Long and Winding

Today was completely free and easy, and yet I am so tuckered out from it that I’m in my jammies by 8 o’clock on a beautiful Saturday night.

Woke up slowly and lingered a while. Enjoyed my coffee outside while the dogs played in the yard, then Brad and I decided we were ready to get out and about. I think he was feeling like a bad husband for leaving me alone a couple of Friday nights in a row to play poker, which was really no big deal. I do quite well hanging out by myself. Besides, he often brings home some cash, and who doesn’t love that? Anyway, we considered what to do, and it turned out that driving all the way to Redding (about 50 miles) just to get a few more softballs for men’s league seemed like a smart idea. First we stopped at the Olive Pit, where Brad’s daughter Jasmine was working along with her old friend Anna (home from freshman year at San Diego State), and grabbed a breakfast burrito for sustenance. Then we cruised up Interstate 5.

We roamed around Sports Authority for a while; found a “solo recreational kayak” that would be perfect for me to paddle around lakes in. I sang Brad the well-known Who song with the lyric, “Hope I kayak before I get old.” Bought the softballs and an SF Giants hat for Brad, then wandered around the Mt. Shasta Mall for a while. I got a cute skirt at Macy’s and Brad got another, slightly more adventurous hat–the kind we like to call a Brian Johnson, after the AC/DC lead singer. Brad, who does not spend as much time roaming retail complexes as I do, declared the Mt. Shasta Mall vastly superior to the crappy Chico Mall in layout, atmosphere, and store selection. (I concur.)

When we’d had enough shopping, we hit the highway again, where in the course of conversation we came up with a pretty funny idea for a sketch about a bunch of flamboyant trucking buddies with hilarious CB handles, which I won’t go into too much here. Before you get mad, though, please understand it wasn’t done with any contempt whatsoever. We kid because we love. That’s a big 10-4, Fancypants!

Pretty ravenous around Red Bluff, we stopped at Round Table Pizza for lunch. Now, I don’t eat Round Table often. I happen to be closely related to some folks who own a mom-and-pop pizza joint in our town, where the pies are better (and less pricey) and everybody knows your name, so I will not be caught dead in the local Round Table. It is strictly an out-of-town choice for me, although I do enjoy it every once in a while. So anyway, Brad and I enjoyed some specialty pizza (with a name that sounded more like the kind of marijuana that Cheech and Chong‘s dog ate back in the 70s) and a pitcher of beer while watching the Giants’ game and sitting in a booth adjacent to some Mormon missionaries, who were not enjoying beer or even soda with their pizza, but looked like they didn’t mind that we were. (Say what you want about the LDS missionaries–I’ve always found them to be the nicest of the bunch.) By the way, I not only went carnivorous all over this pizza’s ass, I had two kinds of pork on it. Not too sure what’s up with my dietary boundaries right now.

[NOTE: What was “today” in the above section of this post is now “yesterday” from this point forward. I was too bleary-eyed to keep going last night.]

Our tummies distended, we took the back roads home, which led to a false Facebook “check-in” to a notorious high-school party spot as we rounded a corner and happened upon it. This got me some “likes” and a few LOLs, which was quite validating and made me feel pretty cool. We cruised by fields of “happy California cows,” as the ad campaign says. I confessed to one herd that I had eaten their friends the pigs on my pizza and they didn’t seem to give a damn. You know how intimidatingly nonchalant and tragically hip cows can be. I think one of them might have rolled its eyes at me.

Soon we were home.

[CENSORED.]

A call from my dad asking how his garden was looking reminded me that I had promised to water said garden while The Old Man was off fishing a bass tournament, as is his custom on a lot of weekends. My kind husband accompanied me to the old homestead about 15 minutes out of town and we carried out the task, digging up a few nice-looking red potatoes and confiscating an onion on our way out. I just about stepped on a 4-foot-long snake as it slithered quietly away and hid under a shed. I wondered how my pop would have reacted to this had he been there instead. He hates snakes as much as I hate spiders. Brad spotted a fox standing about 15 feet from the front door of the house. When we tried to get closer to take a picture, it kept its composure and trotted calmly out through the garden, stopping to sniff and paw at something on the way, and into the back field until it disappeared into a grove of eucalyptus trees on the neighbor’s property.

The fox was the highlight of an impromptu wildlife safari, along with all the livestock we’d seen, as well as the snake, a turkey, a peacock, and various other forms of animal life we encountered on the way back to town, where we kicked back the rest of the night, me lounging around, amused by Brad as he pursued a variety of diversions, including practicing guitar along with YouTube videos of Willie Nelson songs and checking the stats of his numerous fantasy leagues related to just about every officially recognized American sport. I tried to blog, but gave up until this morning.

There’s no real point to this post other than to chronicle a wonderful, meandering day and to point out that you don’t have to be doing grand, impressive things to create fond memories. A wonderful time can be had if you simply enjoy each other’s company. Roger that, Lightloafers! That’s a big 10-4 from The Pirate. Thanks, Brad, for always making me laugh.

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One thought on “Long and Winding

  1. Those are the best days!!! I like knowing that I am not the only one that has conversations with cows and other animals while driving around.

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