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To lay down my (virtual) pen

Oh, how I would love to not have this obligation today. I'm not obligated to you, not even obligated to NaBloPoMo. I'm obligated to me. I made a promise and I will keep it. Thirty days. Every day. A daily blog post, no matter what.

My travels are nearly always to visit the not-so-far-flung members of my family. I'm able to drive to my destinations within a few hours, and I don't dislike the driving, especially when I've popped a good audiobook onto the iPod.

My current visit has been lovely and fun and relaxing.

My problem with not wanting to write when I travel is that the other promise I've made to myself is to not write about them – the family members – here. I'm not sure what kind of blog this is – it doesn't fit so neatly into a weight-loss or running or foodie category, though it began, years ago, as a way for me to document the eternal losing of the lard. I know what kind of blog it isn't, though, and it isn't one where I share my children's and grandchildren's lives.

And so I feel inauthentic when I post while I'm visiting one or the other of them. Like I'm making things up and being less than open. You don't care, you probably don't even notice.

But it's quite difficult for me, who so easily spills the daily drivel of my Middle-of-Nowhere world, to hold back when I find myself in civilization again.

So today's post (finally, right?) will be about how I felt as we headed out yesterday to pick up some things at Kohl's.

I don't much care to shop anywhere, and Kohl's – while their reasonably priced goods are of perfectly fine quality – seems crowded and claustrophobic to me, at least the few times I've been there in the past. You can imagine how unsettled I was at the thought of going there on Black Friday.

There wasn't much traffic on the way, which was nice, perhaps lulling me into a sense of "this isn't going to be so bad after all." The parking lot was packed, of course, but we didn't have trouble finding a spot to land.

Inside, however, people and carts and baskets and children and sales staff and even dropped merchandise jammed the aisles. I worried that my purse would shatter the delicate Christmas ornaments on display. (And I idly wondered how many of those ornaments actually survived their trip from China to North Carolina.)

Once I settled down a bit, I realized this was a good opportunity to actually, um, do some shopping. That's what stores are for, right? I found flannel sheets to give to my sister and bathroom rugs for my guest bath. Black Friday. Done.

Today is Small Business Saturday. We're heading out to a small area of a distant city where the shops will be owned by individuals, not big corporations. Our goal is not really to support small businesses, if we wanted to do that we could stay here to do that. But it will be nice to have a destination where we can enjoy some holiday spirit. And maybe a Moravian spice cookie with tea.

I hope your day is filled with holiday joy. Or football. I'll be heading home tomorrow, back to real life in the Middle of Nowhere.


Anne M. said…
Your blog doesn't have to be about exclusively anything. I see you writing about a mix of things that make up your life, including food and exercise but also your prison women's group, gardening, knitting, politics, and pondering. That's why I like it :)

Not writing about your family here is a deliberate choice, and a wise one.

As for the shopping - I so agree. There's nothing that I need or want to give that requires the crazies of Black Friday shopping. Cyber shopping is something else and it doesn't make me nuts.
Shannon Breen said…
I know what you mean. My blog's not about anything in particular either and I like it that way (although in my case there IS a large emphasis on my kids). Somehow I feel I should focus on something in particular, but then I would lose all motivation if I had to zero in on one topic.

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