OK. It can't technically be 11th hour shopping because nothing we bought last night was for this Christmas. It was for us and some gifts for NEXT Christmas. (The mother, who shops year-round and is usually ready for Christmas every August was in all her glory.)
Retailers are already offering serious markdowns. I was right. There won't be much left for day-after adventuring. We got a bunch of cute stuff at 75 percent off, some stuff at one-third off, and thanks to an email coupon, 20 percent off.
I even found scrapbooking stuff at one store, sating my disease so much that I didn’t even need to make a special trip across the street to a scrapbooking store. (Merry Christmas to ME.)
Stores were busy. Parking lots were full. Check-outs were mercifully short. Surprise!
As we were driving into this shopping mecca on the east side of the Mississippi -- a place I try to avoid at all costs this time of year -- we were assessing the amount of cars on each lot.
The mother: There's a lot of cars on that lot.
NV: Um, there should be. It's a used car lot.
The rain waited until we were leaving the last store. I had the mother wait at the entrance while I ran to fetch Pearl. I was nearly halfway across the lot, heading for Pearl, when I spotted another Pearl three aisles over.
Only when I really looked did I notice that the car I was heading for had a sunroof. Pearl does not.
We were almost 2/3 of the way home when a state trooper pulled up behind us. He stayed with us the whole rest of the way home up to the last turn onto our road. Mind you, this is a stretch where the speed limits are schizophrenic. One second it's 50, then it's 35, no, wait now it's 45. Uh-oh, back to 35.
The rain, a trooper on my tail, the mother riding shotgun. Yeah.
Instead of following us down that last turn, he abruptly did a U-turn in front of the convenience store at the intersection. Nice little ticket-worthy maneuver, that.
While the rain is annoying, it beats the foot of snow that will blanket areas to the north and west of us. The really good news is that snow showers may be as much of a white Christmas as we get.
Works for me as I’ve got a 50-mile drive on Friday.