Thursday, November 15, 2007

The New York Experience: Day 13 - The Last Full Day In The Country

Woke up this morning to something we don't see much in California...Rain! It rained most of the night making for a pretty lazy Thursday. My priority item today was packing up my stuff and getting my boarding pass confirmation on Southwest Airlines. Now that they board in a more organized cattle call system (the now use the number after the letter too) I was waiting at the computer, with this slow dialup connection, hoping to be in the first 10 so I can get the left window exit seat with the legroom. Well I hit the "Go!" button 3 seconds after 11:35 and I got A17! How the hell can that be? It's Albany, NY! It's an international airport no bigger than a drive through Starbuck's (which they have out here!). I'm going to get to the bottom of this one.

I had a few tasks I had to do this morning besides getting ready for home which I'm looking forward to. I had to take my Mom to get the mail, hit the local grocery store and go to the bank - not the ATM, the teller! Mom doesn't like nor understand modern technology. It's going to be harder and harder for our older citizens to function in today's world. Everything is so electronic nowadays. I don't know how an 81 year old woman like my Mom would ever get her boarding pass for Southwest. It's got to be frustrating for them as now a days you can't even talk to a live person. But Mom can. Just go to the local Bank Branch and you'll find out about that. She donned her flowery rain hat (it made me laugh) and she was ready for her social event at the bank. "Here comes Mary!!!"

Now here's small town life for you. I went to the ATM and left my card in it. Oops. I discovered this on my Boston trip. I called the bank and they had problem. You see out here, you get your cash, get your receipt and then get your card back. In LA, it's get your cash, get your card, get your receipt. The bank lady says it happens all the time. Now to the funny part. When Mom and I walked into the bank, the tellers (who all new her) said hello, asked her how she was and asked me if I was her son from California as they had my ATM card. The lady figured that since my last name was Sawyer and that I was probably in town visiting my Mom, that they would not destroy the card (as is their policy), and held it for me. So you see, being somebody in a small town can get you the special treatment. Try that in LA. Hell, the tellers wouldn't know me from Brad Pitt. Okay, they might recognize Brad.

I had a little shopping to do at the local markets to get some of the local foods thaqt you just can't get in LA. I already got the cheeses so these foods are our local grocery items that are mostly regional. Some of these will be gifts for members of my family so they can relive the NY Experience all over again at Christmas. These include Wise Potato Chips...the saltiest and greasiest potato chips around but are awesome in taste. Freihofer's Chocolate Chip Cookies which are soft, chewy and oh so friggin' good. And lastly, Genesee Beer, Genessee Cream Ale, and Piel's Real Draft. The Genesee brand is like Rolling Rock to many. Cheap and was what you could afford when you were in high school trying to be cool. The Piel's beer is what my Dad used to by and it is the closest thing to water in the beer family. It'll definitely bring a laugh to my family members who remember this stuff...and now it comes in a 40! Hometown goodness in a bag, box or bottle. That's life!

Why do we collect crap? I'm trying to figure this out because in going through my Dad's workshop, I found more stuff which I can't figure out why we keep it. Light switches and doorknobs that don't work. Pieces of doors and appliances that we left over and we held on to because "we might need them someday." In going through my Dad's stuff, it's kind of hard to throw some things away because of the sentimental value to us. But for anyone at a Garage Sale, this stuff is nothing but crap. I;m beginning to like my brothers motto of "if I'm not going to use it in 30 days, out it goes!" How's that for a philosophy.

My last dinner and evening in the country was pretty much uneventful. My Mom thought I should get a lobster but she wanted leftovers and lobster didn't sound good anymore. So, I went to the local fresh fish market and got myself a couple of dozen steamers (clams) and decided to order a pizza from our local and my favorite pizza place. After that, I did a little packing and went over to our neighbor's to hang out and say goodbye.

There only one more day left in The New York Experience of 2007. I've had a great time hanging out in my old stomping grounds and although I love the country, LA's really my home and I can't wait to get back. I'll miss Mom but my niece and her boyfriend (hopefully husband-to-be) are coming on Saturday to spend Turkey Day with her. Maybe they'll get to see a little of the "S" word...Snow that is.

It's been a great trip but now it's time to get back to reality. That means early work hours, healthy eating, traffic congestion and the Hollywood lifestyle....ahhhh, Home!

Discover Insanity's "The New York Experience" series is a continual recap of the previous day's adventures in the country wilderness of Upstate, New York. We will return with our daily topical blog posts on November 17th