Friday, December 8, 2017

Running Errands






























June and I went on an adventure to get coffee (and dog treats!) and run around the desert this morning.  On our way back into Mojave, there was a teeny woman on the side of the road trying desperately to drag two huge trash bags behind her.  Just as I noticed her, she turned around and seemed to look me right in my eyeballs, smiled and started waving at me.  I pulled over to see if I could help.

As I did, another car pulled over and a man and wife rolled down their window to say, "Thank you for stopping.  We had just turned around to help as well." They turned to the woman and said, "Also, we have a push cart if you think you can use it."

The woman smiled and said, "Yes, I'd love one - is it in your car, can I see it?"

They explained it was at home, but I could follow them to their house and pick it up for her.  Mojave is a small town, so I figured, why not...this will be quick.

The teeny woman explained to me that the Mobil gas station gives away food that is about to expire and she had walked from her house (about 2 miles) to pick up some snacks.  She just didn't expect they'd have two trash bags full.

After we followed the nice couple to their house to get the cart, she asked if I could swing by a house close by to pick up a piece of glass someone had offered her.

Again, small town...why not?

Then, without hesitation, she asked if we could stop by the CHP and the Sheriff's Station because she wanted to share some of the snacks with them.  So we stopped at both and she dug through her bags to pick out what she thought they might like: Swiss Cake Rolls for the CHP and Fruit Roll Ups and Chips for the Sheriff.  Seems about right.

I was amazed at her confidence in asking for multiple stops and just continued to be her chauffeur.

After dropping off snacks, she said, "Do you know where the Motel 6 is?  I dropped my laundry off this morning and it should be ready."

Sure, no problem.

We didn't say much to each other.  I asked how long she'd lived in Mojave and she asked how far along I was and if I wanted a maternity dress she had at home.  She explained it wasn't that pretty, but it would probably fit me.  And if I didn't want that, she was going to give me a dollar for helping her out.  I told her it wasn't necessary and asked if there was anywhere else she needed to go.

She thought for a moment and said, "Nope, that's it.  You can take me home now."

So I dropped her off and she gave me two boxed apple pies and a bag of Doritos and said, "Thanks.  God bless."

And June and I went home.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Dessert first!

Zach and I went to Paso Robles for our honeymoon - to relax, drink wine and, ahem, check out airplane stuff.

One such stuffs was a monthly dinner at the Estrella Warbird Museum where Zach and I were the guests of a German World War II pilot and his lovely wife. In addition to being the only newly weds, we were also the only people under 55.

There were smiles and handshakes and glasses of wine. Next to registration was an 8 ft table with pre-sliced chocolate cake that I quickly learned was imperative to grab BEFORE finding your seat. There wasn't an obvious rush to the cake table, but I watched as peopled eyed the servers loading it with cake as they abruptly finished conversations to swing by the table and stake their claim.

As we all took our seats and waited to hear which table would be called first to the dinner buffet line, I smiled as I looked around seeing everyone eating their cake like an appetizer.

Tis true: the older you get, the wiser you become.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Organic Glitter

Since I'm growing tomatoes for the first time, I've been obsessed with inspecting the plant daily to make sure I'm not killing it. Today, as I was doing a little pruning, I realized the leaves seemed to be shimmering in the sun. 

As I looked closer, I couldn't get over how beautiful the leaves were.  It looks like someone dusted them with gold glitter.

PS - I know he looks thirsty. It was noon and almost 100 degrees.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

June 12, 2016

Today will be marked in history forever.

Forty-nine innocent people were killed in a venue some may have considered the only place they felt safe.

I was traveling today and didn't learn of the tragic event in Orlando until I made it to my airport gate. So until then, my day felt pretty normal. Breakfast with family, chit chat on the way to the airport and then a moment that made me smile.

As I was standing on the curb, re-shuffling my luggage and searching for my ID, I noticed a Lyft car pull up to drop off a passenger.

The driver - a 20-something, adorably awkward man - stepped out to help his passenger with her luggage.  She appeared to be in her late 40's, dressed for business and kind. As he removed her luggage from the trunk, she walked around to meet him finishing a sentence she had already started in the car.

