Monday, July 5, 2010

Just a Quick Trip to the Store

Some of my stories I tell out of my own experience; for some, I seek out information to share in response to a comment, question or curiosity; and sometimes stories come my way.  Like on Saturday -- a whole pile of stories fell into my lap while I was just out doing some shopping!  Here's a sampling:

At the fruit stand the young man asked what plans I had for the 4th of July.  We'd be having an early celebration for our son's 20th birthday, I told him.  Twenty years ago, on the 4th, I was a very hot whale, just waiting for delivery.  The mom behind the counter told us that through the summer before her September baby came, she'd take her chair to the beach and plop it in the water with her little ones playing around her, as the tide went in and out, just staying cool.  That's definitely cool!

When I pulled in to Bartell I saw Nancy, an employee who seems to be working every time I shop there.  Except for a few days last week, she told me, when she and her husband took a trip to the Olympic Peninsula.  They hadn't made arrangements for overnight lodging but when they got to Forks they thought they might like to spend a night at a bed and breakfast.  Glancing over the list, they decided the Miller Tree Inn, a 1916 farmhouse, sounded like a lovely place.  They were pleased to see that there were vacancies.  A rather baffling note on the door read, "The Cullens aren't here.  They are in Hollywood just now, so you will be served by the innkeepers."  Nancy thought that a little odd, but they knocked on the door.  Their innkeeper greeted them and Nancy asked about the Cullens.  The innkeeper told them that this was at the Cullen House from Twilight, and again Nancy shook her head in confusion.  "Do you know what Twilight is?" asked the innkeeper.  Why, yes, said Nancy, "it's that time of day between daylight and dusk."

By now the innkeeper was a bright shade of red, and she was dismayed that Nancy and her husband did not know about the current teen vampire book series called Twilight.  Neither did they know -- or much care -- about the movie series that is so popular just now.

I left the store and went to the car, stowing my purchases in the trunk.  Out of the store came an older gentelman, whistling.  I complimented his whistle and he came over to chat.  He saw my half-flat of strawberries in the trunk and then showed me his hands, stained red from the berries he'd picked that morning in Skagit Valley.  He used to work on Wall Street and lived on a farm in New Jersey, where he grew his own strawberries, among other things.  He taught me a couple of dutch words (his heritage) and we chatted about Princeton and preaching.

One more conversation happened at Haggen when I saw my friend Peter, who has just finished his masters in public policy and is hoping for a job with the diplomatic corps.  Maybe one day he will be in the US Embassy of some exotic country where we can go and see him.

Whatever happened to "a quick trip to the store"?

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