Monday, December 24, 2007

The Great Escape '07 (part 3)

before i dive into this, i hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season! i am having a wonderful one so far, replete with homemade sugar cookies (a bout at mom's, with much silliness), a couple of santa drivebys and (today) cleaning+tree trimming. pretty good set there.

ok, back to the misadventures. heads up, the previous two days were more exciting, but still, it's good to write this out. =)

Wed nov 7 – I slept so hard, I don’t remember sleeping. But as usual, I was the first one up, so I checked on the kitties – cozy in a very large bathroom – and took pearl out.

Her goal: place the Pearl Stamp of Approval on the grass
My goal: See if I was still the jam in someone’s Unwieldy Truck Jelly Roll.

My 18-inch neighbor was vamanos – yay! However the horse buggy was still right next to me, which left me hoping they would checkout today before 11am. Which they did, thank the Jesus. Oh and before we left, I got a call moving my Thursday interview in Portland (yes, the next day, yes I didn’t mention this interview before) from 4pm to 3pm. Ok fine.

When we finally hit the road around 11, I notice my arms are still so damn sore from moving/packing that I feel like I can barely hold onto the wheel. And oh, do I have to hold on! That thing was so damn sensitive, I had to correct constantly. And yes, except for a minor blip (tune in later), I did all the driving. Min was sansa-driving license, remember?

We stopped in Redding (?) for some warmer clothes for m, and interview clothes+shoes for me (all packed, of course), at a fabulously fashionable walmart. Considering my aversion to polyester and rayon, I think I fared pretty well. Oh, and got a better cat litter box. M had got a ‘travel’ one – hey, we’re traveling – but did not take into account dolce’s penchant for Vigorous Self Expression. I’d cleaned the Vigorous Aftermath that morning, so when we pulled into wallyworld I nicely commanded her to get a litter box with a lid.

By the time we finished it was about 630 and I was stressed. We *had* to get to Salem tonight – interview tomorrow! Bleh. We tooled over to mcd’s for some grub and then with min at the wheel (me: just a wee bit tired), we headed north once again.

Somewhere between Medford and Roseburg we began to get low on gas. Being as a) you can’t pull in just anywhere with a beast like this, b) there’s very few gas stations along that route, c) especially when it’s after 10pm, let’s just say there were severall unsuccessful rounds, resulting in numerous prayers.

OH and right around then, pearl started panting like crazy, shaking and periodically tapping on arms. The last bit means she wants something, like to go outside. Ok fine. We stop. No puppy action. After a bit I theorize it’s the truck, the movement. She wants us to stop, period.

Which isn’t happening so all we can do is try to soothe her, and that sort of worked. When we finally rolled into Roseburg on fumes, and it took 15 minutes alone – and about $150 – to fill up the tank, plus bathroom/food breaks for everyone, we ended up with a half hour break and a completely mellowed pearl. Thank god.

I got back at the wheel and was perfectly alert, and pearl perfectly mellow, until about 20 minutes before salem. We made it though, and couldn’t figure out where to park the truck at first, but Crosslands Hotel Lobby Man said the semis usually fit out back. Back? After we finished I looked and though I had to navigate a narrow entrance, out back was plenty big.

And thus, by about 2am, we were all packed away into the hotel room, on our way to snoozville.

Thu nov 8 – Interview’s at 3, but I got up at 9. Why? Because before then I had to:

- Find out if I could return the car tow dolly in salem. If yes, yay! If not, have to figure out where in Portland, and do THAT today, because I could NOT drive and park the whole caboodle downtown.
- Turn in the dolly in salem – yay!
- Repark the de-dollied truck
- Get some SBC goodness (hello!)
- Go to a kinko’s to 1) print copies of my resume, which thank god I’d thought to send to my gmail acct before I left, and 2) map how to get to my interview
- Get lunch
- Drive the 45 min/hour to the interview, making sure to get there about 20 minutes early (just in case)

I actually got there 30 minutes early, which was fine since I like having time to go over the job description and resume just beforehand. It also gave me time to come up with a brilliant idea on how to deal with the credit card I’D JUST LOST. Yes, the same one that was our ONLY one. Those friggin mediocre pants from wallyworld – very shallow pockets. Which is why I put only the card in there, not my whole wallet. Which is why it still fell out, though.

