Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Thirty Dollar Boot

by Pa Rock
Economic Stimulator

After a morning of still more unpacking and laundry, I headed off to the gym this afternoon where I did a little over two-and-a-half miles on the treadmill at a brisk clip, some pull-ups with the weights, and then sat in the wonderful, bubbling sauna for a shamefully long time. The iPod is adding years to my life. It currently has 3,220 songs, and is basically the soundtrack of my life. I slap on those headphones, cover the numbers on the treadmill with a towel, and rock-on for a minimum of ten songs - which puts me somewhere over thirty minutes. (If Alice's Restaurant or some anthem from Woodstock happens to shuffle to the top, I could be stepping along for forty-five minutes or more.) Time, as they say, truly does fly when you're having fun!

The gym was followed by a trip to Costco, usually an expensive venture, but this time I got away with just two books - both by Dr. Seuss, my favorite author. I also partook of their "hot dog deal" which completely negated any benefit from the treadmill!

My home is in Litchfield Park, the gym is in Goodyear, and Costco is in Avondale - all relatively close. I tried to get from Avondale to Surprise without using one of the major thruways, but my progress was repeatedly thwarted by closed roads and dead ends. Before I gave up and hit the 101, however, I did discover the little community of Maryvale, a grotto of relatively poor housing nestled within the tile-and-tan expensive sprawl that is modern Arizona.

Surprise, Arizona, might sound like a ghost town, but it is actually one of the more modern and progressive parts of the valley. It is about five miles due north of Luke Air Force Base on Litchfield. The city of Surprise has all of the national chain stores and restaurants, and new homes and apartments are springing up at a fierce and alarming rate.

My objective in going to Surprise was to visit Lowe's where I purchased, among other things, a gigantic wind chime, and a very large, cement, and weather-beaten boot that is painted several shades of brown. The boot is actually a planter, and tomorrow I will stuff it with a cactus. Tonight it is sitting empty by my front porch. (I'm not concerned about any of the neighbors making off with it, because the damned thing weighs a ton and none of their scooter chairs could handle the heist!)

And that was my day in one-hundred-and-ten degree Arizona!

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