– Mexican food. Eating at the bar to avoid the 45-minute wait for a table. Nearing the end of our small basket of chips (these people may not have queso, but their guacamole is the tits), when the guy sitting next to us pushes over his basket. Says he’s done with them. Oh. Thanks? Stranger chips. He could have sprinkled poison on them, or rubbed his hands on them after a bathroom trip that didn’t include the sink. But he was being so nice about it, so eager to share even though we hadn’t reach chip crisis mode yet. We ate that dude’s chips. And didn’t die.
– Gas. Last time I filled up was March 11, and I still have about 3/4 of a tank. And it’s not because I’ve been holed up in the house. We’ve gone somewhere almost every day…ON OUR FEET. Yeah, son, we’ve walked to dinner, drinks, the water, the water, the water.
– Security. My mild OCD manifests itself in mostly two ways. I obsess about whether my car’s parking brake is on, and I check to make sure doors are locked. Sometimes having to get out of a warm, comfy bed to go around and check the doors again. Not since we moved here. We came home the other night to find we’d unintentionally left the windows open. That’s something that would NEVER happen in Houston. I don’t think we moved to Mayberry, and this wasn’t a conscious change on my part, but I welcome the freedom.
– Entertainment. We’re going to “The 57th Annual Good Old Days Celebration” tomorrow in downtown Pacific Grove. It’s your typical small town fair, except the featured musical act both days is Moonalice. A band featuring former members of Jefferson Airplane, Bruce Hornsby and various Grateful Dead offshoots (Jerry Garcia Band, Phil Lesh & Friends). They live-stream their shows here and are playing at 1PM Pacific tomorrow. You’ll see James and me hanging out near the funnel cakes.
– Proximity. The houses in PG are generally very small (under 1,000 square feet), and the lots usually provide just a sliver of green on all four sides. James and I were standing in front of our house the morning our trailer full of stuff was to arrive, talking (not loudly) (it was just after 7AM) about where the trailer should park when not one but two neighbors came out. One silently moved her car, and the other (in his robe and slippers) asked if he needed to move his. This was our first indication that I need to not run my mouth like usual. The hills have ears.
– Amity Island. James is convinced we’re living in a version of the place where JAWS was set. And that it’s still the ’70s here. We haven’t been able to put our finger on it quite yet, but there’s something…everyone is so friendly and nice and eager to share their chips…I don’t trust them.
– Actually, that’s bullshit. I think there nice people in the world, and they’re easier to run into when you live in a town of 15,000. And it’s hard to be unhappy when surrounded by so much beauty and so many opportunities to experience it. We walked through a forest this morning, had a picnic lunch and then hiked to a cliff over the Pacific, all within about a 10-mile radius. I feel free. Free enough to be a middle-aged woman wearing braids and a v-neck t-shirt.
PS: We saw an otter today.