I'm in Cost Plus on a Friday evening at 5:30 pm, nine days before Christmas. Normally, I would be playing hockey at this time. In actuality, this scene isn't that different.
I approach the counter with various Christmas purchases in my basket, which include a bottle of wine. (The wine isn't actually a gift; it's for me. I have a lot of wrapping to do tonight.)
"May I see your ID, ma'am?" asks the young clerk.
I beam at her and hand over my license for inspection. "Thank you for asking," I say, conspiratorially. "I haven't been carded in ages."
Tuesday morning. 5 a.m. Airport coffee and a plastic chair. Tinsel on the airport art. Fa-la-la-la-la.
Life's been a blur of work and Christmas. Throw in a new hockey bruise and you're up to speed.
Every time I switch on the news, my stomach turns over. I keep switching it on though. I'm starting to wonder if I do it out of social responsibility or as a rubbernecker watching a slow-motion car wreck crash into Washington.
The best I can do is take a deep breath, resist the urge to panic, and look to my local community for ways to help.
I live in the heart of California, and it's pretty dark around here today, sunshine not withstanding. The girls at the coffee shop took my coffee cup and filled it with little conversation. The tables were full, but still. No one would openly debate politics at the office -- it wouldn't be appropriate -- but there's an elephant in the room nonetheless.
I turned my phone off this morning. My feeds and text threads were either full and loud, or so silent they screamed in and of themselves.
Alright, my mail-in ballot is filled out, signed and dated, and waiting for me to drop it off at my polling place first thing in the morning. (Yes, I could actually mail it, but I want to go get my sticker.)
I read a lot this year. Every proposition, from multiple sources, plus constructive debates with friends and family.
I've been busy lately. Busy enough that the to-do list would trail out the door and into the street, were it not digitally kept and maintained.
I have a confession. You may have noticed that I haven't been around much. The truth is, I've been spending time with this other blog. No, it's not like that; I swear. It's a work thing.
So I was brave and I went to my 20-year high school reunion. The family calendar, busy as it generally is, left my husband and I double-booked for the weekend, so we had to divide and conquer. He went off to one event without a date, and I went to my reunion without a date.
I sat there at the kitchen table the morning of the event, staring at the tickets, and wondering if I was going to go through with it and walk in the door that night or not.
We had a nice holiday weekend around here. Between canoeing and a ball game, I snuck in sometime with my fix-me pile in the craft room. I'd call it a "mending" pile, but most of the stuff perched on that small mountain require more than just a little TLC with needle and thread.
Here's one success story from the weekend. I won this t-shirt at a geography developers group meeting in Sacramento a couple of months ago. They give them out as trivia prizes for knowing things like how many degrees of longitude there are in a UTM zone. (It's 6, if you were dying to know.)