Memories and Musings: The very sunny, very pleasant, very ‘cool’ day

Published 8:28 am Thursday, March 24, 2022

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By Gene Gallelli

It started like any other day: up at 7:15; two cups of coffee; bagel, pancakes, eggs or cereal; shower, shave and dress; and then daily errands and routines. However, the “cool” things and people I saw during the day were anything but routine.

Once out of the house, it was off to the post office. I held the door for a young lady going in who said, “Thank you!” And someone held the door for me going out and I said, “Thank you!” What a pleasant way to start the day, I thought.

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Once back in the car – and after turning on the engine and turning up the heat – I started flipping through my mail and, finding no bills but finding the last document needed for filing my taxes, I continued to enjoy the day.

My next stop was the grocery store, where I found and parked in a spot right next to a shopping cart return. (My bride would have been proud of me for finding a parking space so close to the store entrance.) As I checked to make certain I had my wallet and the shopping list, I noticed a young man – that’s a relative term for me now – collect two shopping carts left in parking spaces and wheel them back into the store. I was proud of him, and that was yet another plus to my day.

My grocery list was very short and sweet, so my shopping was quick, routine and pleasant. I was pleased to find and anxious to try a brand of jarred tomato-and-basil spaghetti sauce I had never seen before – I had long ago become disappointed with the two or three popular brands. Maybe this “new” sauce would tide me over until I took the time to make a slow-cooked, meat-laden Sunday sauce.

After I arrived home, my daughter and I put the limited groceries away and I proselytized a bit about the “new” sauce and got a let’s-wait-and-see reception to my sermon.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention – forgetting is one of my escalating skills – on my way home from the grocery store I stopped at the library to check out the “sale” books (one dollar for hardbacks, fifty cents for paperbacks) on the outdoor shelving in their adjacent parking lot. For three bucks I got novels by David Baldacci, James Patterson and Lee Childs. Wow! When just released, the three hardbacks would have set me back about 75 dollars. Another big plus for the day.

Since it was too early for a nap, I slipped on my sneakers, grabbed my lined vest, pulled my East Carolina stocking cap over my ears and headed out to take a walk in Festival Park. Once there and parked, me and my shadow took one turn around the paved loop before heading for the boardwalk. The young couple sitting together in the chill at the base of a tree evoked several youthful memories. One more smile for the day. (I must mention: I didn’t see food wrappings, soda bottles and dog deliveries as in the past. Another plus.)

When finally home for the day, I fell asleep in the recliner, dreamed of places I have never been, woke to the aroma of the lemon pappardelle my daughter had made for dinner and poured a glass of white vino to go with the pasta. Perfecto!

The icing on the cake was watching another excellent 1883 episode and knowing I had a Baldacci novel on my nightstand to fall asleep with while reading.

It’s been a very sunny, very pleasant, very “cool” day. I guess what happens after I fall asleep is not up to me.

Gene Gallelli was Associate Superintendent of the Dare County Schools for eight years. He received his Doctor of Education degree from East Carolina University, where he taught and supervised students studying to become school administrators.