Friday, June 24, 2011

The Power Has Left the Building

I was heading out this afternoon to mail a few parcels and run to the grocery store when I heard the postage meter reset itself and then I heard the printers click off; but it still didn't register as a problem. A few minutes later, I heard the ringing of the phone from the garage and immediately thought there must be a problem with the answering machine. Sure enough the answering machine was off, along with all the electronic equipment in the office, lights were nonfunctional. Handygirl that I am, I checked the fuse box and flipped a few switches...no response. I picked up the phone in the garage (aka shipping department) and got a dial tone. There is something to be said for the old technology -- the phone out there is from the 60s, a "Princess" style wall phone that is ugly avocado green and requires no electricity to function properly. When I moved in to this place I couldn't bring myself to change it up -- you see I have a penchant for things of the past. I thought about going my way and running my errands but stopped when I realized not only would the garage door not open, there was a good chance they would not be able to check me out at the store. So I was pretty much stuck here for a bit.

In the silence of the power outage, I flashed back to 1967 and life in Sunset Beach in SoCal. I used to shop at Woody's Market -- times were much different then. Woody's was a little mom and pop store that had been in operation for years and was now run by the son of the original owners. To get what I needed, I just had to leave my front door, walk across what used to be the Red Car tracks and enter the back door of Woody's on the corner of 10th and Pacific Coast Highway. Every thing I wanted was right there -- and here's the kicker. When they checked me out on some old-fashioned kind of register, they handed me the receipt, I signed the back, they then slipped it back in a paper envelope and at the end of the month, I went in, they totaled the receipts and I paid what I owed. They simply knew me so they trusted me. Sounds crazy, but I hold fond memories of that little store. One day while passing the meat counter I overheard Mrs. Turner, who must have been a hundred years old and was one of the longest living residents of Sunset Beach, ask Dave, the butcher, for a chicken chest. Yes, a chicken chest...she was a proper woman and just couldn't bring herself to say the word "breast!" I looked at Dave we both smiled and went about our business. I visited with Mrs. Turner several times a week -- she had the best stories of rumrunners on the beach during prohibition, old beaux and a life well-lived in that little corner of the world. I know people say you shouldn't look back, but I like looking back. I think it is important to look back and to hold on to dear memories. So, to better fit my personality, I've changed up the saying -- "it's okay to look back, but you just can't stare."

When I think about it all, I really feel fortunate to have lived the life I have...through it's ups and downs...it's all been very good and truly wonderful. I don't think there is one thing I would change...at least not that I can think of a this moment in time. (Okay, so there are a few men I wish i hadn't dated and I am sure they feel the same way about me.) So, that being said, once again, I find myself at the end of a post feeling grateful and content. It's a very good place to be.