Today icy rain needled the snow on the ground until it shrank back several inches from the piercing fingers of "Spring North American Style."
I was grateful to be cosily warm inside all day, but at 3.00 I decided to leave the house to run some errands, deciding that the efficiency of a Friday afternoon versus Saturday for shopping, would be worth braving the nasty weather.
My first stop was our little post office, in the basement of the St. Catherine of Alexandria church hall. I recently lost the set of car keys that had my mailbox keys on it, so I had to get replacements. Laurie, the postmistress was discussing the high price of propane in Ontario, with two customers. The price has doubled and it has cost her $6000 to heat her home so far this year! She said that people she knows have had to leave their homes and move in with family to get through this bitterly cold winter. I had no idea!
When I got over the shock at what some poor souls are having to deal with, I asked for new keys. Laurie bustled about behind the mail boxes, then held up a key and said, "This is my master key. You're going to get it copied, or when you lose it you won't have a post box." Okay!
I went straight to Home Depot to get several copies made of that key and another couple of keys--three of each. Is this a sign of aging I wondered--making spare keys--and spare, spare keys?
I enjoyed watching the silver haired man in the orange apron as he studied the wall of key templates with an expert eye. He carefully selected just the right one for each key, then the grinding wheel whined, as he concentrated on the keys and buffed the rough edges smooth, swiftly and skillfully. It did my soul good to watch his unhurried, quiet work, a job well done.
On to the library next--I was out of audio books, and I am afraid that I am addicted to James Patterson mystery thrillers. On my way in I noticed a book sale being set up in the foyer and an adjoining room. I could not walk past without having a look around, and before I knew it I was gathering books--they were $1 each except for one that cost $3-- several for granddaughters on topics they are interested in, and some, I admit for me.
I went with my pile of books to the cluster of busy people unpacking books, who looked at me and shook their heads. Didn't I know, they asked, the book sale starts tomorrow, and the Early Bird viewing, was tonight at 7.00 p.m.--for $10 admittance. I smiled and said, "I can put them back, I know where I got them, but I won't be back tonight, or tomorrow, and you know, there is no sign telling people they aren't for sale now," which they all admitted was true. Gentle persistence, nice negotiation, and I bought my books, having paid the Early Bird Admittance Fee, three hours early. The Earlier Bird gets the Books! :) Librarians are such sweet people. I told them that I'd never gate crashed a book sale before!
I went to Costco for a few things. How I could need a few things baffled me after having spent a fortune there just over a week ago, but it was true. And then my final stop was No Frills, back in Bradford.
Inside the door stood two young boys, Air Cadets, in pale blue gray uniform. The taller and older boy stood proudly, fair haired, with a friendly smile and responsible look about him. His younger and shorter buddy was dark eyed and dark haired. I thought that their parents should be proud of them, but my heart had a pang at the thought of where their youthful interest in the armed forces could take them in the future. By now it was around 6 o'clock, and I wondered how long they'd been standing there in that chilly doorway, with their trays of badges and collection cans. I fished in my purse for change and put some in both cans. They both offered me paper badges and I laughed, "One is enough. Thank you!"
On the way through No Frills, I picked up two bars of Cadbury's Chocolate, with salty peanuts. Going through the cash register I pointed to them and said to the sales clerk, 'My Friday night guilty pleasure!"
"Enjoy them," she said with a smile--and we did.