We had a long and mostly lovely weekend. Homestead Mama was at the doc's by 8 am to get antibiotics for the sinus infection she has been developing (that part is not so lovely). The Saturday doctor's office rush, along with the pharmacy lines, kept her out until 10:30 or so. We were to help out Hottie Friend at 11:30, and almost made it on time. Hottie Friend is moving from an apartment into a house of her own - she graduates with her MSW in a few weeks and will be making a good living wage, so it was time to move up. Along with the annual trailer-loads of compost, manure and mulch that we use the trailer for, it is great for moving washer/dryers, couches, etc. And when I say 'we' were going to help Hottie Friend, I mean Homestead Mama & her truck and trailer. I was on baby duty, since I'm not really lifting anything heavier than Pequita these days. Homestead Mama came home from her medical circuit, gulped down her first Amoxicillin, and took off. Pequita was taking her mid-morning nap - usually an hour if we're lucky. I dozed off next to her and awoke to find that she'd (we'd) been sleeping for 3 hours! Blessed be. We jetted off to the new house, sadly sans camera, and offered moral support and food prep for the folks doing actual work.
While loading up the second trailer-full at the apartment, Homestead Mama's truck died. With the trailer loaded and ready to go. With a Nor'easter scheduled to begin any minute. The skies were darkening, the wind was picking up, and there sat Hottie Friend's worldly goods & expensive electronics in her driveway, stuck. We decided to break for Chinese food until another truck with a hitch could arrive. Luckily, in our crowd, there is no shortage of trucks with hitches, so they managed to get it all moved in before the storm hit. Pequita was beginning to get a little fussy as it approached her bedtime, but was so interested in all the activity, and all the happy women who were tending to her, that she held on admirably well.
Homestead Mama and I had been invited to a joint birthday party on Saturday night for our neighbor, turning 50, and her good friend who was turning 80, held in a local vineyard tasting-room. As it was approaching 8 pm at this point, we were already 2 hours late and dressed for moving, not a dinner party. I decided my overalls were festive enough, H-Mama borrowed a clean shirt from Hottie Friend (who, much to her credit, could lay her hands on it quickly despite the boxes & mayhem), and of course, Pequita was dressed for her public in a terribly cute outfit. We showed up to the party just as dessert was being served, had a little bit to eat and mingled with some really nice people. Pequita was the belle of the ball. Having gotten a second wind she was tired but in a cute little smiley stupor, and was happy as a clam being held by the birthday women and myriad other folks who wanted to bask in her presence. She got to dance to motown, ogle a life-size golden mermaid statue suspended from the ceiling (clearly the highlight of her night, since the mermaid was at least a D-cup and had carefully carved nipples Pequita could easily make out from 6 feet below) and chew on the necklaces of no fewer than 6 women who were thrilled to be drooled on. Homestead Mama and I got a nice rest, some yummy cake and got to enjoy seeing our kid interact with strangers.
I must add that Natasha, the woman turning 80, was an inspiration. She is very active in the community - teaching Spanish to all-age groups, acting in independent films. and maintaining far more activities than I have managed to in the last 5 years. Seeing her quality of life made me want to embrace life a little differently.
Pequita got her third wind after a refreshing 20 minute nap in the car ride home, and kept us up until 11:30 playing with her blocks. We spent Sunday in bed, all of us, with short trips down to the first floor to feed the pets and make food for ourselves. We needed it!
I'm hoping the truck isn't easily repairable, as it is the third vehicle that we pay insurance on and only use a handful of times a year. Yes, it is useful occasionally, but mostly it allows Homestead Mama to hold onto her former wilder truck-driving mental image of herself. At this point, it is unreliable for even short distances (clearly). The last time we drove it any distance was 3 years ago to Martha's Vineyard, and it broke down on the Massachusetts's Turnpike on the way home. Granted, we had filled it with beach rocks from our garden, but still. And now, as an aged Ford, it has been having ever more trouble. Over this past winter a mouse nested somewhere in the engine, so when you start it up the odor of mouse nest wafts through the interior of the vehicle. Lucky you if you don't know that smell. Not so pleasant. I have promised that when we replace my beloved Volvo wagon in 2009 we can do so with a mid-sized vehicle with a tow-hitch, but it is still hard for Homestead Mama to let go. The truck has itself been towed to the garage, where we have asked for an estimate on the work needed. If it tops $200, I'm going to vote we sell it to the mechanic for him to use in his hobby, stock car derbies. Something about driving fast and crashing into each other until only one embattled vehicle is still running. Seems a noble and fitting end for the truck – going out in a blaze of glory (and eau de souris).