I stood in the dingy supermarket checkout line, waiting as the overworked clerk rang up the various purchases for those buying last minute installments of hot dogs, ribs, burgers and chicken for holiday BBQs. I tried to avoid making eye contact with the other shoppers lest my true opinion of highly processed, low quality meats would belie itself and I would wind up getting a switchblade in the ribs for my concern.

I was compulsively looking at my CGM, which has become a nervous tick at this point, enjoying the fact that I was not buying any food but merely accompanying Mike (my sister-in-law’s boyfriend) on his quest to get a few items. We had been chatting about my plans once I leave San Diego and my uncertainty regarding a possible return to this area next winter, to close out Project 365.

As I gave voice to the fact that the project is entering its 5th month, the enormity of everything at hand set in. How would I deal with being “at large” without even a semblance of a home base? I drifted into a fond reflection of the time I have spent here, the convenience of close, local climbing, internet and having an actual address at which to receive mail! I also thought about the fact that my downtime since Stefanie’s departure has been more of a burden than a luxury.

My reverie was interrupted at this point when the lady in the next line over began going ballistic, shouting “Oh my GOD someone stole my purse, someone stole my purse!”. She began frantically hurling chicken thighs and bags of Doritos out of her cart and onto the floor and checkout counter to confirm that her proclamation was not premature. Our clerk confided in me that this type of scene was not uncommon and to be vigilant about  guarding my wallet and possessions. My mind reeled with the thought of some scofflaw trying to rob me and not understanding my spastic explanation of why I would not be willing to surrender my CGM!

In that moment, I knew–there was no need to look back, because the best is yet to come. Wednesday morning bright and early, I’m out of here!