Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The hunt begins

Monday, October 1st rather than starting her job TGF had her “official” interview. Since we were still down to only one car and rather than potentially go stir crazy I went along for the ride and hoped for hopping on some wireless at a close by café. I wouldn’t call where I went a café, not in the Northampton or Berkeley sense of the word but there was wireless to be jumped on. Well until my battery threatened to die out since there were no outlets by any of the seating. See? Not really a café like I’m used to hanging at. Also, yes this did mean that this little interview went on for quite sometime.

In an attempt to be proactive regarding our housing situation I wrote to Maureen to double check about the brick beauty we had driven past the day before. She wrote me back while I was still researching housing and surfing the net to say the house was available. In fact she give the name of the realtor, Holly. The house was bought by Michael, Holly’s husband, because he and Theresa were key people in this rehabbing of South Park. Later I called Holly leaving a message about the brick house on Hickory that we drooled over. Maureen, the SP head cheerleader actually called Holly so she was expecting my call. Wow.

TGF finally comes around to get me, seriously over 2 hours later, maybe it was closer to 3, who remembers anymore. All sounds good. The following Monday she goes to corporate training in Indiana for a couple of days and then they will put her in Boy Wonder’s store. This is good because the opening of the Springboro store had been pushed back again but they want her working for them ASAP. We want that to since income is always a good thing. We make an appointment to see Hickory and invite TGF’s mother along.

Tuesday finally arrives and we see two rental properties in the neighborhood before going to Hickory. I feel good about doing this because motel living is getting to me and we really need to get our lives in gear. The first rental is doable and kinda cute but it’s a shared, tiny yard which puts TGF off. “What if the neighbors suck? There isn’t room for Wyatt to run, no fence.” The second, eeww! We didn’t want to touch anything even though it had be “redone” it was all so hideous and badly done that we couldn’t wait to leave but the realtor was very nice.

Finally we approach the amazing house. It’s an older brick home, two stories, on a double lot and has a garage. It’s higher than we want to pay because funds are short for a down payment and there is a question about if I could get a mortgage for that amount though the monthly payments would be totally doable. My dear friend Jennie only buys yarn that makes her heart beat faster. My heart was beating so fast walking through this property I thought I might go into cardic arrest. All the wood work on the first floor had never been painted. Never! It had a beautiful pocket door. It was huge, beyond huge – like 3000 square feet. The bones on this place was just beyond compare. However there was mold, we were all bothered by it. There was no way I could live in this house and work on it in that state. Mold remediation can be a very expensive endeavor. We knew we had to walk away from the property. Holly said that she thought Michael had bitten off more than he could handle with this one but at least they would secure it to prevent vandalism until something more could be done.

Later we met up with The 'Rents to a Rat Pack type of restaurant to celebrate my birthday. Mostly all day I forgot it was my birthday. Seriously. There was so much to adjust do, errands to run, and potential housing to look at, a thing like a birthday was just far down in priority for me. The Pine Club is one of those places with a limited, but old fashioned high end menu. Translation: lots of meat. No windows, dark wood paneling everywhere. The waitress was lively and the food was tasty (I got fish).

On the way back "home" (aka Mot*l 6) we drove by two other properties I had scouted earlier. I had already emailed Holly about these and we wanted to scope them out a bit. I was on a mission!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A forgotten tidbit

On Sunday morning before heading out to South Park we stopped over at The ‘Rents house and then onto TGF’s brother’s house where I finally got to meet our niece, T’Mane! She is just as adorable in person as her photos had indicated.

A very important thing was learned from The Brother, who is a cop, Samuels Street is the home turf of not one, but two gangs- The Ds and The 13s. Fantastic news, no? I mean that we decided to walk away not that there are gangs. Anything sound familiar about The 13s? Yeah, that was the number “Boomhauer” had tattooed on his neck. He really was a fine enough fellow, though I did have to bite my tongue when he said he refused to eat Chinese food because he didn’t like eating cats and dogs. Yep, this Dorothy is not in Kansas anymore.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bollocks to Milton – Paradise Found

Three weeks ago, Saturday the 29th, we found paradise – Dayton style. After two whole days of doing nothing active about finding housing I was feeling antsy, so to cope with it I mapped out 5 properties to drive by and walk around. To save time and be very organized I had plotted the route out so that there was no back tracking and we worked in a counter clockwise pattern.

