Sometimes I stay awake nights worrying about what I will write the next day. I mean really – it’s just a blog. Nobody is going to commit themselves to an asylum if I skip a day. But strangely enough, I feel guilty when I don’t write. You know those two weekends I took off because of company? Guilt trip. I have to blame my sweet mom and dad for that. The “do what you said you were going to do” ethic was taught to me at a very tender age – and even though they are both together in Heaven now, I know they are looking down saying, “Remember you said you were going to write a daily blog? That means daily, Brenda.” (They wouldn’t know who the heck Bree is – they named me Brenda.
So I confess – I have trouble taking a day off – not that I won’t again – this weekend, in fact, when more company arrives. But I still worry about what to write. Sometimes it’s sooo easy – other times it’s a struggle. Like today.
Ideas? None. Inspiration? Nada. Bear and Maddie were being boringly normal, so nothing there. So I picked up my purse, my camera (which I never leave home without anymore), and some over-the-counter medicine that I was returning to the drugstore. I told Ted that I was walking downtown. Maybe I would hit upon a great story idea while I was gone.
When Ted had gone downtown yesterday, I had asked him to pick up some Mucinex. I woke up the night before with a terrible earache, and knowing it was from allergies, and knowing Mucinex has always helped before, I wanted to get started on it right away. When he came home, he had bought Mucinex Expectorant (I asked him if he had heard me coughing. He said no. I asked if that could maybe have been a clue that I didn’t need a cough medicine.) Anyway, I was heading for the drugstore on the island. Now this drugstore does not actually have drugs – at least not prescription drugs – there’s no pharmacist. If you need those kind of drugs, the Medical Center doctor calls over to the mainland to a drugstore with drugs, and they send them over on the ferry (you will need all this information later on).
Right off the bat, I spotted something to take a picture of – two hay wagons pulled over on the side of the road letting the horses rest before continuing up the hill. The two girls driving the wagons were having a chat over the hay, but the horses loved having their picture made.
You remember those beautiful tulips at The Grand? Gone, vanished, disappeared. A crew came in early this morning and dug up every one of them. The ground is being composted and prepared for a planting of annuals on Thursday or Friday.
I had not visited the Little Stone Church at the bottom of Grand Hill yet this year. Of all the churches on the island, this is the one where I feel most at home. It was built in 1902, and stepping inside gives me such a sense of peace. I always take a moment while there to thank God for everything He has done for me in this life. There are more beautiful churches on the island, but for some reason this is the one that calls to me. Maybe it is because it is small, and I grew up in a small church in a small town. For whatever reason, whenever I need solace, I can find it here. The stained glass windows are stunning. Even the parsonage is something out of one of Jan Karon’s Mitford Years novels.
As I turned the corner onto Market Street, I glanced behind me to make sure I wasn’t stepping out in front of a carriage. Instead, I had to jump back up on the curb to keep from getting mowed down by a tandem recumbent bike (bet you don’t see many of these on the streets where you live)!
All the shops along Main and Market Streets are competing against each other for the best Lilac Festival window display. This year’s theme is “American Circus: 1793-1940.” This one at La Galerie looks like it will have to be one of the top three, at least!
I walked down to Weber’s Florist to say hello to Patti who manages the store. I had met her last summer. She had to show me her new European bike. Patti has a problem with arthritis and had been having trouble lifting her leg over the middle bar of her bike. Since she makes all her flower deliveries by bicycle, that presented quite a problem. As you can see, that problem has now been solved. I convinced Patti to let me take her picture, but every time she would get posed, someone would yell “Hi, Patti!” from a carriage. Finally I just gave up and took the picture with her waving.
Ok – I’m finally to the part about the Mucinex. I go into the non-drugstore and explain to the owner that my husband had mistakenly purchased the wrong kind – I needed decongestant, not expectorant. No problem – he tells me which aisle to look on. While I’m doing that, a lady on the same aisle says she is looking for Mucinex decongestant also. We’re both out of luck. I get my money back, and Mary (who I now know is suffering from an inner ear infection) and I stand outside talking. She has been to the Medical Center on the island and is expecting a prescription drug to come in on the 4:30 ferry. She suggests calling the real drug store and asking them to add two boxes of Mucinex to the order. She is staying at the Chippewa and will drop off my box at the front desk for me to pick up. Excellent idea! We walk across the street to the Chip and tell Julie at the front desk what is going on. I give Mary the money I just got back to pay for my box, and Julie says she will hold it for me until Ted or I get back into town (which won’t be longer than 2 hours, knowing us). I told Mary about my blog and asked if I could take her picture.
I stopped in at The Island Bookstore (the very best bookstore in all the world) to look for a couple of birthday cards, bought and had shipped a birthday gift to a friend back home (which I can’t tell you about because I know she reads this blog), and started home. On the way back up the hill toward The Grand, this couple came rushing by me practically running. They were all dressed up (maybe a wedding at the Grand?) and must have been late. The lady had taken off her high heel shoes and was quickly padding barefoot up the hill, trying to keep up with her husband (temp at that time was maybe 56).
A group of children and their grownups had started a pick-up game of soccer on the lawn in front of The Grand.
I saw Anna on the street outside The Grand and commented to her about how bare the grounds look with the tulips gone. Anna is a street sweeper for The Grand, the only female one on the island to my knowledge, and she has the sweetest personality and the biggest smile I have ever seen. By hand, and broom and wheelbarrow Anna and others keep the manure swept up off the street in front of the hotel. She thought about my comment for a moment, smiled and said, “You know I don’t see it that way. I look at that fresh dirt and think of it as a garden of possibilities.” Wow, Anna.
I made it home with my packages and sat down to write. The next time I get stuck for a story, I’ll just grab my camera and go for a stroll. I’ll think of the walk as my garden of possibilities.
View from the Street