Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Merrily On My Way...

One way to travel!
I used to travel a lot, and I will travel again.

In the interim I am forced to entertain myself by making up stories in my head, pretending that I have an exciting life, and hoping that no one will notice why I am  speaking French to no one in particular at the gas station.  Unbeknownst to the casual observer, I could in fact be in France in that particular moment although it LOOKS like I am at the Mobil station in Naples, FL.

The adventure begins…, but not in France....

Backing out of my driveway every morning is not unlike being on safari in Africa.  Herds of wild cats scatter away from my slow moving tires as I set out on my daily adventures. Okay, okay, some of them are abandoned domestic house cats, but the others are, in fact, feral.    "I know Kenya will be just like this!"  I lie to myself. And yes, I know cats are not referred to as herds but that’s what I’m calling it and it’s my story.

The speed bumps in the neighborhood make my Jeep wrangler twist and rock, as if I am driving on the open savanna.  I’m not even out of my subdivision and already I have saved myself $12,000 by staying here and going on safari instead of off to Africa.  Birds of prey are perched on the dry, leafless branches of a few dead trees, and the heat shimmers from the road creating that illusion of an oasis of water in the distance, only to have it disappear from sight as I get closer.

I miss this kind of market!
Now, crossing six lanes of traffic to get to the Publix Super Market will be the next challenge on this journey.  Only a short distance is provided to allow me to traverse across the first three lanes in order to get into the left turn lane.  During rainy season (or off season as we call it here) it is not as treacherous, but when school is back in session and snow birds have migrated back it can be a harrowing adventure, fraught with risk.  And that is only the first three lanes.

Eventually I make it across lanes four through six and end up safely on the edge of the open Publix parking lot. It has only been 45 seconds since I left my house and my heart is racing with excitement.

I look for a space that has a palm tree shading it so I can have some protection from the sweltering sun.  From the back of the Jeep I grab my Winn-Dixie grocery totes (I do that on purpose) and quite frankly if I had a large woven basket handy I would at least momentarily consider putting it on top of my head and swaying on in to the grocery store.  I’m all about creating my own reality, and the basket on the head thing seems like it would be a perfect complement to the story going on in my head.

Having embarrassed myself too many times in the past, I quickly come to my senses and abandon that little fantasy.  It was fun for a moment though.  Maybe next time I’ll dig out my feather earrings and caftan from the early 70’s.  That basket will fit right in then!

Suddenly a song from long ago fills my head as I approach the entrance to the market.  “We’re merrily, merrily, merrily on our way to nowhere, in particular!”  This could be my theme song, I tell myself, and I recall fondly hearing my mom sing that song as we kids would pile in the station wagon and go with her to the grocery store.

Now I get doesn’t fall too far from the tree!  I am my mother's daughter.

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