Not the Worst Way to Make an Impression

Dearest Rachel –

Another day, another walk to the ‘office.’ With a stop or two along the way; there are always things that need to be done, after all.

First of which was to stop by the bank and drop off my payment for property taxes. I know they’re not due for another week or two, but given my memory, it’s best to take care of things as soon as I think of them. And it’s not like the bill hasn’t been sitting around on one table or another for nearly the past month; so it’s not like I haven’t let it slide for a bit already. So I wrote up the check before I left, and once I was through the alfresco section of downtown, there was a branch of the bank that served as one of the repositories for property tax payment.

Technically, it’s probably easier for me (in terms of distance) to go to the courthouse with my payment, but that’s not exactly on my way to the office, so this works out nicely for me.

Anyway, I walked in through the first door I could find, which turned out to be something of a back door, because I had to work my way past a series of cubicles in order to get to where the tellers were. The girl behind the counter greeted me pleasantly, to which I responded (perhaps somewhat rudely, I’m afraid) by silently pushing forward the bill and the check. Upon asking if I would like the receipt stapled to the bill, and receiving my assent, she processed the payment along with the remittance form, and began typing something, only to pause.

“You know, I’ve gotten so used to you in that mask that I didn’t realize it was you, Mr. Larson.” Honestly, I’m not sure I know this girl from Eve (and come to think of it, she’s probably right that the masks prevent us from really recognizing each other), but it’s weird to think I’m being recognized in public for the mask. She went on to observe that she realizes that the bottom of my face probably doesn’t look anything like Alfred E Newman, but can’t imagine me looking like anything else.

At this point, I begin to actually see the humor in her… predicament? “Well, as long as you don’t record the payment under the name Neuman, rather than Larson, I’m okay with it.”

Hey, there are worse ways to make an impression.

Anyway, that’s all when it comes to actual errands I need to perform en route to the ‘office.’ But there are always things to observe along the way. And after all, I’m not the only one getting things done along that way. There were, for instance, a couple of guys in standard public works uniforms working on the trees by the town square.

Now, you might remember that I just wrote to you about fall starting today. Let that sink in: fall. Not winter, fall. And yet here they are, working on putting Christmas lights on the trees… or so it seems to be.

Turns out, the trees are evidently wrapped in lights year-round, and these gentlemen are simply testing those lights, to make sure that they will work when the season begins – which I want to make perfectly clear has not begun. It’s just easier to take care of it now, when the weather is… reasonable, rather than wait until November or December to find out that one bulb is burned out, and that an entire skein of lights needs to be replaced in the middle of winter.

Look, I can deal with weird optics as long as there’s a fairly logical explanation. This one at least passes the sniff test. Although I point out that it would make more sense if the lights were orange, given the next holiday coming up. One responds that, over in Holiday Park (wherever that is – I’ve lived in this village my whole life, and I don’t recognize the name of that park), they actually have trees wrapped in orange lights, in preparation for the Halloween season.

Well. So much for giving them ideas.

Once last story from today’s morning journey. It seems from time to time that animals are less and less frightened of mankind – or maybe it’s just me. For what it’s worth, I don’t think any creature is about to confuse me with Snow White, but they don’t run right away. I’d gotten a few close-ups of chipmunks on that hike in the Rocky Mountains less than two weeks ago.

Today, it was a coal-black squirrel just before I reached Recreation Park (Which I should mention was completely empty today. Nobody playing tennis, no moms with their kids in the park, nobody swimming – although I think even you would be reluctant to do so in today’s chilly weather). But that lack of fear only last so long; by the time I got my camera out, he was starting to get suspicious, and darted off.

So this was the best I could do before he dashed out of sight.

Won’t say it’s never dull moment, but stuff does keep happening, and I’ll keep letting you know about it. I know that compared to what you’re dealing with now, this is all pretty penny-ante. But it’s what we’ve got down here, and I’ll continue to let you know about it.

Until next time, remember that I love you.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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