This morning was my Monday thrift store day in Carmel. It’s always Day Two of my trip to Monterey County, and it’s always first thing in the morning, before Highway One gets jammed with tourists heading to Point Lobos and Big Sur.
The thrift stores are not in Carmel by the Sea. That part of town is filled with restaurants, art galleries, and designer clothing shops. The thrift stores are further down the road, on the inland side, near the two shopping centers, the Barnyard and Crossroads, where real people eat and shop and buy their bottles of Mucinex.
As I turned off Highway One and onto Rio Road, I saw the median with weeds sticking out on all sides. This would never be permitted in the touristy part of Carmel, but here they were, growing as tall as could be, right in the middle of the street. It somehow makes Carmel more real and down to earth for me. Even hoity-toity Carmel gets weeds.
The ladies at the first thrift store can be a little cool in their demeanor toward strangers. They eye me in my baggy jeans and multiple layers on top and wonder why I show up twice a month even though I say I’m not local. They keep asking me to pay with cash instead of a credit card, so one day I asked one of them where the Bank of America was.
“It’s right next to Starbucks,” she said.
“Where is Starbucks?” I asked.
Another woman walked up and joined in. “It’s right next to the Bank of America.”
I’ve learned that older volunteers at Carmel thrift stores are not good at pinpointing locations or giving directions.
Today I came with cash at the ready. No more mysterious Starbucks storefront to find. I bought my eleven dollars worth of garden pots from a jolly fellow who didn’t care what I paid with. I got my punch for the punch card, which means next time I might get $10.00 off my purchase if I can find something that I just have to have.
The second thrift store had some Christmas CD’s that looked good (I am sick of mine). The third thrift store had a beautifully illustrated children’s book from the 60’s and some other trinkets.
I headed to CVS to use my coupon which expires today. I bought another bottle of Mucinex in the hope that I can lose this headache before chorus tomorrow night. It’s our first rehearsal with the symphony director, and we have been implored not to miss.
Tonight I will veg out in front of mindless TV, read the 8th book of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, and hope my sinuses will drain. Tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment for Sis. Since we have the same doctor, maybe I can squeeze one in for me as well.
I have officially switched over from cold salads as my main meal to hot soupy foods. You know what they say. Mom’s chicken soup is good for what ails you. It might not be Mom’s or even homemade, but it’s got to be better for unclogging sinuses than romaine with stuff on top.
Another day in paradise, only this time it comes complete with a 7-day headache.