After 12 wonderful days with good friends, the Tucson Book Fair and a fiction writing workshop, I arrived home a tired girl. The Little House on Belmont Street was a welcome relief–remembering the excitement of a new life’s adventure.
Found the garden growing strong and tall, thanks in part to Christian Wagley’s attention. But I noticed that two plants are being chewed on. For the past three days I have been hunting the culprits, even going out late at night with a flashlight. No sign of caterpillars; saw a Coal Skink which I did not know we have here but which eats insects not plants. Over each succeeding day since my return the chomper(s) has systematically moved down the rows to the very end. All the plants are being eaten, by what I have no idea. Could it be a rabbit? A cat with a green inclination?
That said, I have experienced growing pains in my new environment. I am walking and biking as much as I can. Thus I was surprised to find my front tire completely deflated. I borrowed a bike pump. That is when I learned there are such things as Presta and Schrader valves. After 30 minutes of trying out both and all ends and permutations of the pump I realized the tube must be burst. My neighbor Jacob (a bike expert) confirmed this. He advised me to take the bike downtown to Bike’s Plus which he thought stayed open to 7. On the way down (I walked it) the tire came out of the rim stalling the front wheel. I then had to lift and carry the front end down to the shop which was closed. By then I was feeling sorry for myself. I left my bike in the back alley near the other locked bikes at the shop. Walked home feeling rather sorry for myself.
This morning, renewed and optimistic, I walked to the market to shop and then stopped in at Bike’s Plus to pick up my bike. Met Karen and Bob and learned a little more about the shop. It is one of our oldest bike businesses. Karen has been working there for many years and Bob several. They are friendly and professional. Cost: $15. That’s my bike being fixed.
The market with its music, great artists, farmers and numerous cottage food industries, lifted me up. Once home I put away the groceries and ventured on to UPS on Cervantes to make some copies of fliers for the Funky Bike Festival. I met Sammy and Maureen (manager) who were very helpful and run a top store. In no time I had the copies and went on to the Festival on my bike.
Biking down Belmont to Devilliers–a historical site of blues and jazz music, and historical hub for African American culture in Pensacola–I felt a lucky person to be living in such a cool town. Passing historical homes, some renovated, some looking their age, under giant oaks and magnolias, azaleas aflame, sky blue, and temps at about 65 degrees, I was on a high.
The Funky Bike Festival, in its third year, drew bike aficionados, families, and neighborhood lookers on. Ingenuity and playful design dominated the winning entries but everyone had their own unique approach to decorating or designing a carbon-free form of transportation and recreation. The Belmont-Devilliers Youth Band entertained the crowd with soulful tunes and great guitar solos.
Memorable for me was my first Blue Dot Barbecue. After hearing about the famous burger for many years, I finally managed to be there with cash. And…it was great, just like the hamburgers of old with plenty of mayo, tomato, onion, and the right amount of grease! With a coke to wash it down, I felt like a kid again.
So…what’s not to like? On the way home the bike chain came off the gear wheel!! I had to walk my bike home. Tired, defeated by two-wheel transportation, I just walked the bike to the back porch and turned my back on it for another day!