Lights down, stage set, everyone settles in a tangible quiet excitement.
The time had finally come.
Lights down, stage set, everyone settles in a tangible quiet excitement.
The time had finally come.
It was mid-morning and my husband was listening to the radio, but he wanted to go to Bakersfield and get some Birthday shopping done for our almost 17 year-old son and we needed groceries.
I wasn’t ready and I really didn’t want to go to town in a car with a lot of trash between my feet again. So I went out to the car with trash bags and the keys. I cleaned out two kitchen sized bags of trash and a few soda can stragglers. We recycle so those went into a smaller bag and into our recycling cache.
After that, I started prepping for the trip into town. I pulled out our large sized ice cooler and a collection of grocery bags and stowed them in the trunk. My husband checked the oil and replaced the air filter in the engine.
Then I went in the house and got the dogs. They truly love car rides. Mine will jump on me until I finally pick her up and carry her out to the car. The mini dobie-pinscer will jump up and down by the door until he’s let out to go to the car. He will wait patiently by the car until I come to open the passenger door and let him jump up on the seat.
Anyway, once we were all settled in the car and ready to go, I needed cash to put in the BoA account and gasoline to put in the car for our trip to Bakersfield. So we headed over to Albertson’s to get money out and I got some canned cat food for our feline friends at home.
The check stand I went to only had a hundred dollar bill to give me for cash back so I went to the gas station to break that into smaller bills and get some gas. The owner of the gas station is really cool and is always friendly and helpful with the customers. He and my husband have had many great conversations.
After filling the tank, when we passed the bank ATM kiosk, it was packed! So My husband decided that we should wait until later after we got back to Taft then maybe it wouldn’t be as busy then.
It was hazy and slightly overcast when we left Taft, my husband told me before we left that it was going to rain with a big storm coming in off the coast. We drove into Bakersfield without any major problems and no rain.
My husband and I have an arrangement. Since I don’t drive, he drives and we have interesting conversations on the road. He stays in the car with the dogs and I go in to get the shopping done.
Almost before we parked the car we heard the familiar sound of a train horn going off in the distance. Yes! I was so excited to hear it and then see it going along the tracks. I love watching trains go by. Sometimes a whole day goes by without seeing or hearing a single train at that particular Wal-Mart. It was nice to have that experience.
When I stepped out of the car, I could smell delicious barbecue! I was getting hungry and I hadn’t eaten anything yet and it was already after noon.
As I got closer to Wal-Mart, I noticed a large group of people close to a canopy. I couldn’t see what they were there for until I saw the Blackstone logo on the banner. They were showcasing the griddles and how easy it would be to cook anything on the griddle.
The demonstrator scooped up the remaining sausages and waited about 2 minutes before scraping the entire griddle clean and starting over again with pizzas! He used tortillas, pizza sauce, cheese and other toppings but I couldn’t stay.
I had shopping to do! I didn’t want it to get too late and dark. My husband doesn’t like driving when the sun goes down, not good visibility even with the bright headlights.
So as I walked away, my phone rang with my favorite ‘Indiana Jones’ style ring tone. My husband just had a few things to ask me to check prices on before going out. I ended up getting more cat food, dog food, and treats for all including our pet rats. I also got a bike lock for or son’s birthday so he could secure his bike when he goes out riding.
After the first time going in, I wanted to go back to the Blackstone presentation and grab some samples! They had just finished putting together steak strips in a hoagie roll with a yummy sliced mushroom sauce! I had to wait to eat it until I got to the car because it was slightly raining.
The cart was mostly full so I stowed my lunch on the dash before proceeding to empty the cart into the trunk. My husband wanted to go in to get a few things himself, so while I watched the dogs, I ate my sandwich and listened to the radio.
It was still raining when my husband got back to the car so I unloaded his cart while he got back into his seat. The dogs had been watching out for other dogs since we had parked close to the Pets Mart across the way from Wal-Mart. They got to see three dogs, a cat, and a lot of people.
I made mistakes and ended up having to go back in again! It could have been prevented if I hadn’t forgotten to get the credit card from my husband! As I was walking in the second time, I realized I didn’t have the card and I had to call him.
Since we had the dogs with us, he couldn’t bring the card to me so he told me to just get the groceries I needed and come out for the card when I was done so I could get more cash out. I was turning out to be an expensive day.
