So here’s a little vignette that I felt like sharing with you all. (though I may not be sharing with very many because the WP-to-FB link never seems to work, at least not automatically…)
Today was a nice spring day in Clovis–it was warm and sunny for a change, and the cow smell was relatively muted. Therefore, after picking up some lunch (free, with a random snail mail coupon) from the local Taco Box, I decided to eat, and study, outside at the little park across the street. I parked my car, grabbed my food, drink and academics binder, and strolled over to a little covered area with a picnic table.
Now if you live in this area, maybe even if you’re just in touch with someone here, you know that high winds are one of the bonuses that come along with residency. Several times during almost every session I’m logged in to a computer on base, I receive emails and instant alerts for conditions such as “40-50 KNOT WINDS OBSERVED” (if not 50+ knots, and/or wind chill under 10 degrees). That said, today seemed like a respite–part of my decision to have my own little picnic was the apparent calm outside.
So I sat down at the table, grabbed the tater tots out of the bag, and opened my binder up to a lesson I wanted to review. It was right about then that I noticed that nothing I put on the table was staying in its place. The cup of tater tots was toppling over and spilling its contents over a several-foot radius; the carry-out bag (still with a decently hefty burger inside) was getting pushed right off the tabletop; and the binder would not stay open to the page I wanted to read, even when I put my keys there as an attempted paperweight. “And this,” I reflected, “is one of the least windy days in recent memory around here.”
I tried to grin and bear it for about 3 minutes. Eventually realizing that I was spending more time and energy trying to keep things from blowing away than I was eating or studying, I gave up, gave in, took everything back to my car and finished my lunch there. What a complete and utter fail. I’ll have to think twice about further efforts to venture out into the harsh, inhospitable climate found at this remote outpost. Perhaps I’ll just hunker down and await the return of the Enterprise and my voyage back to civilization!
All irony aside, I’ve been reminded to find good things about living here, and I think that’s great advice. One positive thing I want to point out is that the locals with whom I’ve come in contact have been, by and large, very friendly. The neighbors I’ve met so far are all nice people, and I can hardly think of a negative interaction I’ve had anywhere around town. The rumored antagonism between airmen (and their families) assigned here and other citizens seems to be just that–rumors, with little truth to them.
If you read and enjoyed this post, let me know since that might encourage me to write more often. If you didn’t enjoy it, and/or have criticisms (constructive or otherwise) to offer, don’t be shy about that either!