We turned a bit too soon for it, and ended up in the parking lot of a strip mall, the one that had the IHOP. I said I wanted lunch, and P. said she'd go to Pathmark in the meantime. She called, and said she was getting chicken. I thought about it for a minute, then texted her to get a bag of ice if she was getting perishables.
I had my brunch: eggs, bacon, hash browns, and pancakes. I drove over to Pathmark and picked P. up. We headed off to the farmer's market. We met up with her brother C. and her sister-in-law right as they were leaving, then walked around outside. The temperature seemed to be in the eighties or so. It definitely wasn't around one hundred degrees like it had been. It was still warm enough. I got a Smashmouth CD. I remember when they had songs on the TV show Roswell. Yes, I was well over high school age at that point, but it came on right after Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also, it was kind of cool in itself. P. found a CD or two, and I think a couple of DVDs. Somewhere along the line, I headed back to the car for sunscreen. I am still very pale. I asked P. if she wanted any sunscreen, but she didn't. She has a very rich amount of melanin.
We headed inside, and I got a couple more little LED flashlights for my keychains, and fresh-cooked mini doughnuts. Yes, I am morbidly obese, and I'm sure my cholesterol is bad, too. A lot of people around the Philadelphia area are fat, not that that's particularly an excuse. I just have plenty of company around here. P. got a couple of pairs of shoes, two pairs for five dollars. The shoe store was closing in a few weeks, so there are no refunds. I hope she likes them, but she seemed to. We stopped at the produce place there, and P. loaded up on produce.
She gave me directions for heading back north. It took me a bit to realize which road she wanted to take to which other road. "But I like [winding back road]," I said.
"I like [main highway], where there are lots of stores. Little winding roads make me feel sick."
"Okay, this time we'll take [main highway]," I said. "Since you don't like the roads where you can't see anything but trees."
We stopped at a grocery store on the way back, since the produce place had been out of green grapes, which Mom wanted. I picked up a gallon of diet decaf tea, also. I don't know why I bother drinking diet tea when I eat so many sweets and starches. The decaf is definitely necessary, given how badly my sleep schedule is messed up. I really like sweet tea, which is a Southern thing that has finally worked its way north of the Mason-Dixon line. I wish more Southern food and soul food was available around here. I have some cookbooks for Southern cooking, but you need ingredients like fatback and chitlins. I am not kidding.
Eventually, we made it back to [borough]. I dropped P. off. She'd brought along a folding grocery cart, which she completely loaded up with all her purchases. I headed home. Perhaps an hour after I got home, we went out to see the fireworks in [localish town]. I don't know why they were holding them a week late. There was a band that played for two hours, with the repetoire a lot of patriotic music and marches, and some show tunes. Mom sang along to a fair bit of it. They played a medley from "Mamma Mia." Mom didn't know those songs, though I've played my ABBA's Greatest Hits CD a few times when we've been on road trips. I figured she'd like it better than Rammstein, but she whines just about as much either way. It's all about the show tunes and popular music of the early- to mid-twentieth century for her. She gets as far as singing along to Judy Collins and Peter, Paul and Mary, and that's where she stops musically. Of course, folk music has been around for a long, long time.
I'd brought a flashlight and a glow stick; we'd put on bug spray, which was not particularly effacious; and I'd brought something to read: Cards on the Table. It's interesting how Josh has the first-person narrator reveal so little about himself to start with, and you get his story in bits and pieces. When you read it again, you can appreciate why Tim thinks the things he does at the time he thinks them. It's cleverly written that way, so even when you know whodunnit, there's a lot of pleasure in re-reading it. It's an example of how to be subtle, and totally avoid an info dump.
It turns out they had glow sticks there, tri-colored necklaces you could get with a donation to defray the costs of band and fireworks. I put on my own glow stick, too. I had gotten one for Dad that was white with an American flag on top, but he'd lost that. During the fireworks, people were going around selling already-lit glow sticks two for a dollar, which is cheap, but I was concentrating on the fireworks. It was quite a nice display.
Dad had dropped Mom and me off relatively close by the lawn with the gazebo where the band played. He ended up parking some way down in the closest strip mall. It was a bit of a walk back to there, but we had lots of company. Mom started complaining about her knee, and then when we were somewhat closer to the car, about her hip. That happened to me at last year's Gay Pride parade and festival, when I'd walked from Market East to Center City, then to Penn's Landing, then around Penn's Landing, then back to Market East. I'm not sure which grinding pain started first then on the trip back to the train station, hip or knee. In comparison, this walk tonight was perhaps the length of a city block. Once we'd pulled out of the parking space, it really wasn't too bad getting to an exit and heading home.