Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Columbus Day 2


Lester got his bus tokens and left.
"Paul's thinking about going to Home Depot," Erin told me.
"Really," I said. "What do you want from Home Depot, Paul?"
"I was thinking about getting that dirt."
"You're obsessed with dirt, aren't you Paul?"
"I am."
After further discussion of National Parks, and other matters for a while, the three of us bundled up and left the building.
"Half of our Garden Club isn't even here," Paul observed. He was referring to Hardy's absence.
"One quarter Paul. You and Erin are vital members as well."
We drove in Paul's new Honda to the Home Depot, off of Wilshire, near Alvarado. Erin insisted in sitting in the back, un-befitting her noble position as case manager. She looked too cute back there with her winter scarf and ski cap pulled down over her ears.
"I was going to go to sleep last night as soon as I got home from church," Erin informed us, "but me and my roommate got into a dance party instead..."
"Leah?" I asked.
"Yes, Leah. And now I'm sleepy and want to take a nap."
"Yeah," Paul said. "I'm kind of sleepy too."
"Dance party?" I said.
I'm not sure who was responsible for the idea, so won't give credit to anyone, but the idea of a Nap Club was bandied about, to go along with the Garden Club and Cooking Club.
"We could use our yoga mats," I said.
"Yeah," Paul added, "and use the Defiance Space for all of us to take naps."
"Everyday," Erin added.
That would be just fine for all of the SRHT staff to walk across the parking lot from their offices, including Erin and Paul's bosses, to find several resident's, with their case managers all curled up on the floor in deep slumber, possibly with thumbs extended into mouths, sucking loudly.
Oddly enough, we were soon at our intended destination. The large parking lot was almost full, and Paul had trouble finding a place to park.
But we did, and soon entered the gardening area of the huge store. Paul walked off to talk to some of the garden "associates." The last time we had been here Paul had discovered a great deal on sacks of garden dirt that had been ripped, or torn, that he could buy at a large discount. Erin and I walked among the rows of plants, flowers, and scrubs.
"We definitely need this palm tree for our garden," I told Erin.
"Definitely," she said.
Paul was offered a large pallet of sacks of garden dirt and steer manure mix, about fifteen bags, that the associate offered at about a buck a bag, which normally would have cost anywhere from $105.00 to 180.00.
"What a deal," Paul said. "How are we going to get all of this into my car?"
We also bought a new nozzle for our garden hose, and Paul and Erin picked out some small red perennial plants, and one big blue one.
Then we felt the earth move.
"What is that?" Erin asked. "Is it an earthquake?"
She was referring to the slight vibrations we could feel emanating from the ground. And the tables the plants were sitting on, and the plants them selves were shaking. It lasted for several moments, longer than earthquakes I've experienced in the past.
"I don't know," I told her. "It could be."
"Oh yeah," Paul said, "I do feel it."
"I'm going to check," Erin said, then checked her Iphone for news of a quake in or around Los Angeles.
It would turn out that there was no earthquake, and the source of the shaking would remain unknown, although possible causes included a nearby heavy truck lumbering around, the Red Line subway that ran close to where we were standing, or poltergeist activity.
It was quite a task getting all of that garden dirt and steer manure into Paul's Honda. We put most of the broken bags into other plastic bags that Paul had thoughtfully brought along just for this purpose. We filled the trunk with garden dirt and steer manure, then half of his backseat with garden dirt and steer manure. We stuffed little Erin back there with all of the garden dirt and steer manure, and then took off for home where we planted those perennial plants in our lovely garden.
"Erin is noticeable quiet," I observed on the way back. It may have been the fact that she was sitting next to a big pile of garden dirt and steer manure. She still looked too cute back there holding the blue plant in her lap.
"I heard you sing last night, Rick," she said.
"Where did you go?" Paul asked.
"Rick went to my church last night."
"Oh," Paul said.
This was true. Continuing my habit of investigating local community places of worship each Sunday evening, I found myself at the Risen Church in Santa Monica. It was located in the basement of an Baptist Church. A very informal get together every Sunday at six o'clock at night. I got there a little early and was warmly greeted by John and Kiley, and a young man named Maz came up and introduced himself to me. He would be the evening's speaker, and would speak later concerning a section of the New Testament, Mark, chapter one, verse 21 through 28, to be precise, which pertains to a possessed individual who had the audacity to confront Jesus Christ and was quickly banished from the victim, because of course, Jesus is the personification of God, and God can do things like that.
It was all very enjoyable. Actually, of all of the church services I've ever attended, that had been the most enjoyable of them all. That mainly had to do with the informality I've already mentioned, and the fact that most of the congregation were in their twenties, 95% of it I'd say. Live rock music was played, with gospel lyrics, and singing was involved.
A 5 to 7 minute period was set aside for mingling with others in the congregation, which I'm horrible at, but a nice elderly lady who had been sitting directly in front of me asked me if this was my first time there, and how I happened to learn of it.
I was about to explain that it was my habit to check out local services such as this on Sunday evenings, when low and behold, Erin came up to me from behind and saved me from the elderly ladies clutches. It turned out that this happened to be the church she attends on a regular basis... a stunning coincidence if there ever was one.
She introduced me to her boyfriend, Shane, and her lovely roommate, Leah. I sat with them for the rest of the service.
One interesting point, although by definition this had to be considered a Protestant service, Risen had borrowed the Catholic communion ceremony, and at the end of the service the members of the congregation were invited to come up and receive a piece of bread which they dipped into non-alcoholic wine, which they ate. I did not partake in this ceremony, but did join in the singing.
Erin seemed to be happy that I had stumbled upon her church, and even invited me back for other visits.
What was the third thing that made my Columbus Day? I enjoyed the whole mini-field trip to Home Depot, but I don't think I'll ever forget that vision of my lovely case manager holding her blue perennial sitting next to that big pile of garden dirt and steer manure.
I'm going to have to invest in a camera.

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