There is one thing that seems to happen to me every time every time I visit a store. The first time it happened I was in a big department store, and I was maybe fourteen. And no, I did not look mature for my age.
I am the eternal victim of something that should never happen. This is not quite up to the embarrassment level of asking an overweight woman "When is the baby due?" but it does involve a question that should never be asked.
"Do you work here?"
First of all, if you are in a store and the person you are addressing has a name tag prominently displaying the name of the store along with their own name and you ask them that question they will automatically think you are annoyingly stupid. When I worked in a big box the question would drive my friends up the wall. It never really bothered me, because I would always answer with something like "No mostly I stand around with my hands in my pockets".
But that is not what I came here to whine about. The thing is, whenever I am in a store, any store at all, I am constantly asked that question. A few notable incidents stand out in my mind.
At one time I made my living as a gardener. The gig was not far from my house and usually I would go home and clean up a bit after work before going into town. I guess you could say I really got into my work. I didn't just get dirty. I would get ground in, stinky, dirt in your hair, muddy, perhaps bloody Pigpen kind of dirty, the kind of dirty people notice. Anyway for some reason on this particular day I found myself in a grocery store pushing a shopping cart when someone asked me The Question. Really?
Another time I went into Walmart. I had taken off my nametag but I was still wearing my Kmart shirt. She asked me The Question and when I said no she argued that I was wrong. I think I would know...
And then there are the plant nurseries. I can't begin to visit a greenhouse without at least 5 people asking my opinion on a certain plant. This does not bother me at all because the reason I ever got into the plant trade at all was because I found at an early age I knew more about the plant in question than whoever is running the register.
Now here comes the funny part.
I was at a plant store.
I hang out at this particular store a lot and I am accustomed to being asked The Question there, I always reply "What do you need?" This time I had a question of my own. I asked the lady standing there and she went over to help. In the course of our conversation it was revealed that she did in fact not work there. I apologized. A woman nearby overheard our conversation.
She said: "Wait, I am sorry, do you two actually not know each other? I thought you were twins."
I looked at the other lady and saw a beautiful girl maybe 10 years my junior. She did not say anything. All I could think to say was: "I am flattered".
So, my career as manager of the Watauga County Farmers' Market ended on December 31, 2011. I was maybe a little bit sad at first. That lasted about 3 days. Nowadays I just go around getting a kick out of being Citizen Me.
I gots me a nice little part time job digging ditches. All I have to do is show up on time, wear the right colors, and say the words they want me to say. I have a lot of fun with it. When I leave my time is mine, nothing to prepare for, nothing to print, nothing to report.
I spend my free time raising Lionhead bunnies. I even sell a few from time to time. I am building my own rabbit website but don't expect too much too soon as I spend more time cuddling bunnies than anything else.
I am so excited about owning my life again. I can't wait to see what happens next!
This story is not nearly as interesting as I had hoped it would be. I had envisioned a big old car carrier pulling up in front of my house and dropping off something nice, allowing for lots of photo opportunities. Turns out that my road is not at all suitable for an 80-foot truck, and the delivery took place in the middle of the night, in the rain, several miles from here. I did not even go to see it all happen. I am such a humbug sometimes. I will still tell ya what happened under the condition that you DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!
It all started a couple of months back when my kid found a cute little sports car he wanted to buy. It was listed on E-Bay. I did my best to convince him that buying the car was little wiser than stuffing his life savings into a box and mailing it to a random address on the other side of the country. He was not discouraged and very soon had wired his fortune off to somewhere in California.
Next came the process of arranging the shipping. While it may have been easier and less time consuming to simply drive out there and get the thing, the kid instead interviewed numerous shipping companies. Our phone rang off the hook for about two weeks. The person on the other end always had a very interesting accent and talked way too fast. Finally a decision was made and the calls tapered off gradually.
Some days after that the car title came in the mail. This was rather encouraging.
A couple of weeks passed, and finally we get call from the truck driver. He told us not only was there really a car, but that he had picked it up and that it looked and handled great. The next day a lady called and said the truck, with the car on it, had been put into the shop. The repair would be delayed because of the Thanksgiving holiday, but they expected to have it on the road on Monday. After that it took about a week and a half to cross the country.
The happy day finally came and the car arrived. It seemed to be in pretty good shape. It was actually a salvage vehicle and had to be inspected by the state inspector. He came by after about another week and a few wax jobs. The car passed the test. After that the kid was able to get a license plate and insurance and actually drive the thing.
Here are some photos of the happy ending.
We all have events we attend to connect with the people we know and meet new folks with similar interests. Maybe you do the girls night out, the boy's night out, or the barbecue on the patio.
I do the annual farm tour.
I know, no geeky creds here, but I can flat out show you which squash blossoms you can stuff without reducing the crop, tell you when yer lettuce is pretty well past it, and tell you which weeds are good for foraging.
I volunteered this year at Charles Church's place. It is close to the house and totally awesome.
You need to think about where your food comes from. It is important.
The point of this post is mostly to assure my lonely reader that I am in fact alive, and doing well. I have been busy taking care of the things I am supposed to do.
The fact that I get paid to do these things is not the focus. If money were the object I could do much better. I am hoping that will change. But money is not the important thing. I wish it were not an issue at all.
Back when I was much younger, I played the saxophone in the band. I was never the great musical talent, but I held my own. I really enjoyed jammin' in the rehearsals. Live performances brought a rush you have to experience to understand.
I almost feel as if I am approaching a live performance now.
Sometimes I wish I were a poet. Not just any kind of poet. I don't want to paint pretty pictures that remind you of a summer sunrise. I want to make a statement, but I want to couch it in a nice story. I want to write this story in such a way that most folks would say "oh, I get it", but the person that the story is about would cringe and just somehow know that they were the person the story is intended for.
Sorry to say, I am not that kind of a wordsmith. My writing is, at best, straightforward. There is nothing between the lines.
I am prepared to accept that nobody at all reads this blog. I have been tempted to utilize the therapeutic benefit of getting it all on paper. It would feel so good to tell what I know.
Basically, don't push me. I just may out you.