Friday, June 26, 2009
in the groove
Now and then a day comes along where everything not only seems to go well, but the going seems preordained.
That is how Thursday felt.
Jiggs gave me one of the nicest presents he can extend. He let me sleep in past 8.
No rustling on his bed. No sharp woof to tell me it was time to get up. No klaxon bark warning that horses -- and who knows what other types of invaders -- are on the beach.
Today was the day I had planned on driving to Manzanillo to refill Jiggs's medication. He was originally scheduled to go along with me to have two growths on his neck removed. But he inadvertently consumed some sea water (a tale soon to be related), and was suffering from the gastric Big D.
Instead, I took him for a walk around the block. A walk that he willingly extended to several blocks. We stopped and talked with neighbors -- me in my halting Spanish, he in his fluent Doggish. Between the two of us, we enjoyed fresh air, aerobic exercise, and a nice bout of neighborliness.
Then I was off to Manzanillo. The one-hour drive can be somewhat monotonous. There is little to differentiate the few villages between here and there. Today was different. There was something new to see at each village. And I had an open road without the usual combination of slow cars and tailgaters.
I stopped at Mailboxes, Etc. and picked up the two latest editions of The Economist. They are now coming directly to that address. It also means something informative to read between my Spanish studies.
But this topped my day. I stopped in Wal-Mart to pick up a few grocery items I cannot find elsewhere. I usually do not venture near the fruit section. Good fruit I can get in Melaque.
But a perforated bag caught my eye. It looked like cherries. Bing cherries from the Pacific Northwest.
My favorite food on the planet is fresh cherries. The season in Oregon runs from June through August. And local cherries are available the entire season -- in Salem. I have been known to eat three pounds within an hour.
For me, they are the ultimate comfort food. They bring back memories of sitting in my grandmother's tree and eating cherries until I was ready to drop like some ripe -- cherry, I guess. Or driving to The Dalles with a woman I am glad I did not marry to buy a huge bag of cherries for $.50 a pound. Or the simple joy of eating cherries in my hot tub.
There was no price tag on the cherries. No surprise. They were a specialty offering. And there were only two bags. I really wanted to buy both. Instead, I showed some restraint, and grabbed just one.
When the cashier rang up the cherries, she looked at her screen. Looked at the bag. Matched the bar code numbers. And looked rather sheepish.
Almost exactly 1 kilo. Total = $161.21. Pesos, mind you. Not USD.
I will not bother with the official exchange rate and the kilo to pounds conversion, but we are talking about $6 to $7 a pound for cherries.
And I did not flinch. This was a luxury purchase. The big question was whether they were truly fresh. The biggest question was how long they would last.
I could not wait to get them home for a bleach bath. I started on the first before I was out of the parking lot.
Perfect. Juicy. Firm. With that hint of berry in good quality Bing cherries.
As to how long they lasted -- they almost did not make it home. Once again, the drive was perfect. But it was far too easy to get into the rhythm of eating the cherries one by one and reflecting on the many good times I have had centered around this noblest of all fruits.
And I now have one more experience to add to the list.
I am almost positive that I will not see any further cherries this season. And that may be just as well.
Thursday was one of those practically perfect in every way days. It would be a shame to devalue it with repetition.
Of course, if you know where any cherries are for sale, I do travel.