Such enjoyable traffic!
Monday was the first day of my three-week (unpaid) vacation from my main job. I really got into the “time off” mode by doing pretty much nothing for most of the day. Understand, I don’t particularly like being idle, but after having been working so many hours over the past several months I really wanted to unwind. Even if just for a day.
Tuesday was busier, as I worked at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. My 8:30 to 4 shift marked one of the very few times that I’ve worked during the day on a weekday. Normally I’m not available during those hours because of my main job. It was quite a different atmosphere than in the evenings or on weekends. Most of the customers were contractors rather than homeowners, the daytime merchandising crew was setting up displays, and I saw some workers whom I rarely see.
For much of my shift I worked on consolidating the tree lot. This involved moving the few remaining trees into a handful of corrals, about one-fifth of the original number of corrals, and disassembling the now-empty ones. They are made of upended pallets held together by long boards laid on top, so disassembling them involved removing the screws holding the boards to the pallets. It was somewhat tedious work though not particularly difficult. And even though Christmas isn’t far off, there was still a slow but steady trickle of tree buyers. A few of them complained that there wasn’t much of a selection. Well, duh.
Wednesday was a much busier day as we went to the Union Square holiday market in Manhattan for Christmas shopping. It has been my go-to place for years, as I like buying from local artisans. Getting there was easy, a remarkably traffic-free drive to my secret parking spot in Queens and then the R train right to Union Square, and the shopping went very well. Choosing from among all the interesting offerings is the hard part!
Well, actually, the really hard part was getting back. We got to the Long Island Expressway at Woodhaven Boulevard by about 3:30, and I naively figured that was early enough to beat rush hour. Wrong! Almost the entire trip back was an excruciating crawl, rarely over 25mph and usually much less. Every time it looked as if the traffic was easing it would jam up again. Not counting a food stop, the trip back took about two and a half hours, as compared to an hour for the trip in. Fortunately, I made lemonade out of lemons, so to speak, and had a decent gym session. Still using machines, but upping the intensity a degree.