So Many Treats

Yesterday was a day of treats. I went on a day trip with a couple of friends to the big city. Or rather a big city since Colorado has more than one big city. I often joke about having gone to the “big city” when in fact I merely went to another small town, though one that is three times the size of the town where I live. But this time — yep, a big city. We also went to a medium-size city, but that doesn’t sound as exciting as a big city. Since these cities are on the front range, I was able to see mountains! (Contrary to what a lot of people think, there is a large swath of Colorado, including where I live, that is so far east it has no view of the mountains.)

In the big city, we went to an Asian market — a supermarket full of Asian food products and housewares. For my Asian friend, it was like going home. For me, it was like going to a foreign country. If that was the only store I ever had to shop in, I’d probably starve to death, which just goes to show that what is a delicacy to one person is completely unappetizing to another person. (I’m trying to be diplomatic here, so I had to find an adjective other than “gag-worthy” or “revolting.” And yet, what do I know? I have eaten a hot dog or two on occasion.) I’m sure there were plenty of tasty things in that store, but I was just as glad not to have to take a chance.

After we left that “foreign country,” we went to a buffet which was very nice and very tasty, then on to a warehouse store that seemed just as foreign to me as the Asian market. So much food and sundries, and in such huge quantities! I was surprised to find eggs — and not just eggs but pasture-raised eggs, which is a classification that I’d not seen before. Surprisingly, the eggs were cheaper than regular caged-chicken eggs, but even if they weren’t, I would have bought them. I know it’s not exactly a topic most people care to think about, but truly, most egg production in this country is truly appalling.

The biggest treat of all, was that we got back in the dark, so when we dropped off my friend at her place way outside of town, I got to see . . . stars!!! Lots and lots of stars as well as the bright band of the Milky Way. Wow.

It’s funny — when I went on my cross-country trip, I looked for places with dark skies, but I’d never seen any sky as dark or any stars as bright as what I saw last night. Even the previous times I’d been out there at night, the stars weren’t so stark. The moon hadn’t yet risen last night when I was out last night and wouldn’t do so for several more hours, and there was very little humidity in the air, both of which contributed to that totally dark sky and the so very bright stars.

So many treats!

And that’s not all. Today, I’m spending the day by myself, and that too is a treat.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Walking in the Dark

Here I am again, scrambling to write a blog post before the day runs out, though this time it’s not because of laziness or procrastination but because I was working all day and just got home. Not much happens to inspire me on such days, though I did enjoy walking home in the dark. I so seldom get out in the dark any more — there’s generally no need to — so even though I am always offered a ride home (sometimes insistently), I refuse. It’s only two blocks, and the problematic dogs are gone — one moved away with the problematic neighbors and the other canine died. (That woman should never be allowed to own pets. She told me that if she were a dog, she’d rather run free even if she ended up getting hit by a car, and guess what. Since I’ve been here, she’s had three dogs, and all three were killed. Weirdly, I even know the person who killed her last dog. Even weirder, now that I think about it, he knew it was her dog, so her blasé attitude must be well known.)

What I’m getting at is that the walk is as safe as possible. (Obviously, nothing is completely safe, but there are relative matters of safety. For example, there are a heck of a lot of places I’ve lived that I’d never even set foot out of my door in a dark evening, let alone at night.) It’s also fun this time of year seeing the colored lights. There are nowhere near as many here as there were in my dad’s neighborhood — those people must have thought that the only way to offset a non-snowy desert Christmas was to flood the town with Christmas lights. The decorations are tepid here in comparison, but still enjoyable.

The past few years I’ve made a point of doing a bit of inside decorating for Christmas — putting up a small tree and my bowls of lights if nothing else — but I’m not sure I want to make the effort this year. I will be spending the day by myself, and it seems rather absurd to put in so much time digging out the decorations and setting them up just for me, but then, on the other hand, perhaps that’s when it’s most important to make the effort.

I still have time to decide. Or not. We’re already into December! Amazing how that happens — time passing in huge chunks when one isn’t paying attention.

I used to think all those folks who got ready for Christmas early were jumping the gun, but now that I am aware of how fast time goes, I’m surprised more people don’t start getting ready in September or August or July.

But I am digressing. I was talking about walking home in the dark. Not only are the artificial lights pleasing, so are the natural ones — the stars that make themselves seen. You’d think out here there would be more stars visible, but admittedly, the lack could be in me and my old eyes rather than the meager light pollution generated by the sparse street lights. Luckily, there are enough lights to brighten my way when walking home, so I really shouldn’t complain about light pollution.

I got home safely, and in the end, that’s what counts.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

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