I'd flown back out on a Thursday, so as to get a day at the office before the scheduled Monday meetings, and found that no, my boss wasn't there, and while everyone was glad to see me they didn't have any particular expectation that I'd be there any day except maybe Monday. Some of the first floor people were taking completely by surprise, indicating the gossip chains either are broken or don't include me. The guy who runs the deli next block over, who couldn't understand that I was going to be around a couple days each month, not each week, was delighted to see me again.
Sometime over the trip I'd hoped to get to my barber's and then to see my niece and her parents. But she'd be available only on Saturday afternoon, so, I skipped the barber. Hey, he's got a shop on the Jersey Shore; he'd be around, right? Yeah. Well. Anyway, though my niece and sister-in-law would be there, my brother wouldn't, because of work-related thing that my sister-in-law started describing and that sounded all the more vague as she did, since it had to do with computer security.
Probably it's not good practice to bring my niece a gift every time I see her, but I did run across a ``retro'' toy I thought she'd like: a Curious George tin of magnetic stickers. They'd fit, more or less, against the tin, and either the default neighborhood park or the beachside background, with various pictures of George, the Man in the Yellow Hat, some free-standing yellow hats, some birds, a raccoon, et cetera. I think we had that when I was a kid, and I've grown to like giving toys that aren't anything when you don't play with them. I did get a bit naughty in bringing it, though, as I set it on the table and when she got around to asking about it (after finishing lunch) I kept identifying everything on the table which was yellow except that, or everything she was pointing to except that, until it looked like I was being more exasperating than silly.
And so that made a fine afternoon of clowning around, talking with my sister-in-law and playing with my niece, and that this is probably where I picked up my cold detracts from it only a bit and in retrospect.
Trivia: L Frank Baum in the 1890s introduced window displays featuring movement, electric light, color, with revolving stars and mechanical birds and butterflies, models of Ferris wheels, vanishing ladies and such, for stores. Source: 1898: The Birth Of The American Century, David Traxel.
Currently Reading: The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways, Earl Swift.