Quickly we ruled out the first one or two, had some hopes for another. As we drove to the last house we noticed a lot of work going on at houses on the street. Many of the properties had signs noting “Rehabarama”. It was all looking very promising. However the property on our schedule was lacking, mostly because of limited outdoor space. We decided to keep driving round the neighborhood, one TGF had never heard of though she lived just north of here for decades. The area name you ask? Okay, promised to laugh for only 10 minutes. South Park. Yeah, yeah, I feel like I have visited with King of the Hill with Boomhauer, The Simpsons with Cletus, and now I was falling in love with historic South Park. The variety of houses was inspiring, the upkeep on many were quite good. As we circled and looped the blocks of this neighborhood another thing we noticed was a jazz concert happening on the greenway of Park Drive with a large mix of people, kids playing – just a sweet afternoon.

“I could totally live here”, I pronounced. The homes we looked at in the Belmont section where nice, truly but it felt a bit too suburban, sterile. South Park was alive with kids playing outside, cute architecture and just felt like a neighborhood where people said hello as they passed. And just like that we refocused our goals for where we wanted to live. I noted addresses with for sale signs and researched my fingers off that night. Sunday we returned, looking at one house that we saw that had some potential. Walking around it we were a little hesitant about the specific property. A bit later we met up with Jeriann to show her around and she too was delighted. We got out of the car in front of one home that clearly was out of budget but we couldn’t help but to look. As we were standing there a woman appeared and said, “Let me tell you about this house”. She told a lovely story about the house however we were really looking for something to fix up ourselves. Maureen introduced herself and told us a bunch about the neighborhood. We exchanged phone and email information – she was so friendly! Not more than 10 minutes after we left she called to tell me about another house or two we should drive by to see what we thought. Helpful and friendly. Drove by one the house was we were instantly and completely smitten, however the signs on the house did not indicate it was for sale at all.

Finally we left but we were all convinced that this was the right place for us.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Interrupting the saga for a giggle

So I decided to actually look at my blog's statistics since they have picked up a bit since I haven't been ignoring my blog. Go figure, if you write (and get hooked up with Raverly - which I am loving) people actually stop by.

I clicked on one of the google searches, just to see and someone was searching for "louisiana sweet ass". Well damn if you wanted to know how to find my good friend Louisiana Swamp Rat, you could have just written me.

In order to try to remember enough details to make decent postings I have been jotting little notes because otherwise I tell you it would all be a blur. There are really great things since landing here I really want to tell you all about it but it takes a lot of energy to write it out. I will though, I promise!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Opening days of life in a new state

We settled into a very tiny room at the Mot*l 6. I do mean tiny, cave like even since we realized we couldn’t open the curtains because the window face on the walkway to room on the second floor.

First on the agenda was returning the Behemoth which luckily was a short drive because I seriously didn’t want to be near the thing any longer than necessary. Meeting me at the truck to check it over was a skinny, snaggle tooth guy who reminded me of Cletus Spuckler from the Simpsons. Between “Cletus” and “Boomhauer” it was rapidly becoming clear to me that Dayton really is the South though according to most maps the state of Ohio is in Midwest. We compared notes on driving over mountains, me the West, him the Appalachian variety apparently. He told me that his wife found the rises and dips nerve wrecking but his daughter loved it. According to him she wants drive trucks when she grows up. As TGF says, at least she has a goal.

Another stop was to StalMart to buy shoes as mine were still totally soaked and cold.

We also drove by the house that we decided was bite too large as well as a few others. Bascially that was the bulk of our day. We met the ‘rents for dinner, this time at Olive Garden – did I mention they like to eat out and not cook?

Hit the room early and were zombies until sleep over took us.

Friday the 28th is a distant memory at this point but I do know we went to The Parents’ house to do laundry. I was finally going to go to their house! The two quick trips I had made to Ohio three years ago, seeing her parents on their turf was not an option in TGF’s mind. This felt like a milestone in our relationship. Her dad (he's retired, mom works) wasn’t around so we lounged and soaked in the experience of being in a house, a functional place where people actually have their belongings around them and space, the ability to be in separate rooms if we desired. For what was already feeling like an eternity we had been staying in tiny rooms only at night and here it was day light, we weren’t driving, we were sitting on real furniture and our dog could roll around on grass. It felt a bit like heaven.