Anyway – brilliant idea? Get my mom’s card. Because a couple of years ago I opened an account for my mom, with my name on it. I forget why she doesn’t have her name on it – odd. But since the account’s mine, my name everywhere, presto! Problem solved until my replacement card can arrive.

The interview went fine. The recruiters met me there ahead of time – nice guys, if mildly tense. Sort of like salesmen, hoping the deal goes through. Makes sense, I guess, I just never had recruiters meet me at an interview site. And the people in the office – also mildly tense. Cordial, rather than friendly. I could tell some of my answers weren’t thrilling my interviewer (it is pointless to lie in an interview, in my opinion) but other answers were quite bewitching. Who knew localization was such a hot topic?

So, a mixed bag. Afterwards I headed to Salem, where we planned to meet my parents at mcgrath’s. Turned out it was just my mom – dad was too sick. It was so good to see her, to know we were here for good, that this was the first of many meals. M and my mom commiserated a lot about their state of being – both sick, in completely different ways, but the result is the same. They both struggle a great deal with who they used to be – ‘power women’ – and how they barely have the energy (physical or otherwise) to do much anymore.

I felt really glad for the both of them, that they’d just had an informal group therapy session. It’s hard to talk to other people about these things – even for me, as a spectator, it’s sometimes draining on an awfully personal, pervasive level. And I’m not even the incapacitated one. Anyway, we talked til I was falling asleep, then drove back to the hotel. Zzzzzzzzzz

Fri nov 9 – Honest to god I don’t remember the first half of this day. The first thing I recall is arranging to meet my parents at marie calendar’s for a late lunch, about 230. At 245 my mom calls to say dad has fallen and he can’t get up. Seriously. Ambulance en route. She says not to follow yet – she’ll call after he gets seen in the ER.

So, we ate, then went to the thrift store I’d noticed earlier, because if we thought it was cold in redding, holy shit it was freezing in salem. It was just in the 40’s but hello! Came from where it was in the 70’s. and sunny instead of freezing, windy rain. So, time to get m a bigger coat – a great one actually, for just $15. While there, my mom called to say that dad had broken his hip. They’d operate tonight but didn’t know when yet, so she’d call again after he (likely) got moved to a room and we could visit.

Bout an hour later – round 7 – we were back at the hotel when my mom’s call came in. M was getting sleepy, so I went by myself and got there a little after 8. Why so long? Because en route, I stopped at kinko’s. On Sunday we needed to unload the behemoth into a storage unit, and no way I was doing that by myself. I posted on CL, then called my mom to see if she needed dinner. Yep. So I popped over to wendy’s and got us some grub, then headed over to the hospital.

My poor dad. He hadn’t been given any pain relief for about about 5 hours, which doesn’t sound like a lot unless you’ve, I don’t know, broken a hip and normally have a shitload of pain on a daily basis already. Apparently they kept waiting for the pharmacy to actually fill the order. Great, thanks.

Meantime they put his leg in traction (woo, more pain!) and kept waiting to hear when surgery would happen. Lots of buzzing about, who knows what’s happening, but my dad was suuuper chatty, which is not like him. Adrenaline/distraction, I guess. He went on and on about what a great day he and min had one time, down in santa cruz, probably 2 years ago. You be sure to tell her I said that, ok? Ok! And that was the last thing he said before they wheeled him out, because hello! Aaround 930 a tech suddenly came to whisk him away for surgery. Alright, guess we’re on!

I walked downstairs with my mom, hugged her goodbye and then drove back to kinko’s again. Why? Because in those 2 hours or so, I must’ve gotten 20 calls about loading help on Sunday, and I had to stop my phone from incessantly ringing, so I deleted the CL post. On the way back to the hotel, I felt like I could hardly think, I was so exhausted. So guess what happened? Zzzzzzz


gs said...

You two lost so much stuff during this trip, it's almost as though you were leaving a trail so you could find your way back to the Bay Area if you needed to :)

A word of advice for the next trip: Bread crumbs are cheaper ;)

Dharma said...

Seriously crazy stuff. Amazingly some similar things happened to both of us. So odd.