Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Westward, Ho! Day 1
A friend of mine, upon finding out that Jack and I were on our way to California with no children, only a few days before our 15th wedding anniversary, wished us a safe trip, and hoped we could have a second honeymoon. What a sweet thought, and much appreciated. How very short of the reality.
At 5:00 am on the morning we were to leave, Jack became suddenly and violently sick to his stomach. Still very groggy from having stayed up way too late folding clothes, I lay still at first, hoping he would stop. Finally, common decency dictated I get up and offer some sort of assistance.
I figured he would probably sleep in after that, and so he did. He slept through a semi starting in the back yard not far from his bedroom window. He slept through the semi driving all the way along the house before leaving. He missed the children waking up and thundering downstairs. Long about 9:30 am, when I thought we would be ready to leave, he opened his eyes and looked around. Now, it wasn’t exactly 0-60 in 3 seconds, but he was amazingly spry for such a recent cookie-tosser.
Over at Mom & Dad’s house, there were still a few things that had to be done to the car before he could go, like swap the tires from the Deer Suburban (you remember the Great Deer Hunt of 2010, starring my own mother, The Deerstalker), over to our replacement suburban. The replacement conveniently came in Montana Dirt Color, so it all blends in. It’s a popular shade among us country folks.
As Jack was working, a sudden outbreak of snarls and screams sent him running. By the time he found the source, Tina was standing there covered with blood, and holding a neighbor’s small dog. Very dramatic stuff, I tell you.
In a nutshell, Laura was walking the neighbor’s dog, and came up to the screen door to check in with Tina. Hannah, my parents’ German shepherd, busted through the screen door and attacked the little dog. When Tina quite deliberately stuck her hands in Hannah’s mouth to make her let go of the other doggy’s chest, she was bitten several times.
Thanks to that noble and selfless intervention, Muffins is still above ground and slowly recovering. Hannah physical body may be above ground for a little while yet, while the rabies testing is carried out, however she is no longer with us. This was not her first attack on a small, domesticated animal, but it was most definitely her last.
Somewhat blood-streaked himself, Jack returned to work on the car, and at last we made it out of town at 6 that evening. “We can at least make it a little way down the road before we go to sleep,” he explained. “Yeah, like Plentywood,” Tina snickered not very kindly.
Despite comments from certain skeptical individuals, we did make it farther than Plentywood. Not far out of Billings, we put up our flag for the rest of the night, flopping over in our cushioned bed right there in the back of the suburban.
I wish it had been that simple. First we had to remove all the boxes of tools, brought to put the trailer sides together or in case of trouble, the monster jack, more tools, and tarps, then spread out three fat sleeping bags and our fuzzy wolf blanket.
Jack complained the next morning about some blanket tug-of-war, but I have no idea what he’s talking about. If he had some disagreement with himself over his blankie, that’s hardly my problem. As long as it isn’t vigorous enough to wake me up, I don’t care.
Until the next day,