Sorry for being late again, but I finally have enough content floating around in my head to actually write a substantial post that won’t include Yoda in yoga pants. My time here in Oceanside is coming to and end my concept of time is basically nonexistent. I can’t decide if I feel like I’ve been here for ages, or if my stay with Karen and Ari just started.
I’ve really enjoyed staying in Oceanside and like I said in previous posts, it’s given me a good dose of true relaxation, but I’m definitely feeling a bit antsy for a few reasons. First, I’m definitely ready for my next adventure in San Diego, I need a change of scenery and environment, it’s definitely time. Though I do enjoy my daily walks in the surrounding neighborhoods, and taking the buses is always an experience, I definitely am noticing the absence of my car and the ease of travel that it brings. Slow living is definitely on my radar and something I gravitate toward, but walking two hours just to get to the beach is a little excessive. The second reason that I’m feeling a bit antsy is because of trees. I miss them, I miss nature in general, but I grew up around forests and my dose of Redwood camping has me wishing I was sitting in on of their fairy rings right now, soaking in all their wisdom. The forest is always a place of peace and serenity for me, and place where I can escape and not have to walk by Starbucks and Wal Mart every few blocks, or wait at a crosswalk for ages as cars zoom by. I’ve learned that I operate much better in a more rural and nature filled setting. There are some local parks here, but not big enough so the sound of traffic is still audible in the distance. After San Diego with Simon I’m heading north for the trees.
I guess a third reason that I’m feeling antsy is lack of human contact. I’m not isolated by any means, but I love hugs, I love squeezing people’s shoulders, and for the last month and a half I can still count the amount of hugs I’ve had on both hands. To me, that’s a crime, I try to make sure I give Karen a hug at night before she heads to bed, and just from that hug I get such a boost. Human contact is so important, passing energy and love from one person to another, it’s so comforting and gives you and the other person a time to share a special moment in exchange. Sometimes I think of just running up to someone on the street, hugging them, then continuing on. But the hug’s gotta be meaningful, there can’t be half the exchange, the other half being a very surprised and disgruntled someone. Who knows, maybe you will see me in the near future on a viral Youtube video or something for hugging drive by’s.
Karen and I went to a big thrift shop a few towns over the other day and I had a good 2.5 hour battle with “Hey, this is 2 dollars, I could really use th- oh yeah…I’m traveling.” I can’t say I didn’t buy anythingggg, there was a 3 dollar skirt that I convinced myself could fold up into a ball and stuff it in the side pocket of my backpack if need be. I put up a valiant effort. Karen and I found a tennis racquet so I could play tennis with Ari, who’s been taking lessons recently. We found that the nearest place with public courts was a two mile walk, so we got our backpacks ready with everything and started the walk. About 10 minutes into the walk we saw an apartment complex with tennis course in the back. Knowing it was probably going to be gated (it was) we ventured in anyway and were very happy to find that the lock was broken if you hit the gate in the right spot. So a two mile walk was avoided and we got to play on pristine courts. It was nice to play tennis again but we were a little too gung-ho and now my arms are pretty sore. Back to the thrift store. Karen and I left with bags full of new blankets and sheets Karen had purchased for the new Workwayer. So with our big trashbags full of linens we set off to find the bus, then realized we needed to go food shopping. Now, Karen and I dress pretty similar…lots of people like to say hippie, or granola, so to give you an idea, we’d both decided to dress extra crunchy that day. Walking around with trash bags, backpacks and long skirts made us appear like any other homeless person on the street (not making any generalizations here). So when we entered the only grocery store within walking vicinity, which happened to be a 100% Spanish store, we were “greeted” by a woman with a thick accent telling us so discard all of our bags and things behind the register, just in case we wanted to steal something and stuff it in a bag. It was an uncomfortable situation, and to make matters worse, we couldn’t find any of the items we were looking for so ended up walking out empty handed with looks from the cashier that confirmed that she thought we were in there to steal. It was sad, and got me thinking about how hard it must be to be homeless and have another problem of distrust heaped on your already distressing lifestyle. I know it happens, but not everyone’s guilty. There’s a lot I could say about homelessness, but I’ll save that for a future post.
A couple days ago Ari and I decided to get in the holiday spirit and go ice skating. I grew up skating and playing hockey so rental skates were very foreign to me, but I was not ready for THESE:
Plastic ankle braces, with extremely dull knives attached to the bottom. The rental counter gives and the women figure skates and all the men hockey skates, so I quickly traded my figure skates for familiar hockey skates. After paying a whopping 13 dollars for all this (it’s about 5 dollars at home, but I guess Southern California skating is a little more novel than Maine) I stepped on the ice and felt like I had bars of soap instead of blades. I almost started laughing at how uncoordinated I felt trying to get my bearings. I’m used to tying my skates pretty loose so I have lots of ankle mobility and room to maneuver in hockey games. But these didn’t allow any moment to happen in between your foot and shin, I don’t understand how anyone can even try to look graceful in these babies. I bent down and unclipped the straps which actually helped quite a bit. “Miss, your strap in undone”. A skate patrol dude, probably 18 or 19 had come to save the day. I quickly told him that I was used to real hockey skates and that the only way to function for the next two hours was if I kept them unclipped. He actually apologized for me having to wear them; fellow hockey player sympathy I guess. With the skates unclipped I felt much better but the rink began to fill up very quickly with lots of families, and kids…everywhere. They went in all directions came out of nowhere sometimes, I had to pay special attention to how fast I was going to make sure I didn’t run one of them over. About 30 minutes later the skate patrol guy was back, this time to ask me what hockey league I played for because I was the “best skater he’d ever seen”. I almost laughed again because I really wished that he saw me when I first go on the ice. It was a nice compliment and I appreciated the fact that I looked like I knew what I was doing. Then, they turned off the lights and turned on some weak strobe lights that barely lit up the ice, and all hell broke loose. Not really, but my chances of running into an unsuspecting child increased significantly since now I was squinting for small figured. All in all, it was a great day, and I was happy to be back out on the ice skating again, and was also reminded (quite painfully) of my lower back and outer thigh muscles. It reminded me of those first practices of the season back in Maine when I was reminded of how soccer season that had just ended did nothing to prepare those specific skating muscles for hockey.
I will be writing again soon, hopefully one more time before I leave for San Diego, there’s a bunch of other things I want to write about, but the new Workawayer Gabrielle and I are headed out to walk to the park in search of a little slice of nature, and daylight is precious.
Until next time…