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:
Anyone 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:
I 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.
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!