by J.D. Roth
Now that I’m finished with the bulk of the work on Your Money: The Missing Manual, I finally have time to do stuff again, to live life. Last night I went bowling with the MNF group. This morning, for the first time since late September, I took a stroll through the neighborhood.
“Hey,” Kris said as I rolled out of bed. “On your way back from the gym, I need you to pick up three onions and a bag of ice.”
“Ugh,” I said. I hate going to the grocery store when I’m soaked in sweat. “I have a better idea. Why don’t I walk to the store.”
“Fine,” Kris said. “But then you have to get me a medium latté extra hot from the Oak Grove Coffee House.”
“Deal,” I said. I pulled on a stocking cap, warm gloves, and donned my backpack, then headed out the door. I decided to take the long way.
Right away I knew I’d made the right choice. It was one of those cool and misty grey mornings we Oregonians are so accustomed to. But it wasn’t too wet. I strolled toward Risley Park, listening to the birds and the squirrels and the train in the distance. I waved hello to the folks who passed by walking thier dogs. I smiled to see so many cats watching from windows, waiting for their people to let them outside.
I walked up the hill at Courtney Ave. At the intersection with McLoughlin, I had to wait for the light. As I did, I listened to the murmur from the old men gathered outside GG’s Deli, smoking their cigarettes and sipping their coffee.
As I crossed the street, I spotted another fellow walking 100 feet in front of me. He, too, was wearing a stocking cap, warm gloves, and a backpack. And he was cutting across the old G.I. Joe’s parking lot as if he were headed to the grocery store.
In fact, that’s exactly what he was doing. I followed him the rest of the way: past the hardware store, down the side street, and across the parking lot to Fred Meyer. “I wonder if he took the long way, too,” I thought. I’d just spent about an hour walking three miles to make a one-mile trip. But I was too chicken to catch up and chat with him.
“I need to write this down,” I thought as I entered the store. I cursed myself for failing to bring paper with me. It seems like every time I leave my notebook at home, there’s something I want to write. No problem. I headed over to the school supplies, grabbed a a notebook, and now I’m sitting at a table in the patio furniture section, writing a blog post.
But I really need to get on my way. Kris needs three onions and a bag of ice (not to mention her medium latté extra hot), and I think I may want to take the long way home.
Updated: 30 January 2010