It's Sunday and time for Sunday Favorites, where Chari, from Happy to Design allows participants to share an old blog post with readers, while still taking Sunday off, by reposting an old post.
Years ago, as an over the road truck driver, I collected a few thoughts and stories from my journeys and travels. In my Sunday Favorites posts, I am sharing some of those stories.
This one seemed especially appropriate for this week, because it happened on our anniversary, which is coming up this week.
My wife and I were married on April 1( that's right, April Fools Day) in Las Vegas Nevada, and by April 3 we had left Las Vegas on the Great American Road Trip. A trip that would ultimately turn into a six week honeymoon that took us through 39 different states. We had so much fun, that, in addition to our regular traveling, we have planned a sequel edition to the Great American Road Trip every year since then, to celebrate our anniversary.
One such Trip brought us on April 1, 2003 to Roswell New Mexico. Not too far outside of Roswell, on a lonely desert highway, we came across a tiny gas station with an attached store.
In today's day and age, the thought of a gas station and attached store might bring to mind gleaming countertops filled with hot dogs, condiments, fountain drinks, candy bars, and various other merchandise, lit by florescent lights all nestled under the glow of a neon marquis. Sparkling restrooms, lightly scented with cinnamon air freshener, and a smiling teenager at the cash register, waiting to ring up your purchases, and accept your payment.
Just go ahead and wipe all those thoughts out of your head right now.
From the gravel lot, to the single dilapidated gas pump. From the one room house converted into a one room store, to the portable outhouse in the back, complete with padlock and handwritten criteria. ("Paying customers only--ask attendant for key"). From the dust covered souvenirs to the somewhat dubious looking display of who knows how long they have been there snacks, this was not by any stretch of the imagination your typical, modern, every day, big city, C-store.
We walked in the door, and were greeted by the owners, a man and woman about our age, who smiled at us, and then proceeded to follow us around the store. (this didn't take long, a single circuit around a single 12' X 12' room, with a single shelf all the way around the outer wall.) Every time we touched a piece of merchandise on the shelf, we got the entire sales pitch for that particular item. We quickly learned to look without touching, and to communicate with furtive eye movements, so as not to alert the omnipresent proprietor of our interest in any of his wares.
Finally, so that we could be classified as "paying customers" thereby making us eligible to ask the attendant for the key to the facilities, we picked out a small terra cotta Gila monster, paid our $5.99 and asked for the key.
While honoring the ladies first rule, I waited in the store, engaging in obligatory idle chitchat with the merchant and his wife.
"We are so glad you stopped by," He told me. We haven't had many visitors yet today. It is our anniversary, and we had hoped to make enough in sales today to go into town for dinner." What a coincidence I thought, today was our anniversary too. We were driving on down the road, and almost certainly would celebrate with dinner in a restaurant somewhere many miles away. Somewhere with running water and real flush toilets.
Maybe I was just feeling extra generous on account of our anniversary. Maybe it was something in the air. A magnetic residue left from the infamous alien encounter there in Roswell. I don't know, but by the time we drove away, I had somehow managed to buy: a coffee mug, a souvenir newspaper, pencils, postcards, and anything else that I thought we would possibly be able to use, give away, or put in a scrapbook.
I hope they had an enjoyable dinner that night. I know I did.
Be sure and join me each Tuesday for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where readers are invited to share trivia and show off their treasures.