Errands as Adventure

Two years ago, I helped to paint a mural at the Grand Island Plaza. This is the section of the plaza that I helped to paint. I painted the sailboats and some of the water and the lawn. I’m noticing that this scene looks rather autumnal.

It started off cold today. Really cold. That bone chilling kind of coldness that you can see on the lawn because there is this kind of whiteness to the grass. Not snow, just a bit of whiteness. Kind of frosty. Just enough to give the message that winter is on its way, carrying lots of coldness and not a whole lot of color.
But today, the coldness that sat on the ground did not last. The bright sun beat down on it, and the temperature warmed until it turned into a lovely autumn day. Very little wind. 
Today, I went on my errands. Since I don’t have a car and, therefore, must use my feet as my principal form of transportation, I like to bundle my errands so that I get a lot done in one day. 
On my way to the hairdresser, a friend picked me up in her car. Her name is Peg. She put a bunch of papers on my lap so that I could hold them for her until she dropped me off. Since I knew that I would get to the hairdresser early, I asked Peg to drop me off at the Niagara Frontier Publications office instead. Peg said that she was going next door and that would not be a problem. She also told me about the papers. There were some basic phonics worksheets and a book for beginning readers. 
Peg told me that all of that phonics stuff was used for teaching people from other countries how to speak English. She said that they are called “asylees.” They have escaped from countries where they were persecuted and have ended up in Western New York. They are looking for political asylum so that they don’t have to get returned to their home countries and face more persecution. She said that many of them come from Congo in Africa. 
Peg said that many people from Congo speak French. I just looked it up online and I see that French is Congo’s official language. A number of other languages are spoken in Congo, as well. Most of these languages are Bantu languages, the chief being Kituba and Lingala. There are actually more than 40 languages spoken in Congo, which includes several Pygmy languages. Pygmy languages are not Bantu languages.
Well, I thought that was very cool. If I want to talk to people from Congo, it might help if I tried to improve my (almost nonexistent) French, since I don’t know anywhere in Western New York where I am likely to learn (and practice) Kituba, Lingala, or any Pygmy language.
After Peg dropped me off, I went to talk to Larry Austin, the editor of the Island Dispatch. He gave me a copy of last week’s paper, which had my article about the unveiling of the sharpening stone at River Lea. It was on the front page, above the fold. That makes it the lead story. How cool is that?
Larry gave me a new assignment. On Saturday, the Grand Island Memorial Library will celebrate its 25th anniversary at its current location. I am to write an article about that and take pictures. That is for next week’s paper. That will be fun. When I went to the 20th anniversary celebration, which I also covered for the Dispatch, I got to hear a story singer (Nan Hoffman). Everyone got refreshments and souvenir pencils.
My next stop was the hairdresser. My hairdresser’s name is Jacquie. She told me that her daughter Emma will soon have her fifth birthday. She is going to kindergarten and is loving it. She has loads of friends and she wants to invite her friends to her party. Emma is happy and so is her mom. Jacquie got married this summer. She and her new husband enjoyed a honeymoon in Jamaica. Before she went, I asked her if she was going to come back saying, “hey mon.” She said, most likely, yes.
I didn’t hear her say “hey mon” today so she probably forgot.
After the hairdresser, I went on the rest of my errands (mainly shopping) and then walked home. It was a good walk home. School had just let out. As I was walking down the road, I noticed a long parade of school buses. I looked toward a nearby apartment complex. A small boy caught my eye… or I caught his eye. He started waving at me. His mother started waving at me, too. She was holding a baby swaddled in pink. I went to talk to the little family. The boy told me that he is in second grade and that he likes his teacher and his music teacher. 
The family was waiting by the entrance to the apartment complex. I guessed that they were waiting for another child.
Anyway, I said goodbye to the family and I kept walking.
The traffic was quite busy. 
When it was close to five o’clock, I arrived at home.
And thus, another day’s adventure came to a close.

Decoration in a small pocket park near the Grand Island plaza.

Pumpkins everywhere…

School buses everywhere… school bus parade…

autumnal decoration… with violas still growing…

Woods Creek. This is described by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as “the largest tributary stream in Grand Island.”

Pumpkin patch.

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