There’s No Place Like Home

I work from home.  I am an artist, a jewelry designer, and I teach people how to manage their health and wellness naturally with essential oils.  But I am also caregiver to my almost 85-year-old mom who lives with us.  When I quit my desk job last May to follow my passions, I thought I’d have a lot more free time, or not even free time, but quiet time for sure.  This is hardly the truth as our home is small, and my mom is hard of hearing, and the TV is on all day tuned in to some type of shock- or reality-TV show.

I have this romantic idea in my head.  This is how it plays out:  Maybe once a week or so, I take some time out for myself to go to a local coffeehouse with my iPad, enjoy a cup of something and an hour of quiet time to sit and blog, or catch up on my emails, or whatever and just enjoy the quiet.  Just some downtime.   I think of this often, but there are always appointments, or meals to plan, or stuff that needs getting done.

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But today of all days, I decided to make it happen.  I just finished a busy weekend of painting a utility box in Glendale that took two-and-a-half days in the cold and sun.  And as I painted the sealant on the box this morning,  I decided to treat myself in celebration.  I packed it all up and headed to Montrose Village with the plan that if the Starbucks was busy, there was always Coffee Bean across the street.  I got there and both looked really busy which doesn’t really bother me, but there was absolutely no parking.  So I decided to keep driving and head up to La Crescenta.  Surely, the Starbucks there would be peaceful.

I pulled into the parking lot, found parking without a problem.  I went in and scoped it out.  A padded bench seat with 4 round tables – each a table for two.  Three tables were open with just the one by the window occupied by two young women.  I ordered an iced coffee, gave my name, and sat down at the table furthest from the women with two tables open between us.  I was finally doing it!  I thought of Elmer Fudd always teased by Bugs Bunny… “A westful weetweet and no dweaded wabbit!”  IPad out, I decided to blog about the weekend with the utility box project, all the while listening for my name.  I mean how long does an iced coffee take, right?

Five minutes go by and I decide to go see if maybe I missed my name.  There was a group of five kids in their young twenties talking loudly.  My drink wasn’t there.  I went back to my table.  And right after I sat down, they came over and occupied the two empty tables next to me.  They were nice enough, but loud.  Talking about drunk St. Patrick’s day weekends, hangovers, calling out sick, etc.  I couldn’t concentrate.  And where was my iced coffeee anyways?

Another 10 minutes went by so I got up to check again.  Still nothing.  I sat down again this time deciding to check email and social media.  One of the kids decided they should move to the table outside!  Yay! Thank you.  I went up for my drink and the barista mumbled something to me about a cart.  I’m new to this, remember.  turns out my drink was sitting not at the pick up window, but at the cart.  No one called my name.  Okay, doesn’t matter.  I have my drink….and relative quiet.  And it’s gonna be good.  Back to the blog.

The door opens.  In walks a mom and two kids (around 5 and 9).  The mom is holding a pizza box.  The little girl sits at the table next to me with the pizza.  Big Brother is begging mom for $16 to buy some type of toy while is eyes are glued to an electronic device.   Mom gets in line.  I’m not paying attention now and trying to work.  Next thing I hear something fall on the floor and the little girl is crying, “It’s hot! It’s hot!”  Apparently she tried to get a piece of pizza without mom there, the cheese was hot, she dropped it on the bench and the floor.  Mom came back, so did brother. Mom was cleaning up the child, the bench, the pizza.  Her son was still nagging her for the $16.  I decided to move outside.

It was quieter there….except for two women gossiping about their “friends” and how terrible they looked at some function they had gone to.  Reviews about hair and makeup.  I had enough.  It wasn’t meant to be.  I packed it up.

I got home, said hi to mom.  The TV was on.  The show “My 600-pound-life” was blaring loud.  But peace at last!  I could sit down, collect my thoughts, and write.  There’s no place like home.

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