Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What to do while locked out

So I locked myself out of the house for a couple of hours Monday morning, a footnote in the ain't-technology-grand? department. What's-the-big-hurry? department, too.

Here's how it happened. The truck went down the hill to Chuck's at 8:30 a.m. to have its oil changed and a couple of other things done and I walked the block and a half back up, then got that sinking feeling while walking toward the closed garage door. It's automatic. Back out, push the button and drive away. Even if you're only going to be gone for five minutes. Because I always go into and out of the house through the garage door --- storm doors latched, no way to get into the house.

Remember the good old days when garage door openers were little clip-on devices that could, in a pinch, be carried around? Now the code is programmed into the truck which has become, in effect, a very large garage door opener --- with four-wheel drive.

Maybe if I hurried back down the hill I could grab the truck long enough to do a fast drive-by door opening. No such luck. Half way down the hill, caught sight of it on the lift before the overhead door rolled down.

So I just kept walking up to the square --- the long way, three blocks. That's one thing about living in a small town. If your legs work reasonably well, there's no place you can't walk to. But I'm so darned lazy. Came out of a City Council meeting a couple of weeks ago, got into the vehicle and drove home --- two blocks. Why did I drive to City Hall in the first place?

Anyhow, with roughly two hours to kill I dropped off an envelope for a friend at Kent Farm Management, then went on to Piper's for two fresh doughnuts and a bottle of water (parched after that long walk). Piper's has the best chair on the square --- in the front window. Then on to the Chamber and Family Shoe. Thanks to Jill, Evelyn, Shatel and Mary for entertaining me.

Finally, to Get Mugged for a big cup of coffee and quality time in a comfortable chair with The Des Moines Register. It's been months since I sat down to read The Register's printed version. Golly, there's nothing left of it. Didn't take long to read. No wonder they're having subscription challenges.

By then, I'd killed two hours very pleasantly, cut across the courthouse lawn (Christmas decorations going up), walked the two blocks down to Chuck's, picked up the big red garage door opener and drove home.

Spending some quality time uptown reminded me of a couple of things I've been intending to take photos of.

That's the renewed storefront on the west-side Lockwood Building at the top. Jared and Julie Patterson now own the building, have fixed the roof, repainted the shop's interior and are preparing to open in the new year a running gear and sporting goods shop called --- The Fifth Mile.

When I went back uptown Tuesday to take that photo, Victor Logodo had just finished installing the Euro Food sign on the front of his building, Ensley-Crocker, former home to True Value Hardware, now located in a new building a half block off the square. This shop is intended to serve Lucas County's substantial population of Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian descent --- but we'll all benefit.

Finally, the new front on Richard Atwell's building just off the northeast corner of the square now that those spiffy black awnings have been installed. The design for renewal of this facade was the first prepared for Chariton by the Main Street Iowa staff. I've been intending to take this photo for a couple of weeks, but a big dusty black pickup always was in the way. Tuesday afternoon, it was gone.

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