Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Big Move ~ a Cooperative Friendship in Eugene, Oregon

Today, my astrology said that I should pay close attention to details, or I may miss things that could prove to be costly in the long run. That said, I usually blunder through my day, and I am lucky to catch on to what's going on around me at times.

It just so happens that I have been craving home cooked Jeera Papadam and today was the day I chose to drive across town to our local Asian Market to pick up some unfinished product, so that I might try my hand at the prepping of this wonderful Indian cuisine snack and appetizer.

I had fun purchasing my Papadam, particularly because I had virtually no idea what I was looking for, nor where I would find it in the Asian market, mainly because nothing is in English until one turns the package over to read the small (required) English insert that has been added in order to sell it in the USA., and that means I am putting my reading glasses on and off continually throughout my travels in the store. It didn't take me long to find what I was looking for, among other things, too. I did refrain from buying a bunch of my favorite things in order to attempt my hand at Indian Cuisine at home. I have no experience at this and to start today could end up being costly (keeping in mind, today's astro reading for myself), so I put all the other items back on their shelves, including the asian ginger crackers and various snacks I usually pick up when I am shopping in this particular store.

I thought this had pretty much taken care of my day, other than the stop I still needed to make at my local Safeway for the milk, eggs, and other staple items I was out of, at home.

I was passing back through Downtown (I live in the extreme northern end of town, the Asian market is in the southern end of town), and I was trying to avoid the county fairgrounds because it just so happens that the Lane County Fair is going on this weekend and traffic was already building when I passed nearby, on my way to the Asian Market earlier. By now, it would be mayhem on the surface streets in that same area.

So here I was, winding my way back northward, avoiding the vicinity of the Lane County Fair, and as I was stopped at a signal, I noticed a string of bicycles stopped across the street from me. My first thought was of disdain that a bike rally or protest had been scheduled today, the final day of the Lane County Fair, and that it was just about to happen, right in front of me......
.....until I took a closer look.
What did I see? A kitchen chair on a trailer, and then a bed's headboard, and another chair. Looking down the street at the bikes still arriving I noticed even more! A washing machine???? Were my eyes deceiving me?
There were crates and boxes, and an easy chair??? What is going on? As the light changed and cars came up behind me, I started off driving northward toward my freeway onramp. As I drove I thought to myself, "this is something you don't see every day, Carol. Get the Car Cam out, now; you still have time."
There was only one more block to go until I was commited to the freeway onramp, and I did it. I turned left, and as I drove down the street I reached into my glove box and took the Car Cam out, laying it on the seat beside me.

Driving back towards the group on bikes, I drove right into the now thriving County Fair traffic jam, which was quickly turning into a gridlock as cars searched city streets for off-site free parking. I was able to skirt the gridlock by zig-zagging city blocks back towards the bike group.

Luckily I came across one of the stragglers of the group and I asked her about them, and she guided me to their resting stop several blocks to my west, one block from the Lane County Fairgrounds (oh my).

I was brave and drove right into the middle of it all, and turned northward away from the Fair one block, to 10th & Monroe, and to find the whole bicycle group parked in the shade of the tree lined residential street. As a residential street, it was already parked with Fair-goer's cars end-to-end; one long line of metal fenders and bumpers, separated only by the driveways of houses that are resigned to put up with the ordeal of Lane County Fair parking once every year at this time.

As I passed the intersection, I was lucky to find an open corner, an illegal yellow curb to park at, (perhaps it was the Police car, interviewing the bicyclists and helping them to pull their trailers to the side of the road that scared off other illegal parkers). I took my chances since I know I'd only be there a little while.

As I got out of my car I asked if they minded whether I took pictures and found that they were very friendly and they said "Go right ahead!" And I did.

I talked to them as I went along. They were all friends, moving a family from the extreme southern section of town from the 39th/Amazon Pkwy area, all the way up to River Road in the extreme northen end of town; and every bit of the move was being made on the backs and trailer of bicycles!

They had everything there, washer/dryer, furniture, even an armoire, boxes, one trailer had wheels on top of wheels, I even saw a flower pot being transported.

The movers were families of all ages, too. There were school aged children, young adults, parents, and even babies too, all in helmetss, all on bikes, all in a cooperative effort to move a family. Their friends.

Wow, I was elated while taking their pictures. Every one of them were happy and exhuberant, not a frown to be seen anywhere. One of them informed me of their route, well chosen as their temporary sojourn would soon end and then they would be approaching the final part of their transport, along the Willamette River's bike path, which would allow them smooth access with no traffic or obstruction for the final leg of their journey.

Right now, however, they were deep within the midst of the surface street County Fair parking and it was getting more and more crowded by the second, the gridlock almost solid, now that lunchtime was here and the Fair open for admittance on its final day of operation.

I knew it was time for me to leave, lest I get boxed in or even worse getting a ticket for my illegal parking. So as I turned to go, I looked back as I got back in my car, still amazed that the happy people moving their friends, were still laughing and smiling and enjoying a "move of a lifetime."

Ironic as it was, the ever growing tension of the 'wanna park for free folks,' seemed to be escalating as they drove round and round the block searching for that one last piece of curb to park along, within close proximity and walking distance to the fair. The bicyclists going to the fair also seemed angstridden, with frowny faces, and I do hope they all got to the fair without too many family arguments.

Amazing that they all shared the same corner with their bikes, the fair goers and the movers, complete opposites in mood and disposition.

I never asked a name, and I have no idea who these happy bicyclists are, but I am completely blown away by their excitement and the exhuberance they all shared, just by moving their friends from one home to another. And they weren't even going to the Fair!

Talk about a co-op! I loved it, and I hope they are going to enjoy their first night at their new home!

And I must say that already two times today, my Astro reading has proven to be correct. After all, it did say that I needed to pay attention to details or I might miss things that could prove costly in the end.

Of course, there is no price that one can put on a smile.

And... when I went to Safeway, I found that my card hadn't scanned correctly, and I got an extra $3.49 back in cash, for the savings I should have received when my items were checked through.

Hmmm.... food for thought.

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