You have all had one of those “days.” They start out stupid and last all day long. Actually, this one started the night before, when we had been out Christmas shopping.

Bill and I ride into Albuquerque together and then separate, meeting back at a specific time and place. Cell phones help with this task. I once had a friend, Totsie, that I told I’d meet at Orange Julius. I was at Coronado and she was at Winrock. No cell phones. 

Anyway, I ended up buying gifts for the grandchildren and Bill gave me a check for his half. And I lost it going from the kitchen table to the couch. It was a distance of 20 feet, and I lost it.

Now in the big scheme of things it was only a simple grocery list and a check. He could have written me another check. Or he could have cheated me, saying I had already been paid. He wouldn’t dare! But after I had cleaned my purse twice and looked through the trash and was feeling like the biggest dummy of all times, I found nothing, and I went to bed. Found the check on the nightstand. And so, it begins.

The next day the curse of the lost continued as I made it to Smith’s and the good bargains got me. I filled the cart up with dog food, cat food, people food and more. One of the bags of dog food fell off the bottom of my cart. A kind lady in the parking lot found it and had her daughter carry it to my car. Angels come in all sizes. Bill’s Masonic Lodge brother, Jim Combs, saw that I was trying to cram the U.S.S. Minnow with the provisions of the Titanic and not making much headway. He came to the rescue and in a flash loaded the large and heavy items in the car. More kindness on a rocky road day.

I came home and got the husband to help unload. Our kitchen is up two flights of stairs. When we built this house, we were 38 and had two dumb waiters to carry up groceries. The rationale behind this topsy-turvy house was, we were on top of a mountain and the view was terrific from the upstairs. We could sleep at ground level downstairs. No view who cares? It was great. Until we got to be 72, then our dumb waiters went to college, got married to wonderful women and spent their time taking in their own groceries. We were left to climb two flights of stairs all by ourselves.

While I was putting blueberries away in the fridge, the top opened up and it rained fruit. Have you ever stepped on a blueberry? They stain black shoes! When you clean them up you become an Oompa Loompa, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, never mind. As we were topping the stairs a second time, three cats were hip to hip on the top step: “Where was the cat food?” “Yowl!”

Our cats treat the stairs like it’s a video game. News flash, we humans don’t have three lives or nine.When the dogs are there they are just clumsy and dumb. It is not their intention to trip us, but it is the cats’. No cat food, “Meet our little friends, CLAWS!” So, back to the store I go for more blueberries and canned cat food.

I was again rushing and making mistakes. I got the blueberries and left the canned cat food under the cart. I was home before I remembered it. Like a pinball in the old-fashioned machines I went back to the store. It was gone from the cart. I went in the store to get more; remembering the gleam in my 25-pound cat’s eyes that threatened my very existence. No one had taken the cat food from the cart, the good community neighbors brought it back into the Smith’s. It was right there in customer service for me to pick up.

Is this a great town or what? When I rush, I forget why I am shopping. But if I linger long enough, it will come to me. Besides, they have donuts. Tis the season to be jolly. Roaring Mouse, going back to the store, again. Out.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.