I succumbed to the media hype touting “Black Friday Deals” even though I swore long ago to not ever participate in the lunacy of the mobs shopping on the morning after Thanksgiving. Years ago, eight to be exact, our refrigerator went out on Thanksgiving evening loaded to the gills with enough leftovers to feed a small army. Desperate to not lose the food Mitch jumped in the car and bought many bags of ice to fill the coolers loaded with food that wasn’t thoroughly chilled.
Very early Friday morning we entered the fray in order to find the best price on a refrigerator in stock in one of the many stores that sold appliances. I could not believe the crush of people pushing and shoving each other just to save a few dollars on some totally useless prize. There were men and women snatching up their finds bashing into other shoppers thoroughly thoughtless of their actions. I didn’t hear one “excuse me” the whole day. But I did hear, “watch it” and “that’s mine” a lot. At Best Buy, the line to check out and pay snaked from the front of the store up and down aisles to the very back of the store. I told Mitch there was no amount of money we could save that would cause me to stand in the line to buy the refrigerator. Needless to say, we went elsewhere in search of a refrigerator.
We found one later at Factory Direct Appliance, and were helped promptly and courteously. We paid and loaded up the fridge, swearing to each other that we would never venture out on Black Friday ever again.
But this morning I fell for the hype. I ventured out well after the lunatics had pillaged the stores and had driven home with their plunder. I had my own treasures to find. Where did I go for my plunder? Petco where I bought two bags of dog food and RedX where I bought a case of wine. Got to stock up on the staples, winter is coming. I have priorities you know.
I am so weak.
What is it about a man and a home improvement store? I love to shop as much as the next person, especially for shoes, but come on, what is the enticement of plumbing parts? Shoes and boots have a stylish appeal that expresses your personality that you can show the world whenever you step outdoors. But hose connectors? Who’s going to see them? When guests come over you would show off the tile or pedestal sinks in a newly remodeled bath, but no one would point out the shiny new hoses for the hot and cold water.
But yet Mitch will stand and gaze over the plumbing aisle forever with a look of sheer awe at the variety of shapes and sizes of hoses and connectors. I even asked if he had measured before we got to Lowes and he said yes he knew exactly what he needed. After ten minutes of watching him stare transfixed at the huge assortment, I said that I was going to go to the tile section to find something that would work for the gap at the top of the shower to the ceiling. He said, “Okay,” in a faraway dreamy voice like a drug addict that had just gotten a fix.
On my way to the tile section I found the kitchen countertop that I fell in love with instantly and took pictures of it with my phone so I would remember it later. I wandered through the tile section and came up with all kinds of solutions to the three inch gap. The guest bathroom is not only small in area but with a very low ceiling, so with the shower on, there would be condensation and back splashing that would cause the sheetrock to get wet. With having to remodel the remodel, Mitch is extra cautious about moisture in the bathroom.
After spending a very productive ten minutes finding our new kitchen countertop (this will be Mitch’s next project, although he doesn’t know it yet) and coming up with a number of solutions for the top of the shower I wandered back to find Mitch still in the plumbing section. He had one two inch section of hose fitting and a tube of sealer in his hand. I asked what else he needed and he said no he had everything he needed. So why was he still standing there? It has to plumbing crack. I looked skyward for guidance.
I dragged him away to show him the new countertop I wanted and my ideas for the top of the shower. We made a decision to use porcelain tile at the top and grabbed a couple of pieces to take home to try out. He then said he needed to get caulk. Oh no, not caulk, anything but caulk. I don’t know how many hundreds of tubes of caulk Mitch has bought over the years, but each time he needs to buy caulk, we go through the same process. He stares at the variety of brands, types and colors for minutes, and then when he finally makes a decision, he stands there and reads the entire back section of the tube. Why? What could he possibly learn that he does not already know about caulk having caulked four bathrooms in the last three years?
God help me if the caulk industry ever does invent a new and improved caulk.
We just got back from a long weekend trip to Castle Rock, Colorado to see my best friend in the whole world. Castle Rock is located on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains about 2 hours or so from the foothills. It has been decades since either Mitch or I have been to Colorado. So we went sightseeing to some of the areas attractions. On a whim the four of us decided to drive up to the top of Pike’s Peak. My parents had taken me up when I was a child but I had forgotten anything about it other than going.
Pike’s Peak has an elevation of 14,110 feet above sea level, 31st highest peak out of 54 so it’s no slouch. For some reason though, I didn’t think that 14,110 feet was so high, I don’t know, maybe I was suffering altitude sickness or just that impoverished model of reality that I live in. Because for someone that is not a fan of heights I thought that driving up a winding narrow two lane road in thin air sounded like a great idea. The ride started off nicely with great vistas of the mountains in the background and dramatic cliffs climbing all the way up to heaven.
We hadn’t even gotten half way up when one side of the road was a huge drop off with no shoulder. The side of the road just ended and there was nothing but space. I was terrified to look out the window and over the drop off for fear that the mere force of my body weight angled toward the car window would cause us to veer off the side and plummet down to our deaths. Consequently I found myself leaning over toward my friend trying to will the car’s weight and balance toward the middle of the road. Yes I know a truly rational thought.
When we finally reached the top of Pike’s Peak and got out of the car the second thing that totally surprised me was how cold it was. Yes I know, we just drove vertically 14,110 feet and the air should be colder, but at the base the air temperature was 68 degrees why was it now 28 degrees and I was not dressed for 28 degrees. Plus I was shocked at how little air there was to breathe and I was sucking in as much I could get, but there wasn’t much to go around.
Once I finally decided to quit being such a baby I marveled at the height we were at. We were two thousand feet above the tree line with only tundra and rocks scattered around. The view was magnificent, which as a matter of fact, was what inspired the song, America the Beautiful. After warming up in the visitors’ center, we loaded up and headed off back down the mountain. Lucky me we are going to be hurtling out of control down the mountain at break neck speeds around fifteen miles an hour or so. Woo hoo.