THIS HAS BEEN A TEST OF THE EMERGENCY BROADCASTING SYSTEM. WE NOW RETURN TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING ALREADY IN PROGRESS....
"then try the third drawer down! It's got to be in there somewhere!" (pause, noticing audience): Oh, hello! Sorry about that we've just been trying to inventory the cargo manifest for this particular episode of the Real Life Adventures of the Tinker Family. Apparently our shipload is overweight by several hundred pounds. So which bags should we toss overboard? Decisions, decisions...Although my advice to others is always to travel lightly and to leave your baggage at the door - well, Life keeps reminding me, it's easy to give advice, isn't it? Following it (my own advice, that is) though, can be an entirely different story! I'd like to at least trade in this mixed load of baggage for an 18 piece matched set of Luis Vuitton, but at least we have something to pack up our troubles in...this past week I've been trying to pack them up in the old kit bag and smile, smile, smile - but I overpacked, and it just kept popping back open! I think I've got it latched finally.
Some of you may have been wondering about the technical glitches in this previous episode; frankly, it's been pretty nerve-wracking around here - what with the wondering if this travelogue was going to be cancelled, or if the host (moi!) was going to get eaten by the croc this time (Crikey, mates! that was a close one!). So I'll try to stop babbling and dithering; here's a partial list (yes, partial! some editing had to be done, or we'd be here all night) of this week's adventures:
The finger-pointing, the low comedy and high drama; the mea culpa chest-beating - following the collapse of an innocent, if rather aged and careworn, Volvo - just prior to a much needed doctor's appointment. One of 2 vehicles available for 3 people who go to entirely different points on the compass in a 35-mile radius, at conflicting times. I'm wondering if, the worst should happen (no! please, I still need it!) should we stage a Viking funeral? it being a Volvo and all - it has definitely earned it - but I'm still hoping it won't come to that...
The lack of air conditioning. In 106 - 108 degree weather.
Too convoluted to go into depth on this one - but well, I'll try to summarize: in trying to set up our website for work, I was using my personal ATM card to purchase one month's hosting services (for which I would be reimbursed by the school). However, through some whim of the Universe, a YEAR'S worth of their hosting was removed from my personal bank account (!!!!) causing a domino effect, as this ricocheted around, bouncing checks and whatnot. This has just about been cleared up now (whew!)
Getting up at 4 a.m. to take husband to work so I can have the jeep to get to work. Waiting for world's longest train to finish passing by - oh look! Here comes the caboose! Wait - why is the train slowing down...stopping...completely stationary....still....nothing...it's still not moving....5 minutes later it's still not moving. Ok, let's turn around and go circle around the hill and take a different route....Finally get him to work; return trip - train is still there, an hour later. Go around again. Eventually get back and spend an interminable amount of time on phone (see items above and below) with phone company/bank/web answering machine and e-mails trying to sort everything out. Get into work long enough to clear things up there a bit; then back to bank, then back on the road to pick up husband. Train parked slightly further down the line, so at least could get through this time. Then return trip home. Past a fire (more on that in a minute), to the hot, stuffy, un-air-conditioned, un-swamp-coolered house....
Next day it's time to take the girl to her job and -
The remaining one vehicle for 3 people, the beloved Jeep, springs a potentially life-threatening (to the Jeep, that is) leakage of its bodily fluids, temporarily side-lining it as well. So that we could not escape ---
The lack of air conditioning, in yet another day of 106 -108 degree weather - FURTHER complicated by *
this fire, continuing to burn since the previous night, and now less than a 1/4 mile away. (*oops, sorry - I can't seem to get this link copied right - it was the Redlands/Edgemont fire if you really want to know - which has thankfully now been contained - our poor firefighters have been stretched to the limit around here lately with this on top of the two bigger fires on down the road - Morongo/Yucca Valley areas, I can't remember what they're calling it now - that merged!) Necessitating closing all windows to keep out the ash and smoke. I tried my best to think of it as a free sauna - because I feel guilty whining about this, considering the conditions the firefighters were working under - but I'm more empathetic than ever to their plight - Bless you, firefighters! There should definitely be a cool place in heaven reserved just for you!
The phone bill that will not die! Nor stay paid - the phone and DSL line, that you pay for and pay for - and yet - no one at the company seems to remember... Largest part of background for dramatic scene in my previous episode, since I feared cancellation was imminent and while ratings may be low, did not want to worry or vex all 12 of the loyal viewing audience, if they kept tuning in to re-runs (eventually followed by a test pattern of "page no longer available"). Some major re-organizing of the captain/first mate's inventory system would help settle this dispute. Currently still in arbitration/negotiation. (I know I keep flip-flopping around with this whole TV travelogue/ship's log thing - but it's so freaking hot, I think my marbles are melllllllllltiiinnnng - yeah, I know you didn't think I had any left - but there were a few still rolling around in there! Or were those rocks?)
Long-suffering Captain (he who is still in need of a hip replacement - awaiting the whims of the HMO and disability gods) performed CPR on the jeep (ok, let's switch the channel to ER now), once the sun finally started to lower and the smoke/ash died down. Crawling around under a jeep while in constant pain on still-hot concrete does not make for a happy camper, even if the camper is normally as mellow as my guy (oops! sorry - flipped back to the Travel Channel for a moment there!). I tried to be a supportive surgery-room nurse, handing sponges, diet Pepsi, etc. as needed; but made Doctor Jeepers nervous, and had to leave the surgery room - er, driveway. But the procedure appears to have been successful. The patient's condition is stable and back on all four wheels, thankfully.
Did I mention the window I broke while trying to put a fan in front of it? Or the laundry basket of what were ("were" being the operative word) clean clothes that the cat...oh never mind! I could go on here all night; and I really am trying to count my blessings now...
The past few days have shown me the generosity of several people - I have a lot of people on both sides of the computer screen (my side and yours) to thank. A big thank you to my blogging buddies - your words cheered me up and helped me feel less pressured, while I tried to sort things out. I feel a sense of commitment to this blog and to my blogging friends. Sometimes other areas of life need attention. Such as now; it's so late. The house is finally starting to cool down a little, so now I'm going to set down some of this baggage and get some shut-eye. Tomorrow the adventures begin again - I hope to travel lighter this week. Or at least have luggage with wheels.
Sunday Scribblings has more baggage tales (most, if not all of them, containing much less whine than this post. Go read some of their great tales!)