US, still in New Mexico, still in Albuquerque, following alongside the interstate on a parallel side street looking for gas, another on ramp will come up or we can ask for directions. We did find a station, took that same street to the very visible on ramp, and got back on our way with no trouble.

Then we also stopped at Lades hotel to drop off her TJ's purchases and use the facilities. There, we received a call from Pickles. Seems in the car trade off we forgot that Pickle's keys were in Lades car, were we on our way yet? We got on our way.

Lades had some of the most interesting gadgets I had ever seen in her vehicle. It seems the handheld phone with internet she had also plugs into the car and programs the radio, is a GPS, and I wouldn't be surprised to find they are trying to build and autopilot into them for cars. She talked on the hands free phone to her husband, told the radio what to play, and followed the bleeps on the screen right to Pickles' front door, which was open by now. It seems Pickles is not just a very talented poet and artist and farmer, but a pretty good burglar, too.

Today is:

Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day (At your own risk, good thing this fell on a Sunday this year! Although one website has it listed as being on the 14th.)

Cirio De Nazare begins, Brazil

Clergy Appreciation Day

Cloud-Stamping Pentathalon -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of Real Family Values (Whose family? And who decides?)

Festival of the Snow Geese

Herb Day

International African Diaspora Day

International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction (Better take this matter up with Mother Nature directly, folks.)

It's My Party Day

National Gaelic Mod begins, Scotland

National Sausage Pizza Day

Simchat Torah -- Jewish

St. Gomer's Day (patron of woodcutters, cowherds, & those unhappily married)

Vinalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (wine festival)

Birthdays Today:

Joan Cusack, 1962
Steve Young, 1961
Dawn French, 1957
Elmore Leonard, 1925
Art Blakey, 1919
Jerrome Robbins, 1918
Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884
Henry John Heinz, 1844
George Williams, 1821 (founder, YMCA)

Today in History:

Massive earthquake strikes Aleppo, Syria, 1138
Columbus' ship sites land on the horizon (the Bahamas), 1492
Huldrych Zwingli is killed in battle with the Roman Catholic cantons of Switzerland, 1540
Peter the Great becomes tsar of Russia, 1689
Explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee at the Grinder's Stand Inn, 1809
The first steam powered ferryboat, the Juliana, begins operation, 1811
Australia's oldest university, University of Sidney, is inaugurated, 1852
Thomas Edison patents his first invention, and electric voice machine, 1868
The Great Chicago Fire is finally extinguished, 1871
David Houston patents roll film for cameras, 1881
First female FBI "special investigator", Alaska Davidson, appointed, 1922
With the opening of store # 1252, in Milford, Delaware, J.C. Penney becomes a nationwide company, with stores in all 48 states, 1929

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