Meeting Beatrix

What does one do when the weather turns cold? We traveled here to enjoy the “summer weather” this year without taking into account the extraordinary weather California has experienced this year. Record snowpack. Lots of rain. But weather being weather, it is unpredictable and that makes it an almost constant topic of conversation. I suppose since the beginning of man, neanderthal even, weather has been front and center in the mind. Weather is nothing that can be controlled. We are merely observers of whatever is thrown our way. Active observers, nevertheless. And I suppose that lack of control causes us as a species great stress and anxiety. After all, don’t we attempt to control everything? This is the same reason I think that people turn to “god”. What we don’t understand and can’t control and can’t be definitely known, drives many into the arms of a faith or organized religion.

There I go again.

So, here we were in the Sierras with wonderful weather for a few days and then, POW. Right in the kisser. The worm turned. The sun retreated behind menacing clouds and the cold followed the rain and there we were. Freezing. For days.


This photo exudes cold, doesn’t it?

Given the circumstances then, what to do? I don’t know what other people did but we hunkered down for hours at a time in The Dog House. With doggie. We braved the elements to walk the dog, go the store, visit the bakery (yes, sir), and shop. The golf courses around here have pro shops and since we were saving money not playing golf, the least we could do was shop at the course(s). And so we did. A vest here, a shirt there, a hat for the head, a sweater for the thorax. We did our part. We also drove to Reno and that’s where things got interesting. At the Apple store.

In doing a blog, invariably, the author becomes mystified at the problems that crop up. Posting my video was a case in point (see previous blog). So, I reasoned that if they had an Apple store, I could just pop in and get them to help me. Silly me. That is not how it went. The greeter said I needed the Genius Bar (I didn’t protest lest I be wrong). So, an appointment was made and my phone number collected. We had 45 minutes to wait. Out the door we wandered and I found a Soma and bought two nighties (buy two and get a big discount!!). Looked at shoes at Dilliards. Nixed the one I tried on and then I got the text from Apple. So we ambled over to the Genius Bar only to be told that I did not need a genius. Any old person would do. Except that any old person was a young whippersnapper who was sitting at an elevated table helping a woman older than me. He interrupted her lesson long enough for me to plead my case and said I should sign up for a lesson. Geez. “I don’t live here.” That’s when the woman he was helping barged in and said, “Where do you live?”. “Morro Bay.” She understood my problem. And was willing to give up some time. However, the young whippersnapper was having none of it. “When I’m done here”, he explained, “I will show you how to sign up for a class.” What?  So the older woman, let’s call here Beatrix, asked where we were staying. “We’re camping up in Blairsden”, Rayman volunteered. “Oh! Beatrix replied. When she discovered by our own admission that we were in an RV, she said, “That’s not camping. You are going in luxury. And here I thought you were in a tent, laying on the ground.” We then explained that we had an RV with all the creature comforts. “How much did you spend for that?, she quizzed. “$100 grand?” Rayman admitted to more than a $100 grand. And she said, “That’s not going to worth anything pretty soon.” We had to agree. So, still curious, she exclaimed, “That’s not a good investment. I know a good investment. I just sold my Facebook stock and bought _ fill in the blank_ stock. You know I made all my money after 65 years of age. Went back to work as a nurse. But I have a broker and I’ve made a lot of money in the market. I missed a few. I wanted to buy XYZ stock and my broker talked me out of it. If I had bought it, I’d have made $5 mil.” By now, we were enthralled. So I asked her, “Well, how old are you?” She sat straight up in the chair and announced that she was 88 years old. And then she told us where her children all lived in northern CA and how she took three separate trips down last year and drove by herself. “Yep. I keep moving!!”

You’re probably wondering at this point what the young whippersnapper was doing. Not much. He was just as bowled over as we were. He did, however, show me how to sign up a class I had no intention of taking and we parted company with that tone deaf maneuver. Did tell Beatrix how delightful it was to meet her. When we left she was scheduling her next class with the whippersnapper. He was going to walk around with her and show her how to use her phone to take good videos.

The other thing we did while the weather has been cold was to schedule that fishing expedition, get some starting times for golf next week, read, do crosswords, sudoku, and laundry. Went on a picnic to Davis Lake just before the rain and froze with our friends, Diane and Hal, as we wolfed down my leftover Cold Buttermilk with Shrimp soup while seated at a picnic table in a deserted campground at water’s edge.    They ate sandwiches.  We have also cooked some good meals, tried out the pizza oven (just okay though everyone liked my dough, made from water, flour, yeast kind of dough). As trustee, I had a lot of business to transact and that kept me busy too. Oh, and we spent time trying to get our mail.

We signed up for Premium Forwarding Service. That’s where you pay the post office to gather your mail and send it priority once a week. Somehow out mail went missing. After a series of calls and numerous trips to the Graeagle post office, the mail was located. The Graeagle post office mail sorter (a person), filed it under R for Rayman instead of J for Jackson. Geez.  And double geez.  The  post office sent the junk mail along with the important stuff…you know, fliers from the local market, etc.

As I finish up this rendering, I look to the north out of my RV and see dark clouds, blue sky, and sunlight shining on the conifers. Beautiful sight. We’re dying for sun. It is coming tomorrow according to the forecast/radar. By Saturday, it’s to be near 90. Just like Beatrix!!


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