Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vignettes XXXVIII

Cheyenne's desire to be out and about, to sniff everything she can, to live the life she was born to and denied the first eight years of her life, that Cheyenne walks until she drops. Summer is the time of year when one can only walk so far in one direction in an effort to make sure we are close enough to the car by the time she reaches her limit on 95 degree afternoons.Cheyenne is not particular friendly toward other dogs. She walks past dogs trapped in their yards, they bark frantically and she ignores them completely. I have seen her veer away from other dogs playing in open spaces. She enjoys sniffing where they have been but not being among them. I suspect she was forced to grow up in a home with children and other dogs and though she is quite friendly to people, she, like me, relishes her solitude. Some dogs run from home (Cheyenne is not one of them and she is impervious to thunder) and they, one hopes are equipped with the direct line to home, a tag, if they are small and easily stolen like this creature: "...didn't have her collar on." Perhaps that wouldn't have saved her from abduction if the person who found her wanted her and didn't do the right thing and drop her off at the SPCA on Stock Island as one should. On our frequent walks around town I see things that strike me but have no context so I take a picture and hope I remember to add to my next list of inconsequential curiosities. Like this shutter next to Blue Heaven restaurant studded with staples. A former public bill board I suppose now painted over. We have had the first round of elections running up to this November and the other day I actually saw someone taking the time to remove a losing candidates bill boards from the side of the road. I wish I remember whose it was. Such civic pride might induce me to vote for them next time around. I am by turns amused and annoyed by misspelled signs. Sometimes I am tripped up by the essential ie spell word checker but I would resist the temptation to post a notice without first checking the spelling.Parking is always an issue in Key West. This next is a shot I took down Southard Street and yet not a few hours later a neighbor from this area called Dispatch to let us know an out of town car was parked in a residential spot (you have to have a tag stamped with the word "Monroe" or have a sticker to enjoy the privilege of these special spots). Parking rubs some people's nerves quite raw. I am glad I live in the suburbs on these occasions, and I feel privileged my expensive vehicles get to sit under the house and out of the sun's damaging rays. This next sign made me laugh out loud; happily it is September and no one was around except Cheyenne to listen to me bray.This sign isn't a misspelling, it's just a sign of age and wear and tear at the elderly Fire Station Number Two on Simonton at Angela Streets.Cheyenne completely ignored this sign on the fence as she stumped by. Perhaps she felt it struck a little too close to her own home.
On the subject of Angela Street this next sign always stirs passers by, the dead end at the cemetery on Angela at Grinnell. However the "one way" sign is now pointing the wrong way. Very confusing. Why the powers-that-be made that decision I couldn't say. I just try to remind myself of the new reality before I embark on the street.A while back they decided to make a bunch of narrow streets in Bahama Village one way in varying directions. I suppose those changes were necessary in these SUV encumbered times but I still find myself making extra circuits in the village in an effort to find a street heading my way. I am a slow learner. Chickens, here's another one for those that like to see them roaming the streets. Actually this is a rooster known to British/English speakers (an intemperate lot) as a cock.A friend gave us a piece of Frangipani promising if we planted it, despite it's severed state, it would grow. This one was trying to make a go of it in a garbage can. I think it's fate is sealed even as mine is showing signs indeed of sprouting. In the midst of life we are in death. This next place has been on the market for some considerable time but unless someone decides to buy it, one has to suppose it will remain moribund on the Boulevard.
I wish they would get a move on, whoever they may be that have faith in the resurgence of the national economy that is continually promised with no evidence to back it up.There are a few VW vans around town. Like classic motorcycles they are a source of nostalgia for me even though I suffered all the traits of unreliability that both my vans could possibly have inflicted on me (and are famous for). If you want to hear my wife swear like a fishwife ask her about the splendid $7,000 Vanagon I insisted we buy years ago to enable us to travel more comfortably (with our then Labrador). I spotted this cyclist on Ashe Street on a 95 degree afternoon. Noel Coward's line about mad dogs and Englishmen sprang to mind. I wished I'd had a heavy sweater I could have offered him.I read from time to time the question on Trip Adviser, "Where do locals eat?" Outback, Miami Subs and so forth are the places locals can afford, but tourists don't want to hear that reality. Conchs do love their Dairy Queen across the street from the Weather Station. They even have stickers on their cars to prove it. No really they do.Dairy Queen is tucked away out of sight but if you want to meet locals at their favorite watering hole that's where you go. Sorry about that, reality intrudes once again. I haven't yet seen 105 degrees on the car temperature gauge as we saw in our cross country trip across the Great Plains this summer. But I did see this:When we started the process of trying to renegotiate our home loan with Wells Fargo the witches of the Bank Too Big Too Fail argued we were spending too much for gas and could cut back to make our $3,000 a month payment on our devalued house more affordable. Yup, sure we could. I expect gas is cheaper where they live and do business collecting TARP funds.It's that time of year again, a new pair of $30 Crocs to replace the last set I wore out over the summer. I went with a different shade this time. The clerk at the Neat Stuff store on Flagler Avenue where I get my Crocs said they are Salmon colored (not crass pink). They are not as nice as my old Fuchsia pair, my wife says, but the old ones were worn completely out. Their state of disrepair would have made the Witches of Wells Fargo happy.And so it goes. New footwear, more bills and summer creeping toward the end of hurricane season. So far so good.