I get to stay home today, to work on some company artwork without phones to interrupt me. At 11:30, I go into town to work out with Jake at the club. At this time of year, it's important to get out. When I'm at work, I at least have to go outside to use the outhouse while there's daylight, but now that I've got running water, I tend to hunker down inside while home.
I stop by the store on my way home, desperate for greens. Cherry tomatoes are $5.99 a lb. Even the wrinkly ones look delicious. I can't resist. I get a head of iceberg, and an American cucumber because the English ones are mushy to the touch. The fruit all looks sadly picked over. The mushrooms all look like little old men.
The checker has lived here a while - I always pick her line when I'm at this store (unless I'm using self-scan) because she is competent and incredibly cheerful. She bags my produce separately, so I'm only having to protect one bag. It's only -6 out, but there's always the risk of spending $5.99 a lb on a box of cherry tomatoes and then getting home to find that you put that bag too far back in your chilly car and all of your produce is useless for anything but stew. I won't buy bananas below about zero.
I stop at the post office to drop off packages, grateful again that I do online shipping and there is no package slip today - the line this time of year is never less than out the door. I spent nearly an hour there yesterday picking up two packages. I would have had to bring my produce in with me to stand in line... or decide it wasn't worth it for whatever was waiting.
I recognize my old car, Gwen, in the parking lot, and grin like a loon at the driver, who smiles back. I've seen her before and always smile. She wears a fur hat like mine, and probably thinks I'm a very strange, overly-friendly Alaskan nutcase. (She'd be right about part of that, anyway...)
As I drive out of town, the road gets less traveled and more snowy. There are ravens picking frozen roadkill out of the snow.
You can see the recent snow in the tracks that my husband and I left leaving earlier that day. Around the hairpin switchback, and I can see my house below - resplendent and festive in it's new red siding. I'd take a picture, but it's nearly 2 PM, and already darkening into evening - the light is too bad to be a good photo.
I manage to drop my cherry tomatoes as I'm putting them into the fridge, but a little judicious rubbing, and they're still fine for a delicious GREEN GREEN salad that I'm eating now. Cilantro on top, and some dried chives that I won in the last Torn World contest.