Silver Lining

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.

“This is great, Martha. See the tumbleweed?”
“Yes, T. I do.”
“Can we keep it?”


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.

“I had this one!”

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). 🙂



37 thoughts on “Silver Lining

  1. Sounds like a fine outing, with some unexpected treasures, not the kind one needs to buy! Should you ever need a sparkly gown, you know where to find it.

  2. You let Teddy keep it, right?! LP’s…we gave my son a record player for Christmas and for his birthday next month, I bought him several old LP’s that I had growing up–I was so excited to find them in the record shop! What’s old is new again.

    • Karen and I talked about whether we knew anyone who had a record player and we don’t. It was just cool seeing them again. ❤ And no. If Teddy kept all the tumbleweeds? Enough of them gather in my driveway.

  3. Oh, this is wonderful! The Big Empty, the choir, your friend, the owner, the quote (one of my favorites~when asked what my favorite first line of a book is I always quote Charlotte’s Web. E.B. had so many deeper than mud life nuggets to share. This post made me smile huge! 💛💕❤️

      • Yes! The wind has been brutal here~allergies a bigger deal than usual~for both of us. When I feel trapped inside nothing works for me. Lol 💛❤️

        • Same here. And wind? You can’t wear a warmer coat to make it stop like you can with the cold. You can’t negotiate with it at all. Even the animals out there find a sheltered place and wait. This has been a very strange spring. ❤ 😦

  4. There’s nothing like a walk with the dogs to turn life around. And the shopping jaunt with a friend made the day even better. I’m glad you had both to help you kick the covid blues! I do understand about getting out of the house — I was headed out with the camera this afternoon, until I learned that a spring had broken on the garage door, and it would only open 6 inches! Instead, another afternoon of the paper chase while I waited for the repairman to arrive!

    • the houses we live in often have their own ideas about what we’re going to do. I’m sorry about that!! worse than the shot has been being trapped inside by the wind. I’m glad we’re getting a break. I know by tomorrow the shot will be a thing of the past. But… You know. Santa Anas are the same deal.

      • Hmm — governed by my house?! What a thought! And I do understand about the wind — I can’t remember for a long time a spring as windy as this one has been But I expect tomorrow will be like today has been, and maybe I’ll be able to take the camera out then!

        • Seriously — if something goes wrong with the house? There you are until it’s resolved. I hope you get out tomorrow, too. Bear and I are (I hope) going out alone together. I love Teddy but Bear doesn’t get to do Bear things when we all go together.

          • I expect Teddy doesn’t get to do Teddy things either when you are all together — I love it that you can take them in turns so they each get to be themselves some of the time! But I’ll bet they were both pretty happy to be out together today, after several days indoors!

            • Bear doesn’t like to go without Teddy. I have to trick her into letting me put on her leash. But once I have, she’s VERY happy. Teddy understands, “You have to stay home.” and he sits in the kitchen. I don’t know if he moves when we’re gone or not. And don’t worry; Teddy ALWAYS does Teddy things. When we go together, Bear very conscientiously and sweetly walks at heel beside me. She doesn’t have to, but she does. Teddy pulls and smells and generally does all the great things dogs love (except chase cars!) If I take Bear alone, she gets to smell everything. I don’t know if they talked this over or what, but it is pretty amazing to me. They are really good dogs. ❤ ❤

              • It’s fun to anthropomorphize that last paragraph! Bear: ‘Mom’s mine when we’re together — you’re too young to understand.’ Teddy: ‘Great, Bear will take care of mom, so I can go off and play.’ Bear: ‘When Teddy’s not along, I don’t have to protect Mom, so I can do Bear things.’ I love that you can walk with either or both and see these behavioral differences!

                • I think everything here is 100% accurate except they don’t think of me as their mom. I think it’s more the other way around. They’re MY guardians. They spend a LOT of time making sure NOTHING and NO ONE hurts me. It’s often pretty annoying… 😉

  5. I love these kinds of stores! Did you know that yesterday was Record Store Day across the USA? A local record store (that still sells vinyl as well as CDs) had all kinds of promotions. We still have a turntable – same one for over 40 years and lots of vinyl; though just a fraction of what we had before we downsized. Of course much of the reason for much of that is probably because my husband is a musician.
    Also – very nice to see a young woman so wise beyond her years. 🙂

    • “My” radio station (which is in Chicago) played album sides all day yesterday and it was GREAT.

      It makes sense to me you’d still have a turn table and albums. It’s an aspect of music that’s really very wonderful. It was wonderful thumbing through all those albums. ❤ There were a bunch we wanted to play.

  6. So glad you and the dogs were able to get out and point your noses to the sky (and to the ground too)! That boutique sounds very interesting… We have one here called Inspire Me. Way too expensive but a lot of fun to visit! We were just talking about vinyl albums. Sparky’s brother collects them and has a massive collection. He has several turntables. We only have one. He offered to take some of our records off our hands but Sparky isn’t jumping for that plan…

    • I got rid of all of mine (two copies of Days of Future Past) when I moved here. They were in the shed in a box. I hadn’t had a turn table in decades… 😀

    • I appreciated that, too. I think she knows that having local people return might be the core of her business. Most of the business here happens in summer with the Texans driving through on their way to summer homes etc. and treating everything as if they own it, but that’s where our money comes from .

  7. This post is a trip down Memory Lane for a lot of us. Janis Ian. Gary Pluckett. Haven’t heard those named for for forty years. 🙂 Tumbleweeds we had aplenty last fall and there are still a few drifting in the wind this spring, too.

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