Being retired, I'm used to having a pretty relaxed schedule. But before the coronavirus arrived to mess up our lives, frequently I'd set off in my car with a bunch of to-do's and manage to get them all done.
Bank. Pharmacy. Grocery store. Hardware store. That sort of thing.
Now, I feel I should get a trophy if I just get one errand accomplished, because these days most things aren't nearly as easy to do. Here's today's example.
Yesterday I decided to paw through a wicker storage basket that contained quite a few pairs of shoes that I wasn't regularly wearing anymore. Some were too small for me now.
Since I'm 71, not 7, the reason can't be that my feet are growing. I guess they're flattening out. Or fattening out. Regardless, those shoes went into the giveaway pile.
Along with shoes that seemed like a good idea to buy a few years ago, yet now made me wonder, What was I thinking when I got these?
My wife also had been doing some culling of clothes, shoes, and other items.
So she loaded our combined donation stuff into the back of my Subaru Crosstrek, as I was planning to take it to the south Salem Goodwill store on Monday, since my reading of the Goodwill web site indicated that store was reopening today.
However, Monday is my grocery shopping day.
And I figured there would be fewer people taking things to donate at the south Salem Goodwill store today as it would take a while for word to get out about the reopening.
Good idea. It just didn't mesh with reality.
Because when I drove into the parking lot of the Goodwill store on Commercial Street, my first reaction of Great, hardly anybody is here was quickly followed by... Because the store isn't open.
Nevertheless, I noted that a large stack of stuff had been left in the outside donations area.
Getting out of my car, I perused the signs that said it was illegal to take anything, and it would be considered littering (or a word to that effect) if donations were left outside of business hours.
I pondered these two edicts, tempted to join with those who had left their donations, but worried that someone might steal the shoes and other things that I'd leave there as, technically, litter.
Temptation gave way to Heck, i've got the time. I'll drive to the West Salem Goodwill store, since I knew it was open.
First, though, I needed to check out the status of the all-important Starbucks Drive Through Lane. Getting a grande decaf nonfat vanilla latte once or twice a week is a high point of my Stay Home, Save Lives existence these days.
However, when I turned into the Starbucks on the north side of south Commercial (not to be confused with the Starbucks down the road on the south side of south Commercial), the long line of cars in the drive through was daunting.
Then I noticed a woman standing at a window, being served by a Starbucks employee. Sweet! I parked, walked up to the window, all ready to order my latte, and was met with a question.
"Did you make a mobile order?" "Um, no." "Sorry, this window is just for mobile orders."
Semi-glumly walking back to my car, I had a bright idea: I'll get out my iPhone, fire up the Starbucks app, and make a mobile order for a grande decaf nonfat vanilla latte. After which, I'll walk back to the window and say, NOW, I have a mobile order.
Unfortunately, I'd never used the app for a mobile order.
It was more complicated than I expected to fashion a latte to my specifications. Meanwhile, as the minutes ticked by I couldn't help but notice that the line of cars in the drive through lane was moving along quite briskly.
Definitely more briskly than the slow progress I was making on a mobile order for this Starbucks location, especially since I was sitting less than 50 feet away from it.
So I started my car, got in line, and soon was in possession of a grande decaf nonfat vanilla latte that was handed to me from a window on the opposite side of the building from where my latte search had started.
Now I was ready to head to West Salem.
I'd never been to the Goodwill store there, but it's hard to miss, being new and large. Approaching the donation drop-off, I was thrilled to see that there was only one car there.
That thrill dissipated when the Goodwill employee at the drop-off started waving his hands in a go-away fashion. Rolling down my window I heard, "You've got to go around and get in line." "Sorry," I said.
There were about eight cars ahead of me. I passed the time sipping my latte and listening to the latest depressing news on MSNBC and CNN. Eventually I reached the promised land of the West Salem Goodwill donation drop-off.
I was told which bins held certain donated items, and to not put in the boxes and bags containing the stuff we were donating. I proudly said, "No problem. I tied together the shoelaces of my shoes." The employee said, "Good. Sometimes it's difficult to find a missing shoe."
Pleasingly, because my wife is almost always right, and I'm almost always wrong (normal state of affairs in a 30-year marriage), in one of the bags I came across a pair of shoes that Laurel had left loose.
I made a point of saying loudly enough for the Goodwill employee to hear, "Oh, look, my wife didn't tie the shoelaces together. Guess I'll have to do it."
Thus ended my sole errand for a Friday. I felt a lot like Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic (before it sank). I'm the king of the world. I succeeded in making a Goodwill donation. Time to go home and relax for the rest of the day.