Saturday, October 21, 2000

Singing and Laughing in the Rain

Vancouver didn't happen. It poured rain in the early morning and we decided a three hour trip in the downpour to get somewhere and then not be able to do anything was kinda silly (occasionally we use common sense). Instead, hoping things would lift a bit, we decided to go to Issaquah Falls and perhaps do some "nature" stuff...and if it rained, we'd shop instead. We are nothing if not adaptable.

The weather wasn't looking too good when we started out and it didn't get much better as we continued to drive. The ran came pouring down and in spots it was almost impossible to see the road.

But by the time we got to the falls, it had started to let up just a tad. We stopped in a couple of places to take scenic pictures. The area was absolutely gorgeous, with stunning fall color.

The falls were beautiful and, of course, we had to take pictures of ourselves there.

It was obvious that we were going to have rain all day, though, so it was "get out, take a couple of photos, visit the ubiquitous gift shop, get back in the car and go shopping." Diane stopped to make a withdrawal at her bank and I began to realize that Peggy's time here was very short, now and got somewhat emotional about it.

But I pulled myself together before Diane returned to the car.

First we stopped for lunch and then to a nearby outlet mall. I've never been "power shopping" before. Peggy hit the stores like she was coming ashore at Normandy on D-Day. I knew we were in trouble when the first two stores in the circle were a shoe store and a sock store. I think I groaned audibly. Even Diane, who hasn't been shopping with Peggy as much as I have knew that she should just plan to wait in the car.

We started at the shoe store. By now I knew what color, style, and size we were looking for, so I ran interference. finding this shoe and that. I did pretty well in my selections, I must say. But, miraculously, there was nothing that appealed to Madam, so we walked out without buying a single pair. Clouds started thickening on the mountain top and it began to rain harder. The gods of shopping were not pleased.

Next it was the sock store. Now remember that Peggy bought >$100 worth of socks in SF a little more than a week ago. Do you know how much I spend on socks? In a year? Do you know how long it would take me to spend $100? But even with buying socks in San Francisco...and somewhere else that we visited after that...she still found socks to buy here. When she went to check out, they pointed out that if she bought 3 more pair, they would give her a 10% discount. Never mind that the 3 pair WITH the 10% discount would cost more than she was already paying, but by now the disease was in full bloom. She couldn't find 3 more pair that she she bought 3 pair for me! Couldn't waste a good bargain like that.

I knew what I was along for. I was the pack mule. She chose, tried on, bought, and handed the bags to me. We went to the next store. Van Heusen. Oh dear. We found lots of pants and shirts for her to try on. We filled the dressing room and then she sent me out to exchange sizes, colors or whatever wasn't quite right. On the way to the checkout counter with the purchases here, she passed.....socks. More socks! (Yes she bought more. Had to match the new purchases, you know.)

And so it went. My arms got fuller and fuller of shopping bags. Diane met us several stores down the row. She had been sleeping in the car for an hour. It finally started pouring (I'm not sure why, 'cause we had certain appeased the gods of shopping by now) and we were going to get into the car to drive back...but unfortunately between us and the car was the Naturalizer store. Shoes. "We'll just go in and have a little look," she said. I scoffed. Two pairs of shoes later we were really going to the car. Diane said it was raining too hard and she would get the car and drive it over. But first, Peggy wanted to "just peek" in the clothing store next to Naturalizer.

It was all Diane's fault. We were almost out the door when Diane said she was going to run to the restroom and would be right back. "Ooooo...look at that," said Peggy. Soon I was adding another sack to my bundles. At least she did manage to pass by the sock rack....but not without checking them out first.

When we got into the car, Peggy squeezed into the back with all her parcels, she suddenly realized we had come to Seattle with one suitcase, into which I managed to squeeze my pitiful collection of clothes, while she filled the rest with her winter wardrobe. Our challenge now do we get all of this stuff home???? I think we may have to visit a luggage store. God help us if it's near a shoe store.

It poured ran most of the way home, and we hit rush hour traffic, but we had a marvelous time, laughing and singing terrible songs. We stopped for groceries and then Diane cooked dinner while Peggy and I worked at getting Diane's new computer system operational--we had the computer up already, of course, but we set up the printer and scanner, while Diane sat here, head in hands, moaning softly about how she would ever learn all of this after we leave. It was midnight when we realized the time. Diane's eyes were drooping, but Peggy was just getting her second wind. If there had been an all night sock store, she would have been ready to do it all over again.

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