I’m sure y’all are mostly familiar with this sentiment, but I really do think I can claim that this is a particularly bad one. Is Mercury retrograde or something? I need to look it up. To just set the scene, let me remind ya’ll that I love the place where we were living. I had done all of Kamana 2 there, meaning that I knew the place really well. 17 wooded acres, with deer, coyotes, bobcats, a billion birds, a view of Mt. St. Helens, and a woodstove. What more could you ask for? Well, we-who-are-never-satisfied-with-what-we-have decided that we need to actually own a place like that, rather than just renting it, so we’re implementing a plan by which we can actually save some money and buy our own house.
We’ve been moving for 3 weeks now. Most everything is in the new place, so we’re at that hardest part of the move where we’ve already moved everything we actually want and care about. The rest of the stuff is just accumulated crap that we are obligated to get out of the old place. The weekend started a little rough. Eric came up to see the place and give us a hand on Friday. Saturday morning, we got up early to drive in to Olympia for kung fu. The roads were clear, except for the one icey spot on the off ramp in Olympia. I was completely not expecting it, and slid the Ford into the concrete guard rail on the passenger side. We hit hard enough that we bounced back across the icey patch and hit the opposite guard rail also. I was shocked to find that there was no visible damage to the truck at all. Not even a scratch. The rare occasion where I am thinkful for the big heavy American vehicle that I drive. Wait, that’s not accurate. I am really thankful for that truck quite often. It’s hard not to be thankful for a working vehicle that someone just gives to you. But I do wish it was just the wee-est bit lighter and more, well, like my old 4-Runner. Anyway, we continued on to kung fu, and all seemed well.
However, it is possible that the little jostle exascerbated a problem that already existed. The right front brake had been chattering loudly from time to time, and had once or twice made a fairly horrible grinding sound for less than a second. I must insist that everyone remember that this noise was happening BEFORE I ran the truck into the guard rail. That means that it is NOT MY FAULT.
For the sake of the consensus space-time reality, let’s leave the issue of the truck for a minute, and follow the order of the weekend. By Saturday night, the storm was blowing in and it felt like snow. Around 3am, Preston woke up and wandered in the living room, where I heard him say, “Baby, it’s snowing.” He knew that I would be excited about it. The one bright spot in my weekend was waking up a few hours later, when the sun came up, and taking some time to do a little tracking around the house. It seemed like most every animal had got things wrapped up by the time it started snowing. There were some Pacific Jumping Mouse tracks by the compost, some skunk tracks from when it first started snowing, and various rabbit trails. Nothing extraordinary, but a good start to an otherwise horrible day.
It quickly became clear that the noise in my truck was happening more often and getting more horrible. Something is catching in the brake caliper and dragging, making a horrible metal shearing sound. The truck was in Onalaska and the garage is in Olympia. Neither of us wanted to tackle taking apart the brake in the soupy-mud driveway in Onalaska, so I decided to just risk driving it back up to Olympia, and I took a load of stuff with me while I was at it. Fortunately, no major mishap occurred on the way, although the truck continued to sound as though the front wheel was going to shear off the axle from time to time.
There was one more bright spot in the weekend, and that was the fact that I made it to Olympia in time to meet the cable guy, and I am writing this on the computer hooked up to “blazing fast internet”. For real, y’all, I don’t know how I have dealt with dial-up for so long. And also. Cable! I have never had cable. Did you know that there is a whole channel called BookTV!? A whole channel devoted to books! My god, how can the universe be so fabulous?! And Eric and I watched a show about tracking brown bears in Alaska. Video of trackers and brown bears! Right in my living room! Preston and I have talked about my addictive personality, and we will be monitoring the cable usage closely.
I called work, told them that I don’t have a car for the day and that I won’t be in the office or be able to teach the class in Aberdeen on Monday. Preston brought a load down in the pickup truck, we had some food at a nice local restaurant (because, y’all we now live in a place where, if you are hungry and you don’t feel like making something because all of your pots are still at the other house and you don’t think raw potatoes and granola bars sounds like the sort of dinner you’re craving, you can just go downtown and have food at any number of fabulous establishments where they know what things like pesto sauce and feta cheese are. This is different than living in Onalaska), and headed back to Onalaska to pick up Preston’s tools and another load of stuff. Back at the new apartment 3 hours later, we discovered…a Mythbusters marathon on cable! Mythbusters back to back until 2am!
Also, our new apartment has a bathtub! So fabulous! We had baths, and leftovers, and watched Mythbusters with Sunrise Magoo (who did not like the car ride, but is adjusting just fine to apartment living it seems). This morning, we woke up to more snow, below freezing temps, and the news that the freeway is closed between here and Onalaska (and also between here and Preston’s work, which is convenient because he was planning to call in today anyway). However, we need a few tools for the truck project (which I have decided that I want to be in charge of, with Preston as tech advisor; I’m tired of relying on someone else for all of my vehicle maintenance, and I feel like I should learn how to do it myself), and the roads are super-slick. Not sure that a trip down to the mall area to get some Sears tools is in the cards today, at least until it warms up and stops snowing.
(For those of you who live in places where it snows for real, and who think that I am being a big baby about a little skiff of snow on the ground, I need to point out a few things. 1) It never snows here, meaning that the city has no budget for snowplows or gravel trucks. 2)It never snows here, meaning that people here don’t know how to drive on slick roads. We had to drive down the road a little ways to get cell reception for Preston to call work (because have I mentioned that we don’t get cell reception in our house…we’re working on getting Skype set up, but in the meantime we aren’t exactly accessible), and there were people sliding all over the place. 3) It never snows here, so people just don’t have the equipment for it. I’ve talked to people who have never owned a windshield scraper in their lives, let alone a set of chains. People put rain tires on their cars, but not snow tires. All three of our vehicles have mostly bald rain tires on them. (Yes, that’s right we have three cars, and cable TV. You may consider us part of the problem if you like.))
So. Preston went back to sleep, and I’m updating my blog with the blazing fast internet while the snow comes down. Really, it’s not a bad way to spend a morning, but I wish someone was out there fixing my brakes, and also moving the rest of our stuff out of the old house.