Dare We Eat Out? We Dared.

I don’t know where we are in this pandemic, so we took a break and went out to dinner with our friends Ed and Sue. Not counting takeout, it’s been months since we’ve eaten out — the last time was in April, freshly vaccinated and feeling safe enough to go out in public after a year of hunkering down. The restaurant we ate at last night, an outdoor beer garden on the east side of Tucson, was packed with couples, groups of friends, and families. No one, wait staff included, wore masks, not even the people in the queue waiting for tables. It was as if the pandemic had been a dream. Tucson’s east side runs Republican, so we weren’t too surprised. Nor, I have to admit, were we uncomfortable. That last part worries me a little.

At dinner, Ed told us about the shortages affecting restaurants and fast food outlets around town, not least his own business. From straws to pizza boxes, there are limits on the quantities of supplies restaurants can buy, and a shared sense it won’t be long before some critical items won’t be available at any price. Ed’s already thinking of alternate ways he can package to-go pizza orders: putting them on cake rounds and covering them with aluminum foil, for example. That’ll work for while, until he can’t get cake rounds, which are made of the same cardboard they use to make pizza boxes. And what about us at the consumer end? Remember toilet paper hoarding? It’s back!

I hope what’s going on in England isn’t a sign of what’s to come here, but what do I know? Gas prices are going up again. Maybe the wolf really is at the door. It was sure nice, though, to sit and talk with friends again.

I’m going to sell my motorcycle but there are a couple of small things I want to fix first, so Ed and I set a date to work on it in his shop. I hate selling motorcycles, because who knows what you’re getting with the yahoos who show up to kick tires. One thing I’m sure of is if I can’t get my price it’ll stay. A 20-year-old Goldwing doesn’t cost much to keep. Insurance is cheap and the annual registration is down in the $20 range. I don’t ride much any more, though, and there’s no good reason to hang onto it. It would be nice to see it find a new home, freeing up garage space for Donna’s car, but it’s not critical.

Donna drove to Phoenix today to get a sewing machine she’d taken up earlier for repairs. She has a couple of machines that can’t be serviced here in Tucson, so these Phoenix runs come up every couple of months. It was almost six in the evening before she got home. I was going to offer to go get takeout, but she passed a KFC on the way back into town and picked up a bucket of extra crispy. That’ll be a treat … we haven’t had food like that in ages.

The new dogs, Fritzi and Lulu, came from their foster family with a pair of strappy, complex harnesses. We set them aside and got the girls the kind of harnesses we’re used to. Lulu’s so tiny, though, the one we got for her — the smallest size available — is a bit loose and I worry she’ll get out of it. Yesterday I dug out the one she came with and tried it on her. Took me almost 20 minutes to figure it out and get it on right, but now the code’s cracked I think we’ll stick with it. I tried Fritzi’s on her as well, but the jury’s out. She’s larger in the chest than Lulu, and the replacement harness we got for her fits well.

One morning every week Donna and our friend Mary Anne go on long walks. Mary Anne takes her dog Anthony and Donna brings Mr. B. Yesterday she took Fritzi instead, leaving me to walk Lulu and Mr. B. I hooked them up to the double lead we normally use for Lulu and Fritzi. Mr. B hated it, pulling away from Lulu every step of the way. And of course Lulu missed Fritzi. She cried and yipped after Donna left with Fritzi, and when we got home from our walk and Donna and Fritzi weren’t home waiting for us, she cried and yipped some more. Then when Donna and Fritzi did get home, Donna stopped out front to talk to a couple of neighbors walking by. This all was visible through the family room window, and Mr. B joined in with Lulu on the crying and yipping. I finally clipped them back onto the double lead and took them out front to join in on the conversation. I swear, the excitement never stops for those three pups.

That chicken is calling to me. More adventures coming, I’m sure, so stay tuned.

© 2021, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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