No longer waiting.

Almost a bit too warm last night, while trying to find a balance between one blanket on top and laying on top of the mummy bag (with my feet snug in its foot box.) Yet the only reason that is I think, is that I was trapping in all the heat. At night time there is pretty steady wind that blows most evenings, usually an hour or two after sunset. Yet last night it kept going well past when I fell asleep.  Fifty eight degrees the next two nights, I think I’ll take the rain fly off the tent leaving the interior single wall mesh tent.

The same morning routine again, yet a bit earlier, waking at six thirty. Which surprised me as I thought I would sleep in a bit- I woken up several times through the night of my package moving the final leg and being delivered to the post office this morning.) Rolled over and looked out of tent (I’ve been leaving one side of the rain fly door open to get some air inside.) Which, speaking of, was wonderful to watch the starts as I feel asleep last night. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, yet I had to try and only had my iPhone near enough as I was laying down to sleep.  Still, I think it turned out alright, for a phone camera.

Well enough that I tried a more composed shot on my walk to the restrooms this evening that I think turned out really well. I tried to compose within the capacities of the camera- and my own ability to hold perfectly still for three seconds as to not smudge the stars.

Other than my tea and a bit of screen time, I motivated well, I picked up my package at ten seventeen am. The post office workers were super nice, quick service and even offered to carry my package out for me, it was almost thirty pounds of mail and a few odds and ends from home. Most importantly, I needed my new Chime card, so that I can access the last bit of cash that I do have.

After I was back sitting in my car, the package laid next to my open door, I opened it and did a rough check of all the contents and verified the Chime card was there. After that, my pace was leisurely. Getting everything packed into the backseat, I positioned all the mail on my lap, closed the door and cranked the A/C. With this sun, the car never gets fully cooled even on full blast. After a few minutes of letter opening, I figured the sun beating down on the black dash probably wasn’t helping, so I started the car and moved around to the other side of the building.

Seeing the entire side was open, I parked at an angle in the straight slots so that the sun was directly behind my car. Knowing the mail piece I wanted, I forced myself to open it last. Only took an hour to get through it all. While I did, I was watching out my front window a guy that had pulled in across from my previous parking spot. I saw him park, yet stay in his car and eventually got out to walk around it while talking on the phone.

I kept opening my mail and once done I collected all the waste (the vast majority of it) and thought better off walking back in from where I sat.  Instead I moved my car again, heading back to my first spot right in front of the doors (the first non-handicapped slot.) Yet as I went around, I saw the guy across the way no longer on his phone. Now he was armed with a coat hanger, attacking the narrow gaps of his car doors- he had locked himself out. A minor fear of mine, hence I keep my car key on my hat strap.

Without thinking I spun my wheel right instead of left and parked a space away from him. Getting out, my arms full of paper waste destined for a recycling bin, I looked over and commented aloud “Lock yourself out?” I suppose I had to start with the obvious.

He looked up from his work on the passenger window, nodded and replied “yeah, I can’t believe I did this”, completely dismayed with himself. “Ahh, I’ve done it a dozen times myself.. I almost consider myself at expert at unlocking cars now”, I said.

My left arm full, my right holding my cane I continued into the post office (at my own slow pace) as I offered him some hope: “It looks like you’ve got a good tool there- you’ll able to get it.” Then I added, “If you’re still here when I get back, I’ll see if I can give you a hand”. My eyes set on my target I got in there and disposed of the junk mail- amazing how much there was.

On my way back to my car, he was still hard at work.  At first I engaged him in conversation to ensure I was welcome, then I came over to his passenger side to assist (I was parked a spot away on his drivers side.) To help, I used my cane head to wedge the door a bit, allowing him some extra space to work the coat hanger. It was just long enough. On the far end, he had it doubled back about four inches, then a two inch hook bent in that part.

A sturdy hook would be needed. As I watched him, he was trying to catch the small unlock button. A small half in wedge shaped lever that swung horizontally, right under the door handle. He landed right on it several times with the hanger coming from above (by the way, did you know that he coat hanger was invented in Jackson, Michigan?) yet it would slip of when he tried to pull it from that direction. I urged him to try to rotate the hanger to the rear of the car before pulling, yet that didn’t seem to work any better either.

“Can I try?” I asked. He was happy to hand over the hanger. Obviously, this piece of metal knew it was now in the hands of a person from the region of its creator. With a wobble, I evaluated the tool and its hook end. Satisfied, I took a good long look at the handle, now in his previous position to look straight down from above. The sun (have I mentioned the oppressor?) was glaring off every surface, yet I had to see what I was working with.

The handle had a lot more working surface to capture the hook during the pull, so I went for that. The gentleman had walked away, happy to take a break and had given me a few moments to work. When he came back, I had just caught the handle and was maneuvering for the pull. See what I had done, he informed me of my error.  “You got the handle, that won’t work, it’s locked.”

I paused, turned and looked at him. “The inside handle doesn’t open a locked door.” I restated to clarify, and peered for his response. None given, I gave my own premise, “It’s a front door, no child locks here, it should open” and turned back to my work. “Not on this car man, I tri…” POP.  “Like I was saying, unless there are some front door child locks..”

We chatted for a while, it’s safe to say I really made Tommy’s day. That made it easy to ask for a photo! One he was happy to give. He’s retired and lives in or near Albuquerque, yet is down here staying in his car to say near his mom who is currently in the hospital. (Thoughts, prayers, and vibes for Tommy’s mom please.) I asked where he’s been staying, and he’s just been sleeping in his car at the hospital after visiting hours are over.

I mentioned that I’m staying at the State Park and told him about the New Mexico Annual Camper Pass (another important piece of mail I got today, my physical pass to display in my window.) Which for him as a resident is even forty five dollars cheaper (one eighty vs two twenty five.) For a whole year of camping. Fourteen day limits, and can’t come back to the same park for six days. At least at the parks that have rangers, ha! Never spoke to a single ranger at Brantley Lake (just few Game Wardens, different state department.)

Anyway, Tommy seemed pretty cool- and interesting in the camping program. Especially when I added you can get a forty dollar tent at Walmart and lay down when you sleep. He was literally taking notes on a pad of paper. That made me feel good about answering as many questions as he had. At some point we had walked over to my car as I showed him the solar panels, my fridge inside, the radios, the computers.. my dash is kind of full. And I like it..

Finally, I made it Walmart after touring the three tobacco shops in down. Not one of them sell a real tobacco pipe- or even knew that they didn’t.  Each on the phone said they did, they pointed me towards all kinds of non-sense when I arrive.  I’ve had the same burl wood pipe for at least seven or eight years – until the morning before last when I somehow dropped it as I was opening the bathroom door. Pipe down. The bowl broke from its stem. A little electrical tape held it together for a day, yet it needed to be replaced.

Mail, Food, Gas… A fox? Yeah, I think I may have seen a juvenile fox- check the Facebook page for that photo (kinda dark and blurry.)

Time to rest.

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