Wednesday, April 9, 2008


It is approaching 4 pm here in Georgetown, TX, and it is a gray, drippy, gloomy day! It has been overcast since we awoke; now it is 71 degrees, cloudy, and dripping accumulated rain off the oak tree canopy onto the motorhome - along with pollen, general tree "mess", and inch-long green worms that lower themselves on slowly revolving threads.

As you can see, The Weather Channel is telling us that this thick, humid blanket will be blown away later today by possibly severe storms, with a chance of strong damaging winds, 4" hail, and perhaps even tornados. Ugh. So we are in "ready mode" with Luna's crate on the passenger seat and a bag of "important stuff" to grab. The sturdy limestone restroom is directly across from our campsite, so we feel ready for anything (except the lack of sleep that comes on a night the NOAA weather radio blares).

On a cheerier subject: yesterday I visited the flagship store, the headquarters, of Whole Foods. For a foodie, that is a pinnacle experience - and all I bought was a bag of organic purple barley and a box of whole wheat pasta. This photo, of the outside of the building, is from their webite, along with this description:

"Located just blocks from where Whole Foods Market began as a small neighborhood grocer 25 years ago, the new store at the corner of Sixth Street and Lamar is the company's largest, at 80,000 square feet. Though much larger in size, the store retains the charm and accessibility of its first location, with an intimate, village-style layout and passionate, attentive Team Members eager to assist guests."

Did you get that?? 80,000 SQUARE FEET?? As for the "charm and accessibility", I have to tell you, I felt like I arrived on the turnip truck. Rather than "charming and accessible", I would describe it as a "destination shopping experience", akin to Disneyland.

I walked through the doors around noon, so the prepared food portion of the store, as large as a buffet restaurant, was bustling with young Austin urbanites efficiently moving along the counters snagging familiar and less-familiar lunch items. Whole Foods staff ("passionate, attentive Team Members") were replenishing bins as soon as they looked less-than-satisfying. I was simply a gawking obstacle, so I moved on to the aisles of the grocery section.

It is totally gorgeous. The shelves look as though it is someone's job (an elf, maybe?) to follow each shopper, realigning products each time one is removed. My mouth fell open so many times I just left it hanging.

This Whole Foods Market is in what appears to be a "revitalized" area of Austin. It takes up most of a block. The stores on the other corners at the intersection are REI, BookPeople (a fabulous independent bookseller, 2 stories), and Chicos, a clothing store I like. Unfortunately, I spent way too much time browsing at the other three stores before I went to Whole Foods - I spent two hours in the area and could have spent it ALL at WF!

Have you noticed I have been saying me, not we? Yes, I was on my own, while Odel had a completely difference experience.

Back when we were in Marfa, Odel turned on his cell phone to see if he got a signal (we were out of range at the campground). He did, and had a voice mail waiting: call his alumni association at the University of Memphis - someone had died (in Texas) and he was listed as next of kin!

That set off a round of head-scratching. How had the alumni association gotten his cell phone number?? (From his sister Emma, it turned out.) Who died?? He called the number and was told to call Harry Bradley at the Texas State Cemetary. Huh??? It was a bigger mystery than the Marfa Lights!

Well, Harry Bradley is the superintendent of the Texas State Cemetary, and was in Officers Training School in the the Air Force at the same time as Odel - 1965, 43 years ago. Harry had tracked down Odel and another buddy from OTS, Al Banfe.

We were in Marfa and Harry was in Austin, so Odel made plans to get together when we arrived here in Georgetown, north of Austin. Yesterday was the day. While Odel had a tour of the historic Texas State Cemetary and caught up with Harry (and Al, via speakerphone), I browsed ALMOST to my heart's content... next time, FOOD first!


  1. You are so funny! I thoroughly enjoyed the account of your visit to the Whole Foods flagship store. You sounded like Alice in Wonderland. It cracked me up. Wish I could have been there too.


  2. you should be ashamed of yourself an 80,000 square foot wonder emporium of epicurean delights you buy a whole wheat pasta and purple barley. LOL

  3. good picture. two great ot. you are the best. harry

  4. We've been in Texas during severe thunderstorms and it's scarey! 58 mph winds, isn't that just about hurricane strength??? 3/4 inch hail or larger?, look out! Yikes!!

    Hugs, Sharon & Ron