What am I doing here?

2nd December 2022

It was a bit of a wild goose chase, yesterday.

Well not geese, in fact. Those are not hard to find especially along the Hudson River.

Grant announced that he needed dye. Dark green dye.

Which is how I came to forget my decades-old vow:

“Never enter a retail store between Thanksgiving and New Year!”

“At any time!”

Our “short trip” started out in the direction of Wilton where Grant had ascertained Walmart stocked the required item.

But having discovered that we must make a detour to Hudson Falls for pet meds…I inquired of my phone whether there might not be a Walmart within closer range.

Why yes, there was…

But first things first.

Cat medication. Grant went in to get it and came back muttering:

“It’s messed up!”

We have four thyroid cats but two get med once daily and two get it twice. We order it by the boat load, but inevitably…

“Forget about it!” I said. To be sorted…later…

On to Walmart, your sort of everything store. At convenient prices.

Unlikely to be your all-time favourite shopping experience.

Our GPS being re-set for Queensbury, we shot off, in the wrong direction.

Something to do with the timing of instructions:

“Left on Boulevard”…


When you hear clunk it means you screwed up.

“Not there!”

You can almost hear the exasperation and see the raised eyebrows of the GPS voice.

The person who made up this road name must have been short of imagination, so it’s just “Boulevard”.

A couple of U-turns later, the voice informed us we were five miles from destination, at the precise moment that I spotted a Walmart sign, so we took the decision to turn and ignore the clunk.

God knows where we would have ended up.

Where we were was bad enough.

If I had remembered the Christmas factor, I would have remained in the car, but Brain was not fully engaged.

Even the ringing of the Salvation Army bell did not jog loose the ingrained memory of Christmases past.

Barely through the entrance door, the full awfulness of Christmas tat was fully in our faces. So truly awful even it did not arrest my forward propulsion.

By Christmas tat, I mean all of that stuff that is created every year for the sole purpose of getting people to spend money on items they could not possibly want or consider giving except as a bad joke.

Badly put together sweaters in stripes of red and a sickly green that defies description, to which had been loosely attached garlands of tinsel such as you would normally drape on your tree.

That was the particular item that caught my eye as we marched determinedly on. There was so much more.

“Where would they have dye?” asked Grant

Some part of Brain must have been functioning because I had seized hold of a cart/trolley which I clung to as I forged ahead.

“This way!”

Skirting around the periphery of the store eventually led us to more or less the right aisle where things were a bit disordered because of, you know…Christmas! Christmas crafts!

And dye. But not dark green. Damn.

Dark green was at the Wilton branch.

It was at this point that the penny dropped, belatedly:

“It’s Christmas! What am I doing in Walmart?!”

To be honest, it was not that bad. It was early so it was just normally annoying and more claustrophobic only because of all the extra stuff that seemed to be hanging from everywhere.

But it was not a place where we wished to loiter.

So we made tracks for home.

Road works not-withstanding, traffic was not an issue.

But we had been out all morning to return with only half the required pet meds and no dye.

Had we been chasing wild geese we could easily have found some, but when Grant suggested a further stop at one of the locks:

“Nah. I’m done.”

Besides, it was way past cat lunch.

Mostly empty-handed we may have been,

but no journey up here is ever a waste of time.

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