Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

Annie and I walked around the block to the park.  We reached the sidewalk ramp where she now "sits" all on her own so I can take the leash off.  I then throw the ball onto the grass where she pees where she always pees.  Then we walk up the ramp and she poops where she always poops.  I pull out the baggies that I always have in the pockets of everything I wear, and pick it up.  We then throw the ball several times, while I scan the field for anyone I know, or it's if a solitary feeling day, we go up the sidewalk instead.

Today I had a question, so we headed out over the field, where there were maybe 10 people and as many, probably more, dogs.  First I scan the dogs - they're easier to recognize, and I often know their names, but not their people's name.  Annie runs ahead with the ball in her mouth, as I realize I don't know anyone by name.  But a guy says "Hi Annie!" and she runs up to him for her pat on the head.  Most people who know her knows she has to "sit" before she gets petted, and so he told her to sit.  Awesome.  That means he knows me, even tho I don't remember him, but in the dog park people world, that is good enough.  Everyone said some version of "good morning" or "welcome".  We chat about the weather (cold), and watch a man a few yards away yelling at his dog.  He's so mean to Rusty, and Rusty runs up to everyone for attention or maybe for protection?  I always want to confront the man, and ask him "how's that yelling working for ya, hmm?"  But I don't because in this town, you have to be careful - he might be a "crazy" and go off on you.  The group of us in the circle glance at each other, all of us acknowledging the same thoughts I'm thinking.

I remembered my question and put it out to the crowd.  "Does San Francisco close down on Thanksgiving night, or do the restaurants stay open?"  Awesome - the majority stays open.  By this time, someone I do know has joined the group and she asks what I'm doing for the holiday.  I know that if I say "nothing", somebody will invite me to their Thanksgiving meal, and I would feel comfortable saying yes, because that's how us dog people are.  It's been the perfect way for me to get to know people - this dog park society.  But I tell them that my son will be here Thursday nite and I hadn't decided whether to cook or go out for dinner yet.  As I listen to everyone talking about their plans, I decide it'll depend on the weather.  If Thursday was a good flying day (no storms cancelling flights backing up the entire system), then I would cook.  If it looked risky like Jeremy wouldn't be able to get a flight until really late, then we'll go out.  I never really know what his schedule is, so the more easy going I can be, the better.

After talking to Jeremy, it's decided.  A pork roast instead of turkey will be easier than a turkey.  Dressing, mashed potatoes, maybe with a bit of cauliflower mixed in, or a bit of yam?  Annie and I go home and get the bike/trike so we can go to Safeway, 6 blocks up from where we live.  At the check stand, I have to put the salad mix, raisins, and ham hocks back cause I don't have enough, and I didn't check the prices beforehand.  Meat is OUTRAGEOUS here, even ham hocks.  Salad mix is always too expensive, but I'm going for "easy going", right?  Raisins are a luxury, so I actually did pretty good.  It's hard to get used to prices here.

I packed the two paper bags into the bike basket, and pedal towards home.  Stop!  There's a guy laying out a ton of books on the sidewalk, so I check them out, but decide he's got high expectations at five bucks a book! for paperbacks.  We pedal on further, and saw a cat inside a store window.  Coolbeans, it's a bookstore and they're selling 2012 calendars and datebooks for $5.00, so I grab one of each, as I keep one eye on my bike full of groceries on the sidewalk as I browse.  I had to leave a calendar of Volkswagons behind.  :- (

As we head on home, riding so easily and effortlessly - I am aware of how happy I am.  I LOVE life this way - getting my groceries bit by bit, doing it on a bike/trike.  I can handle a grocery trip consisting of only 2 bags worth - I don't get too tired or overwhelmed.  I can handle unloading two bags of groceries - it's not too much work that I have to lay down for awhile, even tho that's what I end up doing.  It's because I WANT to, not HAVE to.

After unloading the groceries, we lay down for awhile, so I can get on the computer.  Annie watches out the window so intently that it catches my attention.  There's a hummingbird at the feeder, less than 3 feet away from us!  The movement of my head turning to look makes it fly away, but it comes right back.  Awesome.

As I contemplate the menu and the schedule till Son Jeremy arrives, I realize that I forgot bread crumbs for the dressing.  Or stuffing.  Mom, how come we call it "dressing"?  Jeremy asked for dressing and mashed potatoes, so not having it is not an option, but I don't want to go to Safeway again - the crowd was just beginning to be at my limit of tolerance for people when I left 2 hours away.  And I remember one of the dog park peops saying the checkout lines at Safeway will get up to 75 people!  There's a store that sells fancy bread on the corner, but I haven't been, assuming it would be very expensive.  But how expensive can a bag of breadcrumbs be, I ask myself, so off I went, alone, without the Annie, but with a walking stick.  The little store only had one customer sitting at a table eating a sandwich, but they were loading up a vehicle with dozens of huge bags full of breads of all kinds.  But they didn't have breadcrumbs.  They asked what I was doing with them, and then they suggested their "day old" basket, which had a loaf of something with rosemary in it, and it would make a LOVELY stuffing, all I had to do was break it into pieces on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven for a few minutes.  Awesome, and cheap too!  I can't keep bread in the house, or I will eat the whole damn loaf in two days, but now I have a near-by option less than a block away.  The people behind the counters were soooo nice - that personal touch makes such a difference in a big city.  Safeway has to deal with vast numbers of humanity... which is often not a good thing around here. 

As I walked back home, again, if I could have skipped, I would have.  I am so damn happy here.


1 comment:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you. Give Jeremy a squeeze for me. Been a long time...


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