Senior Citizen Musings

For the record, I do feel a twinge of guilt at the thought that my Nana might read this. Not enough not to write it, you know, but a twinge nonetheless.

Whenever possible, I try to do our grocery shopping mid-day. With the stores almost empty, I'm able to browse and meander like a little old senior, nothing but time. Of course, there's a problem with the stores being almost empty. It's just me and the actual little old seniors. And the seniors gravitate toward me as if I were QVC...or tennis balls on a walker...or a small dog to leave in the car...or an afghan to knit...or a rose show at the botanical garden. These are the things that come to mind when I think of seniors. Any chance they'll read this (excluding my Nana) and keep their distance from me?

At Smith's yesterday, I was all alone in the cereal aisle, enjoying my personal space, when out of nowhere an old man came up behind me and exclaimed, "This place is almost turning into a Walmart!"

I turned and gave a little smile and nod. Why do I encourage the seniors? The old man continued. "It will be just like a Walmart soon enough. My father had a store some odd years ago, rest his soul, and he sold bread. Those long breads, you know the ones. They're long. Bread. He sold them for nine cents."

Quite a story. I gave another awkward half-smile, my brow raised in a way I imagine translates to I'm just trying to be polite. Please leave me alone. I turned back to the Cheerios. Apparently though, we had a facial expression language barrier.

"Baguettes! That's it," the old man continued. "He sold baguettes for nine cents on the dollar and this one lady would always argue it's too much to pay and he would tell her, he would say just you wait. One day, they'll be a dollar. And boy was he right! A dollar for a baguette, just like he said."

What did that have to do with Walmart?
This old timey fellow was getting his baguettes for a steal.

Leaving the store, I found myself trapped behind a little old lady. Barely able to see over her shopping cart, she was right in the middle of the walkway, blocking me from passing on the left or the right, as she slooowly trudged her way to the exit. Just as she was passing the final checkout stand, another little old lady pushed her shopping cart forward. Anyone could see what was about to happen, (they were moving at a snail's pace, after all) and anyone in this situation would have stopped walking. Anyone except for these two little old ladies of course, now at a crossroads, their carts touching and blocking my way to freedom.

"Oh," exclaimed one little old lady.

"Oh," exclaimed another little old lady. They both laughed. "I'm a bad driver!"

"I'm a bad driver too," the first little old lady insisted, smiling. "We'd better keep off the roads!"

"Agreed. We'd be a danger for sure," said the other little old lady.

And then I eventually, what seemed like an eternity later, watched as each little old lady made her way to her vehicle and got into the driver's seat.

And then I floored it, determined to return to the safety of my home before either left the parking lot.

The Impossible Task of Photo Sorting

A few years ago, I backed up my millions of photo and video files on a flash drive. I was glad I'd planned ahead...until I actually needed the files and discovered the flash drive had removed all the details! The files were still there, but instead of carefully sorted folders and file names, now they're all in one giant mishmash folder with names like T58146297, unable to be sorted by date. Oh, and the flash drive disaster created multiple copies of the same file in multiple sizes with multiple names.

Ugh.

Today I'm finally making an attempt to organize the files again. It's a slow process though, partly because everything is so jumbled, but mostly because I'm easily distracted. I haven't looked at these photos in years!

With my BFF in 2008, who I haven't seen since that same year.

I was a muddy bride.

 My brother and I in the Seychelles, clearly appreciative that our parents were willing to fly us across the world to a tropical paradise.
(Whoops!)

"Hey, Sexy Nerd, go stand in front of that giant lobster in the rain." 

You think you're aging well and haven't really gained any weight. Then you find a photo of yourself from a decade ago and it's nothing but cucumbers and exercise from now on.

You know, after I finish the junk food we've already purchased. Waste not, want not, right?

Also, those shorts were hideous.

For some reason, I saved a photo of Sexy Nerd pretending to kick a cat, which he would obviously never actually do. This must have been taken around 2004, when we were first dating. It was a really sweet cat. Why did either of us think this was funny?

Sexy Nerd's Match.com photo!
I actually deleted his messages a few times because of this photo, which reminded me of my 8th grade computer teacher. Thank goodness he was persistent.

Should I cut my hair short again?

We tried to stop her, but young Pica was always determined to be as close to the fire as possible. The responsible adult I've become sees this and feels bad for our old landlord.

The little girl in the center of this photo is all grown up now!

Best. Llama. Photo. Ever. 

Sexy Nerd was all about the finger shoes craze.

We'd had big plans for this camper, which we had affectionately named Gimpy. It was ours for about a day before we came to our senses.

I've made it through about 400 photos. Just a few thousand more to go.

Snakes in the Trees

Alternate Post Titles:

Never Stepping Outside Again
Are You Freaking Kidding Me?
This Was Not Disclosed at Closing
OH NO! OH NO! OH NO!

You may recall I was understandably shaken by my first snake encounter at our soon-to-be dream home. Bull snakes are stealthy little ninjas of doom! But that was nothing.

Photo from our neighborhood newsletter.
What the hell, nature? What. The. Hell.

What I want to know is, why didn't the photographer set this tree on fire?

You think you're going to enjoy a relaxing day at a top-rated golf course, breathing in the fresh mountain air, but little did you consider each breath may be your last. These, my friend, are snakes called Red Racers. After learning they reside in my new neighborhood, I did some Googling. What do you get when you search "red racer snake"?

*Warning - not for the squeamish*
(So, I really shouldn't have watched it.)

THERE ARE SNAKES LIVING IN THE TREES, PEOPLE! Aggressive ones. I could be meandering through our 13 acres, minding my own business, and BAM - a gang of Red Racer snakes eats my face off. I think I'm going to be sick.

Our entire property is trees, trees, and more trees. Just as the snakes planned all along.

But there was still some hope for our new home and my face. The photo above of the Red Racers was taken at the golf course. I'm not going to live anywhere near the golf course! It's the grass and the water and the endless supply of unsuspecting victims that appeals to the Red Racers. Crisis averted, right?

Do you see them? I'm never going to spot them until it's too late.
This photo was taken steps away from my neighbor's patio, close enough the snakes could slingshot themselves right into the house, fangs wide and red eyes gleaming.

If you need me, I'll be in the corner, rocking back and forth.

Blackout

We had a blackout here in Albuquerque tonight. Despite the heat, I used the break from Wi-Fi (it seems the only way to get me off the computer is to give me no choice) to enjoy an hour of yoga and meditation. Afterward, I stood in front of my office window, allowing the cool breeze and total darkness to calm my mind further. There's something hypnotic about watching your always buzzing neighborhood reduced to total, silent blackness. No drone of swamp coolers. No conversations escaping from a patio. Nothing. I felt renewed, hopeful for the day ahead and for life in general.

Without warning, the power flickered back on, blasting the lights on porches, street corners, and from windows. And as I continued to gaze from my office, all feelings of tranquility were replaced with shock.

The instant the lights returned, three people in the street took off running different directions. A man and woman together, as well as a man on his own. They were wearing all black and they'd been there the entire time. I'd been staring right outside with no idea.

These three had been using the power outage as an opportunity to break into their own neighbors' cars.

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