After the stormy weather that moved through mid-week (the same system that took a terrible toll on lives and property to the south in Alabama), today was a glorious Saturday morning in the Carolinas. On Saturday mornings, I usually run my errands. One of the benefits of country living is that you get to haul your own trash to the local recycling center, so that’s where my day begins. It forces one into consciously minimizing the amount of waste that is generated during the week, so I guess, this is a ‘good thing’. Thankfully, one of the county’s recycling centers isn’t too far away, and it’s on the way into town, where I’m eventually headed. Donning my hat as ‘good citizen of the planet Earth’, I conscientiously separate my trash into kitchen waste, cardboard, metal, plastic, and glass, make my deposit, and then head for Sam’s Emporium of Everything-Under-the-Sun, otherwise known to locals as the Super Wal-Mart.
There are basically two things to be done in Lancaster…go to church…and go to Wal-Mart. I’ve been on the lookout for a good coffee-house and a bookstore, but I’m still searching. I know…there’s always Charlotte, which has everything, but I’d prefer to support the local economy. So I pick up a few things for the week, like instant oatmeal (my favorite is the maple & brown sugar variety…low sugar version, of course), an assortment of Lean Cuisine and Amy’s frozen dinners, and some treats for the dogs. Cooking for one, it seems, is a bit problematical for me, so I’ve been simplifying my diet lately, leaning mainly towards vegetarian fare. I’m reading a book (Short Trip to the Edge by Scott Cairns) about the Eastern Orthodox monks of Mt. Athos in Greece, and their simple cooking of, for example, fish, potatoes, bread, and olives, sounds mighty appealing to me at the moment. If the olives are the kind that are stuffed with bleu cheese, I may even consider converting.
After Wal-Mart, I had one more stop, and that was at the local Tractor Supply store (ok…there are basically three things to do in Lancaster) to pick up a bag of feed for Hector. This store has practically everything you need for either your animals or your tractor. When I go there, I always make it a point to wear my red Mississippi State baseball cap (which Sharon bought for me when she was in Gulfport for awhile, the winter before Katrina devastated that area) so that I’m not mistaken for some citified transplant from the North. I try to drop my ‘g’s and flatten my vowels, and say Hey, instead of Hi. Nobody has pegged me yet…I think.
Driving back home, the windows are open, and I’ve got a Nanci Griffith CD playing. This has been a good morning under a cool, cloudless, deep blue Carolina sky. Only one thing missing…sigh…