My two biggest clients pay irregularly. Don’t get me wrong; they’re good people who have gone out of their way for me in many ways. But they may pay me quickly or … not. I never know.
Weirdly, they seem to conspire; in months when one is slow, the other usually is, too. I try to keep a cushion for bill paying, but this month the cushion got threadbare.
My income in the last 30 days was $200.42 — all thanks to you guys stepping up your regular use of my Amazon links. (You see why I ask you to bookmark that link and use it as your everyday entry point into Amazon?)
Yesterday morning I met a friend outside the post office. She asked if I needed her to pick up anything at Costco. I joked, “I’d tell you I need kibble, but until I find out what’s in the mailbox, I’m not sure whether I’m going to need to feed the dogs or eat them.”
Fortunately, both clients (see, they really are conspiring) had money for me.
And knowing what I’ve got stashed in my pantry, my friend laughed; the pups would be at the dinner table, not on it.
The day was rainy but mild. Getting paid made it feel light. I put Ava on leash and we walked the little downtown, paying bills, running errands.
At the thrift store I found the perfect winter jacket — nice, warm, rain-resistant Gore-Tex with giant fastenable pockets, velcroed cuffs, all the accoutrements, and a hood with a rain visor and fancy adjustments on each side. Looked brand new. It was even in one of my favorite colors. A real score.
However, I’m always in search of the perfect jacket (one in each vehicle, one in the bug-out bag, a couple in the closet, one for the mud room, one for luck (I hate being cold!)). So the cagey ladies at the thrift store have me figured out. They do their pricing ad hoc at the counter and this one cost a whole $6.00 — considerably more than the other perfect jackets I’ve bought there. Yeah, they’ve got my number.
But what the heck; yesterday I felt rich.
No winter jacket is perfect without gloves tucked in one pocket and earmuffs or a woolly hat in the other. (I’m downright paranoid about getting caught unprepared in the cold.) Found some of each, zipped them into the big pockets, and after that felt not only rich but ready for anything.
I donned my new perfect jacket, snugged the hood, and Ava and I tested it along the town’s pocket waterfront.
It’s beautiful here. But you know how it is; you could live in a suburb of Heaven and after a while you wouldn’t notice the view. Yesterday, I noticed.
We walked beside the estuary. The tide was running high enough to flood the lowlands. The floating pier where a few pleasure boats dock was lifted as high as I’d ever seen it. Herons waded in the submerged grasses and a gaggle of Canada geese took a break from their migration.
The hills downstream still wore a little fall gold, but were mostly muted and gray, with mists curling away from their tops and out of their hollows.
Walking further, we came to an old concrete bunker, probably a relic of WWII (I can’t imagine any Japanese soldiers or submarines had any real desire to end up here, though). Last summer the bunker was somebody’s squat. Now, down in the drowned grasses, a sleeping bag and mattress were edging their way toward the sea as the tide turned.
The water in the estuary swirled from bank to bank and over the banks but quietly, with no sense of urgency or danger. At the end of the walk, where the trail concludes at the wreck of a railroad bridge, I looked across the river and saw that the new, unoccupied waterfront townhouses were living up to their name; the currents were lapping peacefully at their foundations. The townhouses mimic midwest farmhouses, with broad, covered porches all ’round. They sit in row in a field of tall grass. The scene was pastoral and pretty and of course completely insane. This is, after all, just a normal winter tide. What’ll the buyers do when the water decides to get serious?
I live on the flat. But not quite that flat. Being glad my cozy old house has 10 or 15 feet elevation on those fancy new townhouses, I headed for home, the Beauteous Princess Ava Prettypaws trotting companionably at my side.
I dread winter and have I mentioned I really, really, really hate to the point of bug-eyed paranoia being cold? But this is such a beautiful place to live. Especially when you’re rich, like me.