Thursday, August 7, 2008

Out on the Town

This afternoon, with the gang all in different spots, I went out for some personal R&R. I started off by going to the realty company, which was my real reason for traveling, to tell them that they might want to deal with the dryer in our house. It works fine; it just doesn’t turn off. Turning off is something I always value in a dryer, and I would assume that the house’s owners would appreciate not having it burn down at some point.

That done, I went to the Top Dog CafĂ© for lunch, taking along my current book. Top Dog is very beach – weathered wood and no air conditioning. I sat in front of a fan and drank diet Coke, reading Alberto Manguel on the subject of libraries. Dining alone also gave me the opportunity to watch families at other tables. Mom at table next to me: “I started to read a book once, but I lost it.” Dad: “Yeah, and now we have two copies, because you bought another one.” “Does it count as two if we can’t find one?”

Next on my agenda was the Big Wave Grocery, just to see what it’s like. The one thing you can’t do in Rodanthe is buy a week’s groceries. Staying here means that you either 1.) bring the groceries with you (requires a big cooler and a fast trip), 2.) stop in Nags Head and buy them on the way down (requires a big cooler or the confidence that your house will be ready for you), or 3.) drive down to Food Lion in Avon after you settle in. Mac & Maggies, known to us as the Texaco station (because that’s what it was, eight years ago), has some stuff for emergencies – milk, bread, Mountain Dew – but you couldn’t live for a week on Mac & Maggies unless you like bologna and Rainbow white bread.

Big Waves is not comprehensive either, but it's higher-rent non-comprehensive. They have Boar's Head meats, for example. They also have a huge range of micro-brewry beers, some wines, and many shelves of interesting salsas, sauces, etc. Since I am the Queen of Condiments, I was enchanted. But groceries of the weeklong variety are still an issue. Tonight somebody's going to have to go to Avon or we're gonna be eating bologna for breakfast. It's better than Spam, I guess.

My final stop was the bead gallery Hank and I found on Sunday. I wanted to make a beach watchband, plus I'd seen some cool beads I'd like to take home and play with. The shop was jumping, although I soon came to realize that most of the activity centered around the bravest father I have ever seen. He was sitting at the beading table directing the activities of four little girls who looked to be about eight. One was his daughter, and the other three were her friends. All of them were making bracelets for their mothers, which was sweet.

Trouble is, none of them had a clue about the length of the average bracelet, or perhaps the arm size of the average mother. I suppose they could all have had King Kong-sized mothers, but it would be odd that ALL of them have large moms. The bead shop employee helping them had to continually shorten the bead strings, to the girls' collective dismay. One child had about 14 inches of beads that she liked and was loath to part with any of them. The dad and the bead shop person should get medals for tact and discretion. I bet, even as I type this, that they're still working down there.

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