Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Never gonna be the same

I began my first day of my post-employment by staying in bed late, getting up, checking the morning blogs, making myself pancakes, and checking the blogs again. After a bit more kicking around and re-checking the blogs, I finally took a shower and headed out for a haircut. I was way overdue, and didn't want to go out on a job hunt in a week or two with a new haircut and a new suit - that reeks of desperation. So I decided to get a cut as early in the process as possible.

After stopping at my new house to check the mail and unload my personal effects from work, I came back to take my mom out to look for some ointment containing hot pepper extract, capsaicin. Easier said than done.

We stopped at my mom's favorite dollar store but couldn't find ointments with capsaicin. (We did, however, buy $12 worth of other stuff.) This dollar store is in the same complex as the Russian restaurant that I ate at with a friend early last year. But as we pulled into the parking lot I didn't see the Russian place.

After our dollar store shopping was done I drove slowly past the spot where I think the restaurant used to be. It has either been turned into yet another knicknack store called "Tuesday Morning" (which does not have a restaurant section visible), or (more likely) it is now closed, with plastic sheets over all the windows. Bummer, I thought. My friend really liked that place.

We left to go to a health food store that I frequent, the House of Nutrition. This is along Route 309 in Dallas, PA, in an area that is at once rural and densely forested. It is a store that I love. I have taken my grandmother there, and my father, and my mother at least once before. I have bought many things there over the last 12 years or so. It's been my major source of tea over the years. (One of the highlights of my departure yesterday was when I scooped a dozen or so assorted boxes of tea from my cubicle hutch into a box and announced "The Tea Shop is now closed.") I haven't been there since before Christmas.

We got there just before 4:00. There were several vehicles parked outside. Why was there a "CLOSED" sign on the front door?

After a minute or so of checking the hours of operation (they should have stayed open until 6:00 today) and looking for a sign suggesting that perhaps today was a day that the Dallas store would be closing early and directing customers to the Luzerne store, I finally noticed the GIANT SIGN in their front window that explained, in detail, that the Dallas location of the House of Nutrition would be closed as of February 1 and that all customers should go to the Luzerne location.

Closed. A place I have been going to for so many years. A place I first discovered around 1994 while going to the Finger Lakes in upstate New York with some friends. (It's possible I actually first noticed it in early 1992 while coming back from upstate New York with another friend.) A favorite destination on weekend rambles in the country - well, back before skyrocketing gas prices and other demands on my discretionary income made such rambles less frequent. So many memories. Closed.

We made our way to the Luzerne store, passing a recently-closed gas station that I had always used as a point of comparison for regional gas prices. Luzerne is an old residential/business area, completely different from the rural Dallas. We picked our way along streets clogged with sports cars and SUVs and found the Luzerne branch of the store. We found a spot in the tight parking lot and made our way in. The store was more brightly lit than its Dallas counterpart and was arranged completely differently. We found one expensive salve with capsaicin and bought it.

Life goes on, with or without our consent. Changes are everywhere. Nothing earth-shattering here, just the little details of life that are now out of kilter. We'll roll with it, I guess.

Title reference: Never Gonna Be the Same is the last track on Courtney Love's 2004 album America's Sweetheart. Regardless of what you think of Courtney Love you should buy this album, if only for this song and the song Sunset Strip.


Ashley said...

Sorry to hear about your job. I haven't been online much this week since I'm adjusting to my new schedule. So I just now got a chance to read your posts.
I hope everything works out.

tiffany said...

there are few things in life better than sleeping late, eating pancakes, and reading the morning blogs.

now if only we could figure out a way to get paid for it...

Anonymous said...

I'm jealous. I had to go to work. Remember

bill @ ib

anne said...

I tried to post an uplifting and inspiring comment yesterday but, for some reason or other, it didn't work.

Mainly it was about keeping a positive outlook and keeping your eyes open because you never know what form opportunity is going to take when it decides to knock.

Maybe a certain little store in Dallas would do well under a new owner? Who knows?