The best things in life…

Sweetie and I ran some errands yesterday.  Well, ran is a bit too strong for people our age.  Maybe shuffled some errands, or walked some errands, would be more appropriate.

While we shuffled, Bernie Sanders single-handedly filibustered the Senate.  He didn’t just threaten to filibuster.  He occupied center stage and spoke for over eight hours.  Even if he is two years younger than I am, that’s quite an accomplishment.  Unfortunately, no one seems to care.  The tax thing is a done deal and the rich get rich and the poor get poorer.  Too bad Jimmy Stewart isn’t around to do a real filibuster and bring Claude Rains and Edward Arnold to their knees like he did in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

But it was much too nice a day to worry about deficits, tax cuts, saddling our grandkids with our debts, or whether the Chinese actually believed they were fooling us by declaring their own peace prize while keeping free speech locked up in a dungeon.  It was a day that reminds me why people live here.  And, besides, I was getting hungry.

We had just dropped some mail at Attitude Adjustment and were walking past Vons.  “Wanna split a sandwich?”  Through the automatic doors we went.  In front of us was the refrigerated cabinet that usually contains the pre-made stuff.  Since it was after two, only the perfectly formed sushi packs stared back at us.  Nothing like gummy pre-made sushi to stifle one’s appetite.

I was ready to give up when Sweetie pointed to the young lady at the deli counter.  “She’ll help us.”  After a bit of arm wrestling we settled on the sandwich contents, had it cut in half, poured ourselves one large Sprite, grabbed more napkins than we needed, and paid the young lady $6.79.

We spied an empty bench strategically placed along the parking lot driveway and plunked ourselves down.  Carefully examining the cut sandwich, I selected the larger half and, in a display of uncharacteristic chivalry, handed it to Sweetie.  Two straws served as soft drink dispensers.  We sat, slowly ate our sandwich, sipped the sugary, iced Sprite and admired our surroundings.

The cars jockeying for position around the lot was as close as we’ll ever get to a NASCAR event.  Pedestrians, especially the young ones, seemed oblivious to the tons of moving mechanized metal as they strolled impassively from their parking spaces to the sidewalks.  Familiar faces appeared from time to time reminding me how small a town we live in.  And every now and then I raised my eyes to admire the crystal clear Topa Topas towering above us.

I thought about the folks passing us who might think that we were living on Social Security and couldn’t do any better than a parking lot picnic.  I thought about traveling to the far corners of the world, sailing aboard glittering cruise ships, flying over the Pole, crossing the International Dateline, and exploring deepest Africa.  And the more I thought, the more I enjoyed my $6.79 sandwich.

6 Responses to “The best things in life…”

  1. 1 Bobbie December 11, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    You got it right again! Thanks!


  2. 2 Susannah December 11, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Does anyone know what Topa Topa means? I’ve been trying to find out for ten years!


  3. 3 myrna cambianica December 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    ahh … the small pleasures in life … thanks fred and ila

    re: susannah’s question: just do not do a google for the definition of “topa topa” … i like the one that said it is a Chumash word for village**

    **Chumash dictionary said that “topa topa” is a place name … so the mystery continues



  4. 4 Anne Shrage December 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Topa Topa means much dirt in the Chumash language.. this is information from Julie Tummamait….


  5. 5 Kay December 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    “Ya, you betcha”, that’s life in small town America. Who wants to change it?


  6. 6 leila kleiman December 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I would love to book you into the local community center and invite the folks to listen to you.


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