Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 251

we went today. tim and i folded our tall selves into a two door cavalier and stephanie drove her car to cranbrook across an open highway underneath a grey winter sky. stephanie is a happy go lucky girl and an artist so one of our first stops in this town was a paint store. she arranged for the paint to be mixed and as she collected the four small quarts of color i leaned over the counter. ''could i get two 5 gallon paint sticks please?"

the home hardware employee looked at me confused. ''for these small things?''

"yea. for leverage?" i joked. she wasn't buying it and i looked over at tim. time for the pseudo-memory maneuver.

"actually, my dad's a painter and when i was a kid i'd go to the paint store with him. he'd buy his paint and sometimes i'd ask for a couple 5 gallon stirrers and my brother and i would play with them. i just wanted to relive the memory."

she smiled this time and rolled her eyes in mercy. the story worked and she must have thought tim was this brother i spoke of so she handed us what we'd requested. we had no solid plan for the stir sticks. it was more a matter of asking for the fun of it. tim later used them to spread cream cheese on bagels for lunch at the hot springs. not an easy feat.

there was a large secondhand store we visited that had both an upstairs and basement. usually these places are exciting but stale coats and dusty junk were scattered all over the building. i stood in a room of piles of old, overpriced furniture in sole appreciation of the power of fire. this place needs a big fire.

we were in wal mart to buy food for lunch. i hadn't been to a wal mart, or a mall for that matter, in a few months and being in one of the bellies of this blue corporate giant made me feel awkward. uncomfortable. unwise and cheap. tim even mentioned the same feeling. must be the effects of community and living in a small town. i don't think i want to buy from wal mart anymore.

the hot springs were our second to last stop. after an icy adventure down the trail to the river and rocks, we soaked and chilled before making one final stop on the way home.

the welcome at stephanie's grandparent's house would have easily outdone any movie's greatest portrayal of elderly hospitality and humor. her grandpa walked into the kitchen and, before even getting our names, exclaimed humorously, "and in those days giants walked the land." her grandma was kind and joyful and shooed us to the kitchen table. she was about to split their own two dinner portions to share with us until we insisted that we had already eaten and were heading home soon.

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