Monday, October 08, 2007

In which our heroine clearly is no longer in Kansas (aka a blue state)

Wednesday (about 45 miles)

It’s a gray day but we are both jittery with excitement. We go to breakfast to get fuel for the day ahead and I call Janelee the Realtor to make plans. Even though I spoke her yesterday when she told me “Oh I can meet you at the house, you can sign the lease and I’ll give you the keys”, suddenly she was tied up until 4pm! WTF, you know? Ellie, TGF’s mom, had movers scheduled to meet us at 1pm to unload. I was so furious I couldn’t speak, really. This is after her waiting until Monday to tell us that we can’t get power on in the place without a lease because the current owner owes money, that water can’t be turned on until Thursday at the earliest. Did I mention she was a duel agent so she had all this information from the get go?

Then we headed to a Bob Evans (TGF is so happy to be back in the land of all these chain restaurants I can't even tell you!) to get food where a woman had three toddlers who took turns starting the next round of caterwauling. I thought I was going to lose my mind. TGF had to grab my hand to stop me from getting up to say something to the woman. “I wasn’t going to yell at her, clearly the woman needs help and I was going to tell her that.” Somehow that didn’t fly. When I am tired, low blood sugar or PMS I am very sensitive to sounds, that day I was all three so it was a real struggle.

Finally we hit the road, it is a gray and drizzly day. As we hit Dayton proper I am following TGF and have a sinking feeling based on way too many hours on Google maps that we are heading the wrong way. My phone rings and TGF confirms her misstep, I try not be grumpy. We agree to park the Behemoth somewhere so we can ride over in the car and scope out the best path.

As we first enter the St Anne’s Hill area I am heartened, happy even – it really is cute, a bit edgy but livable. Then we turn up Samuels Street and the happy, fluttery feeling starts to sink into a darker, worried place. The house is not set far back from the street, and I knew there were a number of properties on the block that were for sale. What I wasn’t as clear on is that they were almost all abandoned, empty buildings. TGF didn’t like that there were so many people home during the day. The place held potential but the neighborhood? Um, not so much.

Still hopeful we round up the truck, Ellie meets us at the house but by then we have made a decision to walk away from the deal. The realtor had been less than clear, withheld information, and the neighborhood would take far to long to turn around to be a good investment. We arrange for the movers, who were fortunately late, to meet us a storage facility near Ellie’s workplace. It was still raining and when we all are in the same place it becomes clear that the car dolly is not working properly so we cannot detach it, which of course we need to do in order to unload the truck into the last storage unit Mike (aka the Bear) had that was large enough for our vast quantity of stuff. Once again a call is made to Budg*t, who sends a tow out (I now have a special place in my heart for tow workers) after another hour or more wait. The car dolly definitely had problems and really I wish we could dispute the charge for the damn thing (our second one if you remember) but that would require energy.

In the meantime we converse with the movers, Justin (aka Boomhauer), John, and Matt. Boomhauer, like the character on King of the Hill takes some time to understand. Most people you can listen in a manner that is akin to skimming while reading, but our Boomhauer guy requires actually listening with intent until you get used to the speech patten. All three had varying levels of tattoos with Boomhauer having the most body art including a very bad neck tattoo of the number “13” surrounded by flames. You know the kind of flames, like the ones you see on cars only bad colour job. TGF and Ellie had taken the cats and some our belongings to the next motel in our tour while I had an enlightening if tongue biting conversation.

Finally the car dolly is off, the Purple Beast towed to the doctor’s office, and the rain stopped just in time for them to unload everything while I was wearing was soaked to the bone. I actually stopped to wring out the bottoms of my pants which were now about two inches longer than normal so I was consistently stepping on them. My cheap birks were wet and clammy, my blood sugar was crashing and I still needed to drive the Behemoth albeit a lesser one now that the dolly was gone back to the Mot*l 6. Eventually we finally we able to take off and went off to the Golden Corral for dinner. TGF was very happy. Did I mention that her palate has been heavily influenced by her southern roots and years in Ohio?

