Sunday, August 21, 2011

Driver's Training

Years ago, I mean years and years and a really long time ago, when I was taking my driver’s training final exam, my instructor asked me a question.

Now. Up until this particular question, I had been proceeding through the training with ease, parallel parking and reverse zig-zagging my parent’s mini-van with ease. Nothing escaped my new driver knowledge. Until.

“What would you aim for if you had to run your vehicle off the road.”

“What would I aim for? How bout an empty field?”

“No, you have to hit something.”

What kind of question is this? My mind raced through the plethora of possible objects that may be found on the side of the road: garbage, flower beds, trees, Optimus Prime, people, lemonade stands, animals (once I even saw a headless horse on the side of the road! Of course, I instantly thought of The Godfather), 100-year old Sequoias, leaf piles, old sofas, mail boxes…

Leaf piles would probably be the obvious choice; I used to love driving through them, watching leaves fly up all around…until my mom reminded me of all the fun my siblings and I used to have playing in the leaves. A headless horse? You can’t do much damage to a headless horse, though your vehicle may suffer. Okay, how about flower beds? But all that work, love and care, destroyed by my uncaring tires…my mind settled on mail boxes, because they’d tend to give (unless they’re those giant brick mailbox monoliths waiting to leap out at unsuspecting passersby) and they’re easily replaceable. Yes, a small, innocent mail box is just what I’d aim for, If I had the choice.

“Well, if I had the choice, I’d rather aim for nothing, but since I have to hit something, I choose a mailbox,” I said triumphantly, proud of my logical, well-thought out answer.

“WRONG! FAIL! The correct answer is BRUSH PILE! You are the WEAKEST LINK!” she gleefully exclaimed.

A brush pile?! Who keeps a brush pile on the side of the road? Far be it from me to argue, though I did shoot her an incredulous look and my mom glared daggers at her from the back seat in solidarity. I fleetingly imagined plowing the car into a mailbox just to prove I was right.

Though now, thinking back, if I had a choice, I think I’d say Optimus Prime. No one can argue with that answer.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Moving Day

So, Moving Day went off without a hitch.

BWAAHAHAHAHAHA! Did you believe me???

I awoke at 7:45. We had plans to get up at 8 to finish some last minute preparation before our help arrived at 10. As it turned out, Steven had been up until 3:45 am being Steven and so he slept in. At 8 something, our main helper, Trey, called to say his wife was in the ER and his buddy would bring the moving truck and Steven could pick it up at 10. Steven ended up sleeping til 9:50 and then (after I hurled some breakfast at him) raced out the door to bring back the truck. At 10, Reese, a faithful member of our church and all around fabulous guy (who’s in his 70s) arrived with his trailer to help begin the move. Reese and I managed to haul several loads down the SEVENTEEN steps and maneuver them into the trailer while we waited for Steven to arrive. We only lost one.*

Steven arrived with the truck.**

So we began loading the truck. Steven’s obscenely huge desk made its merry way down the steps and into the truck without incident.

Benny, yet another awesome church member, arrived with his van.

Couch, loveseat, bed and dressers to truck.

Gallons of water were consumed, rests were taken, pounds were sweated off.

The caravan commenced.

It’s about 40 minutes drive from the apartment to the house.

Caravan arrived at the house, my car was hastily unloaded and I left to procure nourishment in the form of delicious pizza.

When I returned, Troyce, Betty, Richard, Benny’s son Andrew and Andrew’s wife, Faith (all church folks) had arrived to continue the unloading.

It was awesome.

Faith and I may have ridden the lift on the truck like a carnival ride.

Pizza was devoured, water was drunk and huge sighs of relief were heaved.

Everybody but Benny, Andrew and Faith went home. Those of us remaining made one final trip to the apartment for one more tiny load and we were done.

And I broke the key off in the door.

What better way to say, “Poo on you, apartment” than breaking off the stinking key in the lock?

On the way back to the house, Trey called to say he was in our driveway (we have a driveway, guys!!!).

He left his finally stable, sleeping wife at the hospital*** to come and help us finish. These people are amazing!

Everyone left, we took showers, I threw a sheet over our bed and we collapsed (and were awoken at 4:45 am by a mystery noise, which turned out to be an alarm clock that somehow managed to get switched on in all the chaos).

We dragged ourselves out of bed in time for church (and woot! All the helpers were at church too, exhausted though we all surely were.)

I am still in love with this house. It has a lovely huge screened in patio. Like a Michigan room, I think. Also? A whirlpool tub. And so. Much. Space. Pictures will prove this once I find my camera. Two big, round gardens in the front yard and assorted trees (which someone will hopefully help me to identify). An added bonus? It’s on a dead end street. Dead end=no traffic.

As one of the helpers said last night, “Welcome to the country.”

*Reese was carefully guiding a load of boxes down with the dolly when he lost his grip and it went sailing down the steps. I was behind him (he wouldn’t let me walk in front, lest something like this happens, and praise God for it, otherwise I’d have been lying in a heap at the bottom of the steps, too) and reached out grabbing for him, thinking he was falling, too. Thankfully, all is well and it was nothing breakable.

** Trey is an appliance salesman/repair guy and has this fabulous truck with a nifty lift on the back and an awesome stairstepper dolly and all the bells and whistles. Which someone drove into a bridge. Apparently the driver misjudged the height of the bridge and plowed into it, shearing off a nice chunk of the roof. It may have looked funny, but it did the job.

***Prayer request for Trey’s wife, Tamera, who is recovering in the hospital.