I had to buy lunch today; normally I bring in leftovers from home but there wasn't much of anything left over in the refrigerator. The town where I work is along the freeway halfway between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Duluth, so there are several fast food options out by the interchange. However, my office is located over a mile away from Fast Food Row. Getting fast food necessarily involves driving, and I already drive nearly thirty miles one way to get to work, so I like to avoid any further unneccessary use of my car. The grocery store, three blocks away, has some pretty good deli sandwiches, so I walked to get one.
As long as I was out walking in the warm (40 F) January air, I decided to stop by the thrift store. As in many towns these days, you can't buy new clothing in town; it's all at Wal Mart, fourteen miles down the freeway. I like browsing in the thrift store, and occasionally I get lucky and find something nice. Most clothing is $3 or less, which is all the more reason to shop there. Today I did get lucky; first in the book section I found a copy of Daniel Quinn's Ishmael, which I have been wanting to read, and a Garrison Keillor novel, Love Me. Then I found two pairs of jeans, Levi's and Eddie Bauer, my size (grudgingly admitted) and my style (none of this boot cut, low rider crack-showing stuff for me; I'm into the "relaxed fit" years!) For all of that I paid $7.50.
On my way back to the office, after getting my sandwich, I heard a cardinal singing. That's something I would not have heard as I was waiting in the drive-thru across the freeway!
Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like, or even what this little town would be like, if more people chose to walk places instead of hopping into the car and driving across town for lunch.