It’s quiet, just the way I like it. I wake up a bit late, maybe a half hour after I wanted, but I don’t worry too much because it’s Sunday after all. I dodge cats all the way though morning routine – fluid exchange, shower, brushing hair, dressing. Shinji, my 15 year old Siamese mix, plays his usual game of getting in my way, cris-crossing my path and then running away when I try to pet him. Silly boy. I’m glad he’s still capering like a much younger cat. He was a rescue, his Other Mom died about a year ago. It took him months to get over his depression. Amazing how many people still think cats don’t love!
My slightly younger cat, a fine 12 year old queen calico, greets me out in the living room. Everything is still a little chaotic this soon after my move and the house is still rather empty in certain places and cluttered in others, with painting supplies and tools on the bread making counter and paint cans scattered hither and yon. Everything will come together, I know.
Eventually I say goodbye to the spouse and make it out of the house. The morning is still fresh and new. I back out of my steep driveway, careful to watch and avoid the parents having a morning walk, little kids attached by the oldest leash of all – their hands. I smile at the pink clad youngsters. Nice to see people being outside, just to be outside. I pull out and head to my first grocery stop, gritting my teeth as I pass over the one mile of potholed road that bears little resemblance to a proper city street. It smooths out just as I get to the store.
The aisles are quiet and the employees are fresh. I catch a yawn or two. I love being here at this time, when everything is new and organized and I don’t have to fight for my position in the aisles. I start playing my favorite bargain game. Recalling what other stores charge for things, I buy, or don’t buy, crossing things off my list as I go. This can of chili? There’s a screaming deal, I’ll buy extra to put by. That condiment? Stuff must be made of hand picked saffron for the price they charge. I’ll get it at store number two. And so on. I get out of there with a total that’s way under budget. There’s only one cashier, at the express line no less, and my cart is way over 15 items. I chat with her as I help her get things moved through quickly.
On to the second store, where I pick up the things I passed over at the first. I see a firefighter buying massive quantities of beans, I chat with him as I pick out my diced tomatoes. Fresh salsa is in the offing, traditional Shaw family Scottish salsa. Scottish salsa, you say? Aye, and we used ta make it with onions and turrrnips, but t’was improved greatly after the New World was discovered. Last minute, I remember the cilantro. Can’t have good salsa without fresh cilantro.
I come out of the store smiling, still under budget. It’s a lovely sunny morning. An acoustic version of “Who’ll Stop The Rean?” comes on the car radio. I answer the question – nobody stops it, you have to move away from it. I pull into the drive and commence stocking the pantry, gently shooing cats out of the way, breakfast burritos on the brain.
Shaw Family Salsa Recipe
6-8 pickled jalapenos
1 large can diced tomatoes
1/2 small red onion
1 handful fresh cilantro
6 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt to taste
Plenty of Cumin
Blend thoroughly, can store in fridge for 1-2 weeks.