That Santa is Everywhere!

Whew! There’s nothing like a couple of work trips and a potential end to civilization the week before Christmas to throw my schedule out of whack!

Oh, who am I kidding. Even if left to my own devices, I’d have mangled it all by myself. But that’s okay, because I’m back in Memphis and am gearing up for a busy and productive couple of days.

As you know, I’ve been having a little trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year. For a few minutes this week, I was afraid I was going to slide further into the funk. On work trip #1, my tires started chattering like crazy. I swear, it was like riding down the interstate in one of these:

massage belt exercise machine 1940sAnyone remember trying to “massage” away the pounds? (You have to be really old, like me.) For you kiddies, you looped the belt around the desired body part and when you turned the machine on, it jiggled you like crazy.

No, it was not effective. Nor was it particularly fun. On the plus side: no sweat and nary a hair out of place. :)

Okay, back to my quaking car. I knew I needed two new tires, but I was hoping to wait until the new year or a new credit card cycle, whichever came first. But since I had a two-day trip down to Hattiesburg, MS (300 miles away) the next morning, I knew I had to get the new tires and pronto! So early the next morning, in the midst of a massive windstorm, I sat patiently waiting for my tires to be mounted, staring out the window,trying NOT to think about the expense and wishing the car guys would change the lobby TV from ESPN to anything else.

About that time, I saw a man walking from the bus stop to…his job, I guess. With gusts of 40-50 mph, he was having a difficult time, to say the least. He couldn’t even stand up straight and move forward. I thought how awful it must be to have to commute by foot in weather like that.

And that’s when the voice of Santa (or Someone Else) whispered in my ear: “Aren’t you fortunate to have a car—soon to be a car with two new tires that you can (eventually) afford?”

I am fortunate, and now I’m remembering to be grateful as well.

With that whispered reminder lingering, my trip to Hattiesburg was quite joyful. Driving in the wind wasn’t fun, but I felt safer with my new tires and a smoother (if swervier, during gusty times) ride. The crew I trained (Qdoba near Southern Miss) was great, and I was back on the road home by shortly after 10 a.m. Along the way, Santa gave me wonderful gifts!

Gift #1 occurred when I hit the metropolis of Magee, MS at lunchtime, where there’s not a lot to choose from that’s not a chain or a catfish buffet. While I was trying to figure out whether to go to Wendy’s or Subway, I happened to spot 49 Bistro, which appeared to be a coffee house/ice cream shop with sandwiches and salads. Perfect! Well, it would have been perfect if it had been on the same side of the divided highway/access road minefield in front of me. It would have been even more perfect if I’d remembered to take a photo of my lunch. Here’s a representation I borrowed from 49Bistro:

49 Bistro Panini and potato chipsI had ham and cheese panini on multi-grain, and it was delicious! Also, because the bags of chips are the smaller, lunch-sized bags (not the big GrabBag size, thank goodness), I had 160 calories of salty, greasy goodness.

While talking to the owner/chef, I learned that they prepare almost everything on premise. Having such a small shop, it’s sometimes difficult to find products in the quantity/sizes he needs. I understand that and told him about my bulk bin love. Imagine my surprise when he asked if I’d heard of the Rainbow Co-op in Jackson, MS. Rainbow Co-op? My answer was both yes and no. Yes, I’ve been to a Rainbow Co-op before, but it was in San Francisco (Folsom & 13 St). And no, I didn’t know there was anything like that in Jackson, MS, where I spent approximately 15-20 nights in the past several months.

Gift #2:

rainbow co-op Jackson MS

This Rainbow Co-op is much smaller than the one in SF, but it’s still awesome in its own right. The bulk bin section is plentiful, and they have a nice variety of products available. There’s also a nice section for herbs and potions and such, as well as a lovely gift shop with fair trade crafts. To round it out, they have a computer co-op and what looks like a nice little cafe. I’ll definitely be going back the next time I’m in Jackson. In fact, I’ve started a list in my day-book of Things to Buy at Rainbow. Meanwhile, I’m going to contact the folks at Livable Memphis to see if anyone’s explored the food co-op concept for Memphis.

And, of course, the best gift of all is that my new tires, my 1 cup of flax meal and 1/2 cup of almond meal made it home safely. (The vegan chocolate chip cookie did NOT survive the trip.)

With that, I should get busy! I’ll drop in again before The Big Day, but for those of you who are unplugging for the duration, have a very Happy

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who responded to my informal survey about blog reading habits!


8 thoughts on “That Santa is Everywhere!

  1. Sending holiday cheer your way! I’ll spare you the cookies we are baking, though. 😀

    I wish we had a bulk store like that around here, but alas, our town is too small.

    I was just saying to John today that we are truly lucky. We may not have a ton of money, but we have a house and a car. We are both employed and have the best cat in the world. It’s a good life.

    Merry Christmas Cammy!

  2. That gift-bearing Santa (or someone else) is over here in East TN too. He’s reminded me several times over the past few days that yes, I was sick for a couple of weeks and no, I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to do, but instead, I got the gifts of help from some unexpected sources and release from things I thought HAD to be done that turned out not so important after all. Love the Rainbow Co-op thing – would love to visit there. (P.S. I think our car flew directly over Memphis when it was picked up by the wind yesterday somewhere around Crossville and instead of landing in our intended destination of Nashville, we’re somewhere in Oklahoma or Kansas.)

  3. I call them God moments. What precious gifts from the One who loves to give His children good things! :-) And that panini certainly looks good! I miss cheese. I had my own wake-up, reminder of the fragility of this thing we call life and the path we walk. It was definitely an attitude adjuster. Will be appreciating each moment with family this coming week. May the blessings of Christmas shower you with joy! (I wonder if that massager thing would work on old lady arm wings?) ;-D

  4. I DO remember that ‘giggle the fat away machine!’ I never owned one, but I remember being jealous of those who did!!
    I love God breezes or God whispers!!! I think in our busy hustle and bustle life we miss so many of them!!

  5. YES, I remember those belts!!! :)

    What a great message Cammy!!! Thank you for sharing & making us all appreciate what we have on this day or any day.

    Me, the cookie would be gone too! :)

  6. I remember the jiggly belts too! I wanted one of those babies!

    And I too LOVE the bin stores. There’s not one near me, but I think I know where all of them are in the surrounding area, and I make sure to visit every time I get a chance. One of my favorite things to buy is cocoa powder. Who would’ve thought?

  7. A food co-op in Memphis would be rad.

    Where would you suggest shopping for fruits/veggies during winter? It seems like all the farmers markets are closed. I’m living in Midtown.

    Now that I’m back I want to figure Memphis out and actually live here for real. I love what I’ve seen from Livable Memphis and some of the other stuff in the city. I think we will like living here once we figure it all out. :)

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