Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Notes from the Home II

   The calendar says spring is barely two weeks old, but it seems like July here in Columbus. Well, maybe this isn’t July-like in Georgia, but this weather would qualify as mid- summer in Ashtabula. If the Ledger-Enquirer is right, the thermometer will reach 87 today. Having just returned from my early afternoon tour of the grounds, I’m confident it will make it, if it hasn’t already. A pleasant summer day it is, with lots of blue sky and sunshine and not a lot of humidity. Chances are it seemed warmer to me, because most of my route was through the parking lot that surrounds the building, and I could feel the heat coming off the asphalt. But there are plenty of tall trees that provide plenty of shade.
   All newspapers are thinning down these days, but the Ledger-Enquirer is surprisingly scrawny for a paper in a town with a population of 198,000. It’s no heftier than the Star Beacon. But as it turned out, on my first day in town, I ran across the name Marty Gitlin in the Ledger-Enquirer. He was once a Star Beacon sportswriter. By the time I started writing for the paper, he had moved on to the News Herald, and for a couple years, until he left that paper, our paths occasionally crossed at high school games. The Akron Beacon Journal had talked to Gitlin about his new book on breakfast cereals, of all things, and that was the story that ran in the Ledger-Enquirer. Small world, I guess.
   Dave, one of Nancy’s bicycling buddies, came to mind this morning. Dave’s pet peeve is waitresses calling him “hon.” I went to Piggly-Wiggly for a paper and a few other things, and as I was about to leave, the cashier said, “Have a good day, darlin’.” Before she said it, however, she volunteered to put my purchases in the tote Nancy had attached to the wheelchair. So, I could hardly take offense.
   While Nancy and Aaron were doing the hard work of packing my stuff and loading it on the trailer, I gathered my papers and incidentals, put them in manila envelopes which ended up in boxes that Nancy and Aaron put on the trailer. When I got here, Russ and Karen carried all the stuff into the apartment and set up the apartment. Doing my part, I took the envelopes out of the boxes and put them in the file cabinet, certain that I would know exactly where every important piece of paper was when I needed it. Fat chance. Lest you think I’m completely incompetent, it should be noted, I’ve tracked down every necessary form and reciept thus far. Unfortunately, this is not a result of my organizational skills. But as the saying goes, all things come to he who swears loudly.
   Among the things I miss from Ashtabula is the maze of residential streets in our neighborhood. I was able vary my route as I wandered here and there. And I miss the sidewalks along Route 20 and in town. So besides wandering around, I could go to the produce store, the drug store, the post office, the library, the deli and several other useful places. My travels here are pretty much limited to the Covenant Woods’ grounds and the strip mall down the path. The road at the end of the driveway is four lanes, busy and there’s no nearby light to slow traffic. And there aren’t any sidewalks and no pavement to the right of the white line along the side of road. And you know what else? There’s no Dairy Queen. Bummer. However, that has not stopped me from putting two or three miles a day on the buggy.

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