This weekend has been pretty incredible. My family and I had plans on renting a cabin out by the river, deep in the forest. But, some things came up and our plans were canceled. So instead, I’ve spent the last two days with my fiance.
Friday, I spent my morning cleaning the house top-to-bottom so that I could have the rest of the weekend free and clear. During the afternoon, we drove to town with hopes of finding something to entertain ourselves with. The drive was long, as we took the scenic way. The pretty grassy hills of farm land rolled on like emerald waves. The scattered white picket fences looked like seafoam cresting on the breaking waves. We decided to check out a local retailer for some new summer threads. We each bought a couple of shorts, and a couple of t-shirts. We continued to look around for a little bit at the homegoods and such, but found little of interest and decided to leave.
My fiance was pretty hungry, so we stopped by a little fast food joint and picked up some snacks and a couple drinks. From there, we headed to a bookshop we both are fond of. Neither of us ended up getting anything. The place was crowded for some children’s book event, so we left empty handed. But, not before putting some of my favourite record albums up front and center of a display they were showcasing. Y’know, so if people were actually interested in good music, they could easily spot it.
It was starting to get late. I think it was 7:30 as we pulled out of the bookstore parking lot, when we both spotted a little ice cream shop we had never seen before. It looked positively empty, which made me worry for their business. It’s 100% local. Anytime I see a local business, I always do my best to support it. And anything else that puts money directly back into the local economy and keeps it out of the hands of cooperate thieves, really. I was worried for their business because it was a hot Friday night in summer and they had only two customers in the building. By all means, they should have been packed full. We decided to stop in and buy a couple icecreams. They had a very interesting selection of flavors and choices, and even made the icecream right in front of you with the use of liquid nitrogen. Which, by the way, makes the ice cream rock hard and feel like it’s been overchurned. But if you take it outside in the hot sun and give it a minute, it becomes creamy, silky, smooth like it should. I chose the keylime cheesecake flavor, and my fiance got apple pie. The apple pie really tasted like apple pie, but the keylime tasted more like Fruity Pebbles cereal. Still delicious, but not nearly what I wanted. As soon as we placed our order, I was happy to see a whole mess of people lining up to place orders. First, they filled the whole store. And then, there was a line outside of the building. I think nobody wants to go in a business that has no customers, especially not a new one, but once they see other people there, they suddenly become eager to try it out. All it took was two people going in, and suddenly, there were two dozen more waiting in line. We paid our bill and left.
Still not wanting to go home, we went to the pet shop in town, which is also locally owned. My fiance loves looking at the different kinds of animals. Honestly, it makes me sad to see animals held captive, some living out the rest of their lives and dying in tiny cages, just so that human beings can look at them or make a few bucks off of them. Fish are one thing, and they are usually given fairly large tanks and have the cognitive awareness of, well, a fish. But seeing the little cockatiels locked up in a cage smaller than a shoe box really hurt my soul. And then, the kittens. It was obvious they were all from a breeder, someone who purposefully over-produces animals, and sells them into captivity indefinitely, for their own financial benefit. Because they were all purebred. One of the cats had been there her whole life, and was at least two years old. I began to wonder if she had ever had a home, or if she’d ever find one. Nobody wants a full grown cat, people only adopt kittens. I would have taken her if I had the money and the room. At first, she wouldn’t even look at me. And when she did, she looked so sad. I wanted to take her home and make sure every day of her life was full of love and freedom. I would have spoiled that cat rotten. I hate that I can’t do anything to help. The younger kittens were desperate to leave, gently pawing at you as you went by, as if begging to be let out. I couldn’t take it anymore. I pushed my fiance to leave. We bought a collar for my cat, as her old one started to fall apart. We left.
Finally, the sun was setting. It was time to go home. The night air was still warm and thick with the smell of fresh cut grass and honeysuckle. I’m so glad to live in a place so wild with greenery. We drove along with the windows down, holding hands and listening to the radio. We came home, cuddled for a while, and fell asleep.
Saturday morning, we got up early. I wanted to watch the sunrise. And though I was promised a pancake breakfast, it didn’t come to pass. Still a little grumpy about it, but whatever. We made it out to the fleamarket a few counties over, we were some of the first customers there. Half the venders hadn’t even set up. We looked around for a while and decided to grab a bite to eat at one of the booths until the others showed up. We split a funnel cake and an order of french fries. The funnel cake was fresh. It was soft in the center, and crisp on the outside. It was perfect. And I guess a funnel cake is kind of a deep fried pancake, so I guess it’ll do. The french fries, however, came out of a freezer bag and weren’t very good at all. We returned to the flea market and still, no one had showed up yet. You’d figure the place would be packed on a Saturday, but apparently not. Typical, lazy Americans. Probably still sleeping in and wasting their weekend. Ah, well. We found the booth of our favourite gameshop guy, but by the looks of it, it had packed up shop and left. It was sad he wasn’t there, he always had the best wares. And he had his daughter with him every time. She must have been about my little sister’s age, and just like my sister, she was the Tomboy Princess type. She was pink and girly and loved monster trucks and video games. The kid was totally rock and roll and it was always cool talking about what kind of games she liked. She took after her dad and loved the retro games for NES, SNES, N64, and Sega Saturn. I wanted my sister to meet her, because my sister has felt so outcasted for being very feminine but also loving gaming and that sort of thing. Because of it, she’s lost interest in all that stuff in an attempt to conform to societal norms. It would have been good for her to see another little girl who was a certified badass.
Since it appeared nobody was really going to show up on this beautiful summer Saturday morning, we left. We stopped by our favourite snack shop near the end. It’s this homemade dip shop. They sell dried herbs and seasonings in packaging that you mix in with sour cream and mayo and it makes this fantastic dip. They even have samples that you can try with little pretzel sticks. They had several flavors, all of which are delicious. But we went with bacon cheddar, tomato bacon, and dill.
We drove home, made some lunch (shaved chicken breast, bacon, three cheese, tomato bacon dip sandwiches on an Italian roll, grilled in a press until melty and delicious.) After we ate, we relaxed for a bit and watched television. Not wanting to let the day get away, we went swimming. My fiance’s grandma has a pool. We helped her get it prepared for the summer season, installed the ladder, and cleaned it up a bit. We swam all afternoon until we were sleepy and tired.
We wound up at a shake joint by our house. I ordered the coconut cream pie milkshake with banana, and my fiance got a peanut butter s’more shake. We sat in the car with the windows down and dried off as we drank our cold shakes. It felt amazing. After we finished our shakes, we went for a ride. It was such a beautiful evening. I didn’t want it to end. But all good things do. We went home, grabbed some snacks, and watched spooky ghost shows on the couch. Both of us slightly sunburnt and too tired to sit up straight. We eventually gave in, and went to bed.
This was the most amazing weekend I’ve had in so long. I loved spending time with my Starshine and exploring new places and experiencing new things. It’s funny. I’ve sat here so long trying to remember what all we did. I was totally drawing a blank. I couldn’t remember Friday at all, and I struggled to remember what we did Saturday. That would be a product of my depression. Days just blend into one, and I become a ghsot. But I don’t want to forget. I want to remember those two sunny days. It may have taken a while to finally remember, but now it’s here, and I’ll have it forever. I’m glad. Maybe, if I have more days like that, and I write them down so I never forget, I’ll get better.