If you are like me, you went inside a restaurant today for only the third time in two years. Two years!!. Once was for my birthday last June at a very fancy restaurant with our friends. The other two times was at a local diner in Nanaimo that has really good home style cooking in a cozy atmosphere. The owner has come to know us over the years and remembered our predilection for milk instead of cream in our coffee.
Though we still have our groceries delivered to our car, it almost seemed like a normal, pre-Covid kind of day. I don’t know if we will ever go back to the old way of grocery shopping. Honestly, when we are trying to get all of our errands accomplished in the most expedient way possible, the ability to reduce the time spent on groceries to five minutes is sheer brilliance. Suffice to say, I never did like shopping, for anything, let alone groceries. Add up how many hours you spend in a month shopping, and compare it to my fifteen minutes you will see how much more time you have in the month to read a book with a glass of wine.
Sure, we need other supplies but we can get most of what we need sent by mail. Not just through Amazon; seeds and gardening and quilting supplies all can come to my PO Box from independent retailers. Sure, I miss the time I used to spend in book and gardening stores, but I spend hours browsing seed catalogues and quilting stores on line, and also watch for whales at the same time.
Again, this life isn’t for everyone, but when we get home and open the boxes from the grocery store and packages from the mail it can feel like Christmas. Sometimes I have forgotten that I ordered a treat that was on sale at Save on Foods or the material for a new quilting project arrives and it is even prettier than I had hoped. Sure there have been hiccups along the way, like the time I asked for one celery stalk and I got literally one stalk of celery.. I order bunches now.
At the time of my early retirement, I had worked with the same six women for about twelve years. We worked in a small office in a hanger out at the airport. We used to joke that we weren’t at the end of the earth but we could see it from our desk. It was an isolated situation with no coffee shops or restaurants near enough to make the effort needed to venture out during a 30 minute lunch. We had a little break room which was five feet from our desks with a fridge and a coffee pot. Six of us, all day, every day, year in, year out. But the job, on the whole, was usually interesting, often stressful and although crazy busy, we all managed to have a surprising amount of fun together. The boss, as they usually are, was an idiot, but we managed to keep our clients happy despite her interventions.
Looking back, our antics to keep sane were childish, and not unlike something you would see on the TV show “The Office”. One of my favorites was when my friend photocopied 100 pictures of my head from my company ID. She then filled an envelope with the one hundred heads and passed it around the office with a note to “take as many as you need.” For years, pictures of my head were found in drawers and cabinets.
I have mentioned before how fortunate I am to have kept so many of the friends whom I met along my path in my life. Whether through school, work or parenting, even though we live so far away from them all, I have been able to keep the best of the best of them in my life. The blog helps.
Scroll ahead twenty years from my last job to this afternoon when I sat down with my big pile of packages from the Post Office. There was a new pond pump, a new pressure pump for the bunkie, some more vegetable seeds and mysterious package from my head distributor.
She sent me a few of my favorite things, including a pair of socks that were too small for her cause she remembered I have small feet and have trouble finding socks.
Some of us had babies along the way, some of us lost parents and one lost her battle with breast cancer. Over the years we shared a lot of personal information with each other, including, as I now realize, shoe sizes.