Happy mid-summer/solstice

Today is the longest day of the year, and the shortest night, in the northern part of the world. Tomorrow is also a full moon. Heavy vibes. No wonder I’m feeling it.

The regular weather sites and reports call it the “first day of summer” tomorrow, but really, if the days are getting shorter again, it’s actually that summer is half-over. Mid-summer…as in “a mid-summer night’s dream”…

The plants, trees, and critters know it, I’d bet. That the peak of the sun has been reached for this year, and it’s on the way back south again, and with it the shorter days and growing nights.

But that’s ok, I tend to like it a bit on the cooler side.

Saw a rainbow today after a brief “sun-shower”, so it made the solstice extra special.

The beggar took credit cards…

(A little bit of a story, it may form part of a larger collection one day.)

It was late, well after midnight, on one of those warm summer evenings with a slight breeze, the moon out, and the crickets chirping; pretty much perfect. I couldn’t sleep, which was nothing new for me, so I went out for a coffee at the 24 hour cafe nearby, across from the beach. There was no one else home, anyway, as I lived alone, a good way to be for a wandering, insomniac writer.

I got a cup of joe and sat at one of the tables on the patio out front, enjoying the smell of the coffee mingling with the ocean air, and the moon sparkling off the waves. There were others out enjoying the night: some on the beach, some on bikes, a few in cars, some on the sidewalks, and some in cafes.

I looked over at the other patrons of this particular cafe, of which there were only three: one couple engrossed in each other, and some other strung-out guy staring into space. No one paid me any mind, and I liked it that way, as I could be alone with my thoughts and my loneliness, which wasn’t all bad, as I got some good story ideas that way.

I didn’t get to enjoy the nuances of the night for long, as along came a clearly homeless man, dirty-looking, and his smell preceeding him. “Oh, god,” I muttered into my cup, drinking some more delicious coffee down (I could still sleep after coffee, if I were really tired, so it didn’t phase me). He stood across from me on the sidewalk, only a flower box providing me any protection. It didn’t take long for him to utter the expected words: “Can you spare any change?”

“No, sorry, I only carry a card most of the time, these days,” I replied, sure it would defeat him and cause him to turn to his next prey.

The beggar’s deep-set eyes widened and he smiled a dirty-toothed smile. “That’s ok,” he said. “I take credit cards! All of them! Phone payments, and crypto, too!” He pulled out a mobile phone with a card reader attached.

I stared at his device, just about lost for words. “I-I…can’t, I’m sorry.” I shut my hanging mouth and drank some coffee. There was no way I was going to trust this guy with a payment from my credit card, and besides, what was a beggar doing accepting all those sorts of payments? Was he making a career out of it? That type of thing I definitely didn’t support; someone truly in need was another story. But not a guy with a setup like that, it just seemed like a good way to play on people’s sympathies and be a scammer. Maybe I was wrong, but that’s how it appeared to me.

I left the patio as the beggar worked the others, taking my coffee down to the beach. There were fewer people there, and I was nearly alone with the sound of the water. It was good to feel the slight moisture from the crashing surf. I walked slowly in the sand, trying not to get too much of it in my shoes. I looked up at the partial moon, and how its light fell on the waves.

I walked along the seawall for a long time, restless, until my coffee was gone, and the first light of dawn was starting to appear in the sky. I made my way back home, to my empty house, and wondered if I’d be able to sleep, hoping I could.

Copyright 2024 by David Sloma





Spending too much money at Tim Hortons (Horton’s?)

The warm weather is here in these parts and that means road trips! (And lots of road construction.)

During these road trips, I regularly stop in at “Timmies” AKA Tim Hortons (or if you are concerned with English punctuation, like me, it should be Horton’s – with the possessive apostrophe…). I spend far more than usual at Timmies when I’m on the road.

Why? Well, “Tim’s” are everywhere. Not quite everywhere, but there are a LOT of them around, over 5000 stores in 13 countries, apparently. All I know is you can’t go far in Canada without seeing one. Also, they are still fairly reasonably priced, the service is usually fast, the washrooms are usually alright, and the food and coffee is decent (sometimes even delicious). This is all especially appreciated when on the road in a strange town, tired and in need of coffee, and/or hungry, and there are few, if any, other options available.

I’ve taken one road trip so far this season, in mid-May 2024, and I’ll likely write up something about that here, soon. It was about a 2 week trip, I stayed in motels/hotels, as my camper van bit the dust last year, and I wasn’t able to find another camper in time for the trip. The trip was a mixture of business and pleasure, and it was nice to get out on the road after a long winter! When I got back, I had a few Tim’s cups, wrappers, and napkins to clean out…as usual.

But I’ve found another camper, one that will fit in the back of my pickup truck (the truck was a used one I bought last fall, after I had to give up my unrepairable camper van – a bit of a long story, so I’ll save that for another time). I will be making my maiden voyage with the new-to-me camper soon, so that’s going to be something new, fun, and exciting (as the saying goes)! So far it’s free of cups and stuff from Tim’s in it, but for how long?

No doubt that first trip with the new camper, and trips to come, will include me stopping in at Tim’s when the need arises. I really should buy some stock in the company, with what I spend there – and also, nearly every Tim’s I’ve ever seen has been PACKED! (This is not financial advice, just an observation from being at many Tim’s around Canada.)