All posts tagged: people watching

A Stranger At Home

The WideEyedSpouse and I grew up with tens of thousands of strangers joining our city every summer. For years I served them, working jobs at the drugstore, a campground, doling out aloe vera and firewood to heal sizzled skin and provide happy vacation memories. It never occurred to me to wonder what they thought about, what they talked about, what they were like. They were just people filling cars, filling the roads I needed to travel, filling lines at Wawa where I bought my coffee and American cheese with mustard and mayo on white bread sandwiches. Now Spouse and I have joined them. We left town by 1990, we didn’t know it was forever. College, grad school, jobs here and there. We’ve walked beaches far away – other shores on continents on other oceans. In places where no one has heard or will hear of our home town and few people speak our language. Yet, when we think of going to the beach, The Beach is the north end of our home island. Everywhere else …

Ten reasons not to buy a used car.

The plan was simple. Hop in the car. Scoot over the Canadian border to hit the closest Costco and back home for lunch. What? Why Costco specifically? Because friends, they sell Kirkland Signature peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets. And our laboriously imported supply from an Alaskan Costco ran out. Needs must. No other peanut butter stuffed pretzel nugget will do. As the mighty Pathfinder heaved itself up and over the arc of the Peace Bridge, the WideEyedSpouse and I witnessed our doom. Cars. Cars as far as the eye could see gleaming in the summer sun, filled with hopeless dead-eyed passengers, lined up in two endless highway lanes out of Canada. On our side the border lines were short, but leaving…leaving was going to be bad. Once you are on the Bridge there is no turning back, no way home that doesn’t include two border crossings. I looked at the Spouse. “Well,” I said, “I guess we can take our time putzing in Costco.” What we didn’t know? Saturday marked the start of a major Canadian holiday weekend. I …