They smiled at one another and I could tell they were saying things like, "Lovely meeting you" and "Have a nice trip." The driver extended his hand to shake her's goodbye and as she reached out and grabbed his hand, she quickly pulled him in for a hug. It was ever so slightly longer than an average we-just-met-hug and I couldn't help but wonder what conversation they had to inspire a hug between strangers.

It made me proud to be human.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Kindness

I was running, head down, cursing today's workout when I realized a girl in my class had stopped running ahead of me.

When I looked up, my fellow Crossfitter was carrying groceries behind a very short, lovely elderly woman. I watched as the woman opened the gate and lead her into the yard and then her house.

As I turned to make my loop back toward the gym, the young woman was coming out of the house kindly waving good bye to the elderly woman. I could sense her get back into step behind me and as we ran back to the gym, I wondered if she could sense the smile on my face.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Neighbors

Almost home for my daily walk with June, my neighbor (whom I've never seen after living here for a year) came hurrying out of his gate, "Excuse me, miss.  Excuse me."

I slowed down and met him half way as he approached me.

"Is that your car parked in front there?"

He was pointing at my un-driveable car I've had parked at the end of the block for almost a year. I smiled and nodded my head and waited for him to complain about it being there.

"Well, I just wanted to make sure you knew your registration is expired. And they can tow it if it's just sitting there."

I was shocked.

And then he continued, "I've been keepin' an eye on if for you though. Even shoed away some young people trying to make love on it. So, don't worry, I'm watching it for you."

I thanked him profusely and explained I was waiting on my new stickers in the mail. We chatted for a few more minutes about dogs and wives and the desert.

I walked away grateful for his kindness and excited to prove to my boyfriend there ARE nice neighbors in Mojave.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Violated

Welp, I got robbed.

I didn't get mugged or come home to windows broken with a huge mess to clean up. The thieves were fast, clean and it took me hours to realize it had even happened.

Basically, I took the dog for a quick 15 minute walk and, best I can tell, they watched me leave and snuck in knowing the dog was gone and they had a few minutes to grab whatever they could find.

There is more story that gets you from walking the dog to realizing we'd been robbed - but that's not where the sunshine lives.

Later that night, after I realized what had been taken, it felt like the perpetrator must have known me. Known exactly what to take to break my heart a little: two of my grandmother's rings, a necklace that was a gift from my dad to his mother and my high school ring.

All so personal.

And they left my laptop, my TV...even some not-so-well-hidden cash.

I cried a little as we waited for the police to show up. But the next day, I hit the ground running like a wanna-be private investigator. I gathered what pictures I had of the items and created a document with photos and info. I headed to Staples and made dozens of copies.  I couldn't help but feel a little bit like Helen Hunt in Girls Just Want to Have Fun - and I liked it.

I made a list of every Pawn Shop in Lancaster, Palmdale and Bakersfield and headed out to save the day.

After visiting the first few, turns out there's a lot to learn about Pawn Shops:
  1. Most thieves don't try to sell items for at least a couple weeks.
  2. All pawn shops have to report everything they buy to the police.
  3. Pawn shops are really busy - I waited in line a lot.
  4. In general, pawn shop owners want to help people who've had items stolen, but there's a consistent sigh and head tilt that basically means - "Don't get your hopes up."
Each pawn shop felt pretty much the same - bars on the window or a buzzer to get in, a faint smell of cigarette smoke, jewelry cases, a guitar or two and always a line of people waiting to sell something. But as I entered each one, I realized this was a great research mission for Yelp! reviews - so I started taking notes.

I have officially visited every pawn shop (that has a searchable address) in Lancaster and Palmdale and am working on a massive Yelp! review in case you need to know where to bring your pawnable items.

Just as all the pawn shop owners silently suggested, I'm not keeping my hopes up. Especially because return visits to check for my stolen items just make me sad all over again.

So I may be giving up on the search, but I am now your go-to person for advice on pawn shops in the Antelope Valley.