So, I kicked the Covid stuff to the curb ( ha ha ) and leashed my poor dogs who’ve been trapped at home just like me. After a couple delays (thanks Covid Booster) we made it out to the Refuge. As I turned in, Mohammed’s radio began playing and I thought “Yep. This is and has always been my best friend.”
Bear, of course, stood up in back as soon as she knew where we were. We walked our walk accompanied by meadowlarks, a choir that is truly unbeatable. It was great to get out of the house, finally, to cool breeze, fluffy white clouds, a soft day here in the Big Empty. What a relief. Still fatigued from the Covid booster, but mentally a lot better.
Thursday my neighbor, Karen, and I went to Del Norte to celebrate her 70th birthday. One of our adventures was to a newish store that’s opened in the past two years. On my birthday we wanted to go in, but it was closed. We looked at the old lady hats in the window (“When women get old, they get the grand coat and wear a cake on their head” Eddie Izzard.) I said to Karen we’d come back on her birthday and try them on and we did.
It’s a nostalgia store, The General Specific Store. I can’t call it a junk store or a thrift store (too pricey) but there was everything in there from every phase in the life of a Baby Boomer. That made it a perfect place for a couple of women of my and Karen’s “vintage.” There were a couple of boxes of old LPs (yeah, they make new LPs) and Karen sang something by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap then said she wished she could sing better. It was such a time machine seeing those albums. One, Mario Lanza, was one of my Aunt Martha’s favorites. She’d play that album, clean her apartment and sing along (!!) There were albums from our parent’s preference and from ours.
Then I sat down on the most comfortable couch I’ve ever sat on and the young woman who owns the store sat down beside me and we started talking. What? Not normal behavior in the past few years, but wow. Then Karen joined us. The couch faced a wood stove and we all pretended there was a fire burning. The owner’s little black kitty joined us and we talked — visited — for a while. The owner is a very cool girl.
When I got home, I looked for the store on Facebook which is the newspaper and community connector here in the San Luis Valley. EVERYTHING happens there. I think it would make a great book for someone to write, the importance of Facebook to rural communities. There, on the store’s Facebook, which is absurdly authentic for a woman running a store but totally at one with the nature of Facebook in this place, was a quotation that’s informed my life since I was her age — 30 something.
“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”― E. B. White
For years it was over my desk at school. So, I wrote her and told her how nice it had been meeting her and what a nice store she has.
It’s been so long that I’ve been shut out of the human magic in this world that almost matches the magic of nature. Meeting a young woman like that? The magic. I don’t know how her business will prosper; the prices are very very high, but she’s on the main drag and summer is coming. Her merchandise is beautiful displayed and beautiful in and of itself. She’s not from Colorado, but Florida. She kind of got here by accident (I can understand that). 🙂