After the doctor’s visit, I wanted to run errands in the local neighborhood. Mom wanted to get a new watchband for an old Timex of my dad’s that she wears. Parking in the neighborhood is very challenging. After scoring a spot, we walked in the, occasionally, heavy rain. Mom has become a professional grumbler. Even after agreeing that traversing the 2.5 blocks in the rain was better than moving the car, she complained about the weather like it had a personal vendetta against her.

My errands went just fine. The drug store and jeweler were a bust for watch bands. Mom didn’t want to spend the $45 the jeweler would charge for a basic band. When he expressed a new watch might be the way to go, mom objected to the idea. This didn’t seem to have anything to do with the fact that it’s her late husband’s Timex. I think it’s about being depression-era frugal about weird things.

So, off to Fred Meyer we went, in a different neighborhood. This was the biggest Freddies I’ve ever been in. Bigger than our Costco. We went directly to the jeweler, as it was at the entrance to the store. The one clerk was busy. Mom was impatient as she asked me if there was a customer service desk. Customer service sadly informed us that Freddies didn’t carry watch bands any longer. We walked back to the jeweler. The clerk, still busy, motioned us to the watch guy, who motioned us back to the clerk. At this point I thought mom was going to pop a rivet. The clerk got the watch guy going with  minimal direction, and 12 minutes later mom had her band, for $20, and an additional hour’s time. But who’s counting?

We ventured into Freddies ‘proper’ for a few things. As we got back into the car I mentioned I was starving. Mom asked if I wanted to go out to lunch. Perhaps I should have said “Yes.” In that moment, the idea of deciding where to eat (Me: What would you like, mom? Mom: I don’t mind, anything you want. Me: How about Mexican? Mom: Oh NO, Not that! Too much garlic powder! ~ over and over), finding parking again, potential pitfalls of eating out due to little or zero short term memory, was beyond what I could face. I suggested we return to the AL community for lunch.

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