Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Where you at?

I know, I know - that's the line fom those stupid Boost Mobile commercials. But it's in my head so that where I'm starting this.

Yesterday I went downtown (what passes for "downtown" here!) to run a few errands and visit with a few people. During that time 3 different people stopped me to ask "where I was at". Which sounds like an odd question when both the questioner and the questionee are standing on the same small square of sidewalk in the same small town on the same small island.

In this town, it is not uncommon for people to start working very young, work mutiple jobs, and/or continue working when technically "retired". This is a town of worker bees all right - dedicated to serving the queen bee tourism. And for the first time in a long time I'm not one of them. After working full-time, part-time, and being an unpaid volunteer for years - I've stepped out. For one year.

So in this case, it really isn't a question of geography. It's a question of employment ('cause everyone works right?). It doesn't really surprise me that people are asking and I realize I'm a kind of out of the norm right now. But that's okay by me - and I'm grateful to have the freedom and opprtunity.

Even though I just went overtown 10 days ago I had to go back over again today. The management of the parking garage (in their infinite wisdom) just decided (less than a week ago) to do maintenance work on the lower levels so all the monthly parkers (islanders) who have been fortunate enough to grab spaces under cover (including me) on the lower levels have to waste one entire round trip (and $$$) just to move their vehicles up to the roof so that the maintenance work can be done (and our cars can get crapped on).

Anyway, I didn't want to waste the trip so I drove to at a place so near and dear to the hearts of islanders - Trader Joe's. I know you take that place for granted, I once did too! One winter of our grocerey store and you'll be ready to worship in the church of TJ's and call the Fearless Flyer your bible. After that I was satisfied with how the day had gone, but I as I was driving back towards the boat I saw a sign for a Farmer's Market at the World Trade Center in Long Beach.

For all the photos of yummy fruit and pretty green veggies, what I can't give you in a blog post is the amazing smells. Vanilla, cinnamon, lavender, orchids, and those guys at the big open grills? Ohhhh wow. Just beyond desciption.

So to go back to where I started. This morning I was in Torrance, this afternoon I was in Long Beach, and now - as most days - I'm anchored down in Avalon and doing the best I can.

*with apologies to Michelle Shocked

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