Monday, August 16, 2010

"Notes on a Midwestern Vacation - The Arrival"

We’re on the plane. Business Class. We’re old, and we need the legroom. Otherwise, they would have to extract us from our seats with the “Jaws of Life.” It wasn’t that much extra. We used our “miles.”

Memorable event on the airplane:

I sat on a blueberry.

It’s the craziest thing. You know it’s somewhere. You saw it go flying off your plate. You look for it everywhere. But you can’t find it. So you forget about it. Until you “de-plane” at your destination. At which point your observant spouse notices a telltale stain on the back of your pants, and reports, a little too loudly for my liking:

“You sat on a blueberry.”

Which, in fact, I did.

I sat on a blueberry.

The trip is just beginning, and I’ve already experienced a blueberry accident. Omen? Or no omen? Or, there aren’t any omens. Just “cause-and-effect” connections we make up in our heads and we call them an omen.

At this point, it’s too soon to tell if it’s anything. I just sat on a blueberry. The portent of that occurrence has yet to be determined.

We find our cabin in reasonably good shape. Except for the storage shed next to it, which is “Ding dong, the witch is dead” totaled. We knew that already. We’d been called in LA and been informed that a tree had fallen on it during a thunderstorm. We were not, however, prepared for the devastation.

It’s a metal shed. Though I should more accurately employ the past tense. The noise when the tree landed on it must have been ear shattering, like they were testing the A-bomb on Chickadee Trail. (They knew it could decimate cities. They were curious about its effect on metal sheds.)

I should have been grateful that the tree fell on our shed instead of our cabin. And, of course, I was. But you know what would have made me even more grateful? If it had fallen on somebody else’s shed. I’d feel sorry for their misfortune. But I wouldn’t have to buy a new shed.

Which, it turned out, was an adventure of its own.

Flattened shed aside, the cabin was in pretty good shape. If you overlooked the fact that you could only flush the toilet every four hours. That’s how long it took the toilet’s tank take to fill back up. I have no explanation for that; I am no expert on toilets, though I have, of course, availed myself of their services, sometimes, especially after I’ve had coffee, more frequently than every four hours. Which proved to be a problem.

Dr. M, and our daughter, Anna, who had joined us for the first half of the trip, were also in the mix. None of us, it turned out, were on the same four-hour schedule. We realized we were on a rustic holiday, where conditions would be less comfortable than we were used to at home. But, you know, at the risk of sounding spoiled and pampered, we really needed the toilet to work faster.

You could speed up the process by filling a big pot with water from the kitchen sink, and pouring the water into the tank. But, you know, not to sound complainy or anything, toilets are supposed to work without that. And ours didn’t.

The only thing slower than our refilling toilet tank was how long it took for the plumber to come out and fix it. Which was three days. The pace is considerably slower in Indiana. That’s one reason we like going there. We come from Freeway Country. Zoom, zoom, zoom. A more relaxed rhythm is a welcome change.

Except when you’re waiting for a plumber to show up.

In the meantime, we made do with what we had. Not to belabor our bathroom difficulties, but for some reason, related or unrelated to the slow filling tank, the toilet bowl’s porcelain was profusely “sweating.” If you weren’t careful, the excessive moisture – not to get too graphic here – could seriously dampen your lowered apparel. Which, of course, happened to me.

In a way, it was a blessing.

As a result of the pants dampening, you could barely notice the blueberry stain.

While on vacation, I picked up two more “followers”, using somebody else’s writing. I’m not exactly sure how to feel about that.

Also, FY, anybody who’s interested’s, I, I generally write my posts the day before, and “schedule” them for 4:00 AM the following morning. That way, they’re available for people on the East Coast to read them at seven. Mystery solvayed.

1 comment:

Gary said...

Welcome back. Always nice to get home, especially if you aren't using a lo-flo (or no-flo) toilet. I realized that you must be scheduling your posts at 4 a.m., but it did give me the opportunity to ask about the paper route - which I may be doing myself, soon. Anything for a buck when the retirement $tarts to thin. If anyone still subscribes to newspapers, these days.

Is Michiana anything like Pixley, or Hootersville, as Lisa called it? Perhaps the Monroe Brothers could build a new shed for you.

"I picked up two more “followers”, using somebody else’s writing..." What does that mean?