Five Errands and a Passport Photo

My daughter is going to her college friend’s wedding in India. She discovered that her passport was about to expire, which got me to wondering if mine had expired. I hadn’t used it since I got divorced.  I found it and saw the expiration date was 2019. That’s what the pandemic will do to a person’s travel life.

Actually, it was more about taking care of my sister for five and half years. I was her daily visitor, her only visitor, and my vacations were a day or two or three in Monterey at my little beach house. Now, with the world getting back to normal, I might venture to another country or at least have my passport ready for domestic travel (I don’t have my real ID yet).

On Saturday morning, I had five errands to run, which is easy in my small town’s downtown. I picked up a prescription, bought some groceries at the very crowded Lucky’s, went to the bank ATM to deposit a check, got gas and had my photo taken for my passport renewal.  It’s a horrible thing, not being able to smile and up against a white background. I looked older than dirt in the photo. At least when I smile, it stretches out the wrinkles on my face. Oh well.

If you’re counting, you’ll notice that I still had one more errand to run.  It was a stop at the local thrift store, just two blocks past the bank.  I managed to find a sack of goodies for only $8.00. There was a whole pile of gorgeous doilies, crocheted works of art that someone spent hours making, marked at fifty cents each. I bought just one in my efforts to not buy them all.

I took home my sack of goodies, my groceries, my ugly passport photo and my car filled with gas, did a little yard work, started my new Jeannette Walls book from Costco, and settled in for an afternoon of rest and relaxation. It was my day off from everything.

The Asian man at the grocery store had asked me where to find the REH-sens, and I realized he was looking for raisins. I asked the cashier, but she was new to the store and had to ask over the PA system. When someone finally responded that they were on Aisle 3, I walked with the little man down the aisle until we located them in their red packaging. The man thanked me, and I found my onion, bottled water, apples, Cinnabon bread and Twix bars. In the check-out line, a woman offered for me to go in front of her. She only had one item.

“So you can set your things down,” she said. “I’m retired and not in any hurry.”

“I’m retired, too, but thank you,” I said, putting the two-liter water bottle on the conveyor belt. We chatted a bit, and she commented on how nice everyone was in our little town.

It’s true, people wait for pedestrians and don’t fight over parking spaces, unless it’s Christmas Eve at Costco. Easter Eve at Lucky’s is not nearly as intense.

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