The second time around took the longest because I had to choose what food we would need for the next few weeks. We couldn’t come to Bakersfield too often because of the price of gas and the wear and tear on the car. So I got what I thought we would need and headed out.
It was good that we both had our cell phones, but it was bad when I forgot half of the things I was supposed to get! I hadn’t written anything down so I was flying by the seat of my pants and it wasn’t pretty.
I had to go in the third time because I forgot to bring the card. I also forgot to get my hubby a Dr. Pepper for the way home even when he asked me to get it several times! Lastly, he wanted me to check out printers and possibly purchase a new one since his died a few months back.
So, I went back in a THIRD time. It was the quickest and easiest trip through Wal-Mart I think I had ever experienced.
I made sure I had the card that time. I then picked up the printer he wanted after talking with him on the phone for a bit, took it over to the electronics counter and bought it there. I got the Dr. Pepper near the front, bought it at a self checkout and was out of the store within 10 minutes.
The day wasn’t done. We still had to stop by Del Taco and get the Fiesta Packs and the fries. Whenever we have a little extra cash, I get food from Del Taco. We bring it home and end up eating tacos and burritos for several days. It saves me time on days that I have a lot of work to do or errands to run.
The fries are for my husband and I to eat on the way home and sometimes (very rarely) there are a few left we give as a treat to the dogs or rats. Those fries are SO tasty after a long day of shopping!
Anyway, I got the food, we got on our way, and we were both happy to be headed back home to Taft. I made sure to call home and tell the boys they had better be getting some school assignments done!
Try to imagine my two teen boys who are home-schooled that don’t like doing their work (even though it’s all online and they don’t have to write anything out on paper!) They know they need to get work done, but at the same time, sometimes I can’t be home to ‘enforce’ the situation.
So I called and checked to make sure they were at least being civil (which they most always are.) I had to tell them to feed the rats because when we left earlier I had forgotten and the rats were most likely very hungry if not starving.
After the call ended, my husband and I enjoyed a mostly quiet trip home with the exception of one crazy driver who thought it was a great idea to speed around us in a 50 zone across a double yellow! This person didn’t just do it once, they did it several times and I was worried they would cause a nasty accident with the way they were driving!
We took the first turn at the light and went almost all the way down 10th to the bank ATM. It wasn’t busy then, but a woman ahead of me in line had told me that earlier that day there was heavy police activity there and nobody could use the ATM for a while. I’m glad we escaped that fiasco!
Finally the last errand had been completed! I deposited cash into the ATM, got back in the car, and we were finally (almost) done for the day! I called the boys to make sure they got ready to help me unload the car (there was a lot of stuff to bring in.)
After quickly unloading the car, the boys were happy to dig into the fiesta packs. I put the cold groceries away, and rested for a few minutes. I knew my day still wasn’t complete, I had a promise to keep.
An artist friend of mine has a local art gallery and she regularly showcases local artists’ work. She was hosting an art exhibit and had invited me to attend.
My husband already knew of this and told me just to make sure I didn’t forget to put the cold things away. We got home at 6pm and I didn’t get out of the house until almost 7!
My friend was still delighted I was able to come and look at all of the wonderful art that was entered in the exhibit. I was so impressed by a galactic painting done by a 7 year old girl, I just had to have it! So next time I go to the gallery, I will have a beautiful new masterpiece to brighten up my wall.
After browsing and socializing a bit more, I decided to leave and check to see if anyone was out for Cruise Night. I walked almost the entire length of Center Street and the only place with any activity was the art gallery I had just left!
I walked home then. I was almost too tired to do anything at that point, but then my oldest son reminded me that I promised to watch a movie with him! I had a difficult time staying awake at first, even though it was only about 9pm.
I found ‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’ and we started to watch it. It was very entertaining and funny! During the movie, there was a roaring sound coming from outside. I heard it on the roof first, but we paused the movie to check it out.
It had started to pour outside and it seemed that the rain was coming down in buckets! My son took his umbrella out and it was soaked in seconds! The big storm my husband had warned about was finally upon us! It rained like that on and off all night long.
I ended up not going to sleep until 4am because I had to put stuff away before I could set my bed up for me to go to sleep. Not only was this day very long for me, but I think I got more than a good dose of exercise to last me an entire month!
I don’t see it that way at all, they just aren’t looking hard enough. I have lived here almost 9 years and have found amazing things to photograph. I have found secrets. There are hidden treasures here.