Yesterday was mostly awesome.
I managed to get myself out of the house on time to catch my bus to the train station — and was feeling better, too, so that was nice. 🙂 I admit, it could have been a bit of a boring wait for the train, since the bus got me to the station about forty minutes early, but there were lots of folks seeing their college students off at the end of their holiday break, which meant some nice conversations.
Then the train arrived, and you know what? I really really like train travel. Yes, depending on distance and destination, it might not be the most efficient choice, but for a short hop up the coast with a same-day return, it beat renting a car. Got to relax, watch the scenery go by without having to worry about whether other drivers were paying attention to the road and not the scenery, could have dozed a little if I’d wanted…yep, not a bad way to travel at all.
Also didn’t have to worry about last-minute detours adding an hour and a half to the trip. Although I know there are situations that could have been the case (the La Conchita mudslide a few years back comes to mind), but not the case here.
My friends live only a mile or so away from the station, so I elected to walk to their place instead of catching the shuttle that runs up and down the main drag. At one point I was wished a happy new year by a young woman trying to drum up business for the cosmetics shop she worked for…and found myself hijacked into a chair so she could give me a demo of their skin-care system, which promises to deliver results equal to botox without, y’know, actually injecting poison under your skin. Didn’t get around to asking about prices, although I might run the brand name past my facialist to see if she’s heard anything about the brand. She might be interested in learning more.
At any rate, I ultimately “escaped” and went on up the street, and texted my friend to tell her why I was a bit delayed. She wrote back, “Oh, you’re walking? Good, meet me at X, I have a couple of errands!” So I did, and we went to a shop selling some lovely crystal this-and-that, not to mention some beautiful Christmas ornaments that were on sale due to its no longer being before Christmas.
If I play my cards right, if I make the right leaps at the right time, I may well be in a place by next Christmahannukwanzuyluestice (heh) where I can have a tree…and I will hang it from the ceiling to frustrate the high-jumping cats, and can start collecting ornaments to replace the ones I gave my next-door neighbor.
Onward… We finished her errands and went back to their place, and talked, and then her other half came back and fixed lunch, a delicious tri-tip chili he’d made a day or two before, and we talked about our respective holidays, then he had to dash off for work for a bit, so she and I attempted to decipher the workings of a mat cutter they’d picked up for a song — being an artist, being able to cut her own mats would be both less expensive and would give her more room to experiment with frame sizes/shapes/etc., relative to her artwork. Always a good thing if you can expand your horizons and save money doing it.
Soon enough — too damned soon — I had to leave to catch my train. My friend walked me to the shuttle and I got into a conversation with the driver, who was also rebuilding her life after spending time in a homeless shelter and transitional housing. She moved into a place of her own not long ago, and bought a car after being with one for two or three years.
Yay her. 🙂
Because the shuttle didn’t run past 6:00, and because I really didn’t want to have walk back to the station (my energy waning as it was, and my nose starting to stuff up again), I wound up at the station an hour or so early, but I had a book, and there were people waiting for a different, much delayed train, so again, opportunity for conversation, and the time passed more quickly than I expected it to. And a few minutes after the delayed train left the station, mine arrived, and I came very close to falling asleep on the trip home.
Grateful for trains, for noticing I’d misread the schedule of one of the two buses I could take home and in fact it would arrive half an hour earlier than the one I planned to take (in other words, I was actually at home about the time the bus I thought I’d be taking was leaving the station), and for good friends.