Staring Squirrel

A squirrel sat propped up on a branch with its legs tucked under it just like you would set a stuffed animal on a bed. The tree was right outside my home office window. The squirrel stared at me with unblinking black eyes and didn’t move. I looked away and when I looked back it was gone.

Earn Your Welcome

The South Carolina Welcome Center on I-95 southbound is 100 miles after you cross the state boarder. They want to make sure you’ve committed to visiting the state to earn your welcome.

Dialing for Jesus

The highway is filled with billboards imploring drivers to call Jesus. Doesn’t he know that would be distracted driving?

Echoing Memories

My footsteps sound loud on the tile floor and my voice echoes off the bare walls. They moved in here 20 years ago and it has passed quickly. It has been nearly the entirety of my children’s lives.

The dark wood furnishings and oil paintings came from a home up north and they never seemed to quite fit the Florida golf community. They made friends, built new lives in a new place and they made memories.

We visited every year for the holidays. There were beach trips, shopping trips and playing at the pool. Even though the last few months were difficult, it’s the happy times you remember. The things are gone but the memories remain.

Out and About

I had several errands to run and it felt strange to go into places like normal, except wearing a mask. Even though everything has changed. The library is the most different. They still only let you pick up books on hold at the entrance with a reservation. The Apple Store had lines and monitors outside that were limiting the number of people entering, and even then only when your pickup or repair was ready. REI had a greeter outside, presumably to help with curbside pickup. And Target just had a sign that said masks required.

Spam Becomes Junk Mail

I got a letter from the cable company that says proposal at the top and is formatted like a proposal printed on heavy pink paper. I got a letter from the auto dealership that looks like an email from the sales person’s boss with fake handwriting highlighting that the offer is still good. The offer, by the way, is that they will pay “top dollar” for my car, and they happen to have great deals on new cars. And finally I got a postcard saying that I haven’t contacted (company not named) to activate my vehicle service protection.

There’s more cost in sending me these solicitations than barraging me with emails, but the techniques of their copywriting and designs are adapted from spam created to confuse and trick people.

First Shot

I’m on my way to being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Truckload Sales

A truckload sale implies a lot of something. The store got a deal on a full truckload of something and they will pass that savings on to shoppers. There are things, however, that should not be sold as part of a truckload sale. A truckload of meat sale is one of those things.

Two Bananas

One of the challenges of having someone else buy your groceries is that they sometimes misinterpret your instructions. The Instacart app is pretty clear when ordering produce, but shoppers can get confused. I ordered 2 bananas. I received 2 bunches of bananas. That meant I got 12 bananas. I’ll be freezing nearly half of them for smoothies.