People. As I write this, I am mainlining some pomegranate seeds and drinking a raw apple/beet/ginger/lemon juice, attempting with all of my might to make my brain not so zombie-like while also staying awake. You see, I, like so many other patriotic Americans, am a seasonal worker. I work 40 hours at a full time job and anywhere from 12-20 hours at a seasonal job. It’s like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s, except better, and starts with a K. Yesterday, I worked my usual 8 hours at the main job then took my happy arse to K and worked from 6-12:45 in the a.m., fell asleep by 1:30, and woke up at 7 this morning. I’m actually not sure that what I’m wearing matches (that’s a pretty normal occurrence, though), if I brushed my hair, or if the words that leave my mouth are what my brain intended. Last night, I forgot my dinner at my main job and figured that I could snag something out of the vending machine at K with my $10 bill. The machine didn’t take my money, and at approximately 9 pm, a coworker took pity on me and gave me 10 pretzel sticks that will remain the best pretzel sticks of all time. This was dinner.
I digress. Honestly, working a seasonal job has been quite pleasant, and I have found a certain happiness in BS-ing with complete strangers all night. Here is a common conversation:
Me: “So, are you almost finished with your holiday shopping?”
Them: “Pfff, I wish! I’m just getting started!”
Me: “Well, you’re better than I am! I haven’t even started!” (giggles entered here from Me and Them).
You see? I was born for this. I love a good BS session and I also love to peep the goodies that K has to offer. By the way, I’m not kidding about not shopping yet. Remember when I started my Christmas list in August? Well. For the first year EVER, it is now 9 days until Christmas and I have bought exactly zero items. I’m not sure what happened exactly…but somehow I’ve lost that Christmas spirit. I just don’t really care. On Friday I plan to do my holiday shopping from K and call it a year. I have been shocked by the happiness of the customers so close to the holiday, and I was warned last night that the grumpiness was yet to come from the masses. I have hope, though, that if I can keep a smile on my face and say things like, “I really appreciate your patience, I’m training right now” that people will react with kindness. We’re all in the same boat, after all.
On Saturday I found myself heading to Athens at 10 in the morning to visit with my very dear friend Rebebula, whom I’ve known since high school. She is preggo with twin boys and is all kinds of adorable. She and her hubs recently moved into her (my) dream home and it is AMAZING. As soon as I got there, I swooned over the picturesque layout of her 14 acre property, a lake in her backyard that they can pull their boat out onto, a flock of geese that call her neighbor’s front yard home, a chicken coop and a compost pile and raised beds for their garden, and a house that would melt the coldest of hearts. I want to live there. I want to be there all the time. The light coming in to the kitchen or the sun room or the bedrooms was all I could think about, just how that natural light plays so quietly on the walls and the ground, with shapes of leaves dancing in the wind. This place is magical. I am so very happy for them, because they got this place for a song. This gives me more hope than I can explain: hope that there is a home for me, somewhere, with land for animals and for running around and for gardens and for natural light with big windows and for fire pits and for the utter quiet that comes with living in the country and for always being able to see the stars. I only took one picture while at her house, from the kitchen window, because I soon realized that pictures would never do it justice.
She and I started early by heading to the Athens Farmer’s Market where I got a bag of kale for $3, a giant head of red lettuce for $3, different kinds of potatoes and carrots (purple carrots?), and then we got to the dips. There is a vegan seller, Rabbit Food, that sold me on their spinach and artichoke dip and their pumpkin seed hummus (I KNOW). All vegan, all the time. Then I had to buy the baba ganoush because it was the best thing I’ve ever had, and Rebeb and I basically ate half of it before dinner. I then ate the rest for breakfast on Sunday, FYI.
After the farmer’s market, we found our way to the Grit. Oh Grit, how much do I love thee? I got the Tofu & Veggies with a side of potatoes (carbs = life) and toast. I ate the entire thing. Rebebula got the breakfast burrito, and because she’s growing two humans, she also went to town on her food. We were like two pigs sitting down to a feast. I have no regrets.
We then went back to her place and two of her friends with dogs came over. Then there were three dogs running around and jumping into the lake and chasing balls and playing with each other and now I want a dog. Damn. Didn’t see that one coming.
Rebeb and I cooked dinner: sauteed and roasted butternut squash with onion and garlic and turmeric/curry/coriander, roasted sunchokes, all over couscous. But let me not spoil one of the greatest discoveries of my lifetime: the pomegranate. That crazy bastard keeps all of its delicious seeds to itself and you have to fight tooth and nail to get them, but once you do, you win at life. They are so very good! I bought 4 poms the next day at Kroger (pro tip: they’re on sale at Kroger for $1/each).
After dinner we chilled for a little while and then I made my way home. Did you know there was a meteor shower that night? I saw them falling across the sky on my way home, and it seemed like a great way to end such an amazing day. And even though I am half dead today, I am oh so grateful for the magic that life brings to me: hugs from dogs and seeing old friends and pomegranate seeds and seeing Fleetwood Mac tomorrow with my dad and finally sleeping tonight and being one step closer to my career (hint: I passed the GACE!). And remember to please be nice to your cashiers as you snag your last minute Christmas goodies, because we’re just people trying to make it through this holiday, and no, I cannot give you my employee discount.