What to Do instead of Going Online


It’s amazing once a person takes the internet out of the daily equation, just how much she can get done. And how she doesn’t miss it all that much. And how she has time to write about not missing it.

As technology goes, I could take it or leave it. I still shop at real stores (mostly thrift), still write checks, and still read real newspapers. I guess you could say I am a creature of habit. And at my age, those habits have become hardwired. But I also love email, Facebook, and Google.

My little beach house was calling my name the other day, that — plus the stellar weather forecast which is so typical for Octobers at the beach.  Sun, Warmth. Time to pack a bag.

I hauled the two dogs with me, Daisy  in her Thunder Shirt, which does calm her a bit in the car. I made my way down the first of six freeways at 9:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning, before the crazies had a chance to wake up and get behind the wheel.

All of the vehicles were going 70 or so mph, and except for one weaver in a gold sports car, everyone was behaving themselves. When I reached my town, I drove the ritual drive along the coast, noticing guys in wet suits with surfboards, and lots of tourists getting out of their cars with their phones set to camera mode.  My windows were down, and Pepper, the black lab, announced her arrival by barking at everyone in the bike lane from her inland-side window.

I pulled up the shared driveway and saw the piles of trash my neighbors keep feeding alongside their garage doors.  Bill was at the washing machine in his garage, and I greeted him. My house was 59 degrees inside, and I thought about turning on the heater.  Instead I opened up the windows to let in the day’s warmth.

After painting the inside and outside (all six sides) of my new garage side door, I set up the dogs with beds on the patio and headed downtown to hit the three thrift stores open on Sundays (the others are church-run and closed).

I parked in front of the Hart mansion (Dr. Hart built it in the 1800’s) on the main drag and noticed a bunch of balloons around the doorway. People were coming down the steps.

What? The last time I looked the place was up for sale. Now there was a business inside. Another tea room? I had to go in to see the Victorian architecture.

At the top of the stairs I found a teen playing the grand piano and a bunch of people sitting in chairs along the walls. A girl greeted me and welcomed me to Cream and Crumbles.  It was a cookie and ice cream shop.  Before I knew it, I had a bowl filled with cookies to sample and a tiny scoop of vegan chocolate ice cream.

I must’ve raved about the place, because the young worker bees were taking turns coming up to me to tell me about the family upstairs, the twins, and the haunted upper floors.

“Mine is haunted, too,” I said in a matter-of-fact way. “But it’s not mean or anything.”

I told a sixteen year old I was going to blog about the place, and she wanted my card with the URL.  I made my way down the steep steps to the street, where I locked the cookie samples in my car and finished off the ice cream.

Then it was time to pet puppies at the Animal Friends rescue place and buy some stuff next door at the thrift store that supported it.  I spent the rest of the afternoon goofing off until it was time to go home, eat a salad and do some yard work.  In a t-shirt! In October!

Day Two was more yard work, more thrifting, another salad, and a book to finish. Done! After all that I was too tired to paint the second coat on the door.

Dang it! I might have to stay another day.


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