Thus my first day as a resident of Ohio comes to an exhausting and emotional end.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Rain, Roads and Raper, Oh My!

Tuesday Iowa to Indiana (385) miles)

During our stay in Davenport TGF better to not totally push ourselves to make Dayton on Tuesday and stay the night at Jeriann’s. The idea of unloading to Jer’s 2-bedroom condo on the third floor of a walk up to share her space with her, our nephew Cody (almost 13 years old) and three cats with our crew just did not seem to be a great idea. And then there was the prospect of whether or not we would find somewhere to park the Behemoth at her condo. TGF picked Richmond Indiana, which is just across the border from Ohio and not far from Dayton proper, at our goal. It all seemed very doable, less mileage then the day before so a breeze, right? Not so much.

One of the great things about this part of the country is how far one can see ahead, and on either side of the road. In the early afternoon I could see rain falling far off in the distance, a sight I hadn’t seen in years and years. I first remember seeing this phenomenon when I was a child visiting my grandfather in Florida. It completely floored me how one could “see” rain from so far away, that one could see it but not be in it. That vision on nature is right up there in awe factor with the first time I clearly remember seeing the rays of the sun streaming down and when we drove through a cloud in Montana.

We were cruising along quite nicely when we hit our first real traffic tie up of the entire trip. I kid you not. There had been an accident which held up traffic for close to a hour, during which time we crawled along when we could drive. Cody called me during this time and we chatted about school and his Wii game, which helped to pass the time. We had all made plans to meet in Richmond for dinner because he could not wait to see us. I began to worry about making good time so as not to keep them out to late, it being a school night and all.

The traffic did let up but the light rain and darkened sky soon descended which slowed things a bit, but not as much as the crazy construction combined with rush hour traffic. It’s true the traffic is laughable when compared with the Bay Area but Indianapolis in dark light, rain, driving a Behemoth and having no idea when the lanes are going switch up on you, and the damn bumpiness of the road, well frankly it sucked big time!

Once we got onto 70 proper it was better, though it seemed to take forever for that to happen, but then we had no idea what exit the Mot*l 6 was at and there were no signs. When I finally saw a mileage sign that said 36 miles to Richmond I thought I would cry because after days of travel, the rain, the dark, and horrible suspension of the Behemoth I was beyond done with driving. I chanted and cursed my way through the last leg of this day. I played cheerleader and the team in need of cheering. Every time a bridge or an overpass appeared I bit my lip in order not to cry at the jarring section of road ahead.

I kept searching the billboards that popped up but when a series of them appeared in the distance I had hope that one would be blaring a Mot*l 6 sign however what I saw instead was what looked to my tired eyes to be the equivalent of a visual stutter – they were all blaring advertisements for a Tom Raper who apparently sold RVs, maybe something else. I really don’t know because I was so annoyed at his total domination of air space and not one of them was telling me when I could stop driving that I couldn’t read them. Finally I found a sign for another chain, called TGF to tell her I was going there, that I didn’t care anymore, I just had to stop driving. Soon after I saw that that very same exit led to the holy grail of motels for this trip. To say that I was happy, relieved, or even ready to collapse is only to scratch the surface of my emotions.

Soon after we met up with Jeriann and Cody for dinner which was really nice diversion. Afterwards we crawled in bed and looked forward to the conclusion of our journey.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

We met a goal!

Monday Nebraska to Iowa (about 443 miles)

As we set out early I hoped and prayed for smoother roads because I was not relishing the idea of being a bobble doll again. Despite getting passed the last large mountain pass in Laramie Wyoming (elevation 8460 ft) there were still a number of rises and less dips from mid-Nebraska and through Iowa. I felt like I was going up, often a low rise but still up, about 70% of the time which was really exhausting work. Felt a bit like a wuss given that TGF did the Sierra ranges but it was still hard work. And well, the Purple Beast is a heavier load than the Subaru.

Iowa really is a pretty state with its rolling hills and sweet valleys. With the Motel 6 guide in hand we had decided to set Davenport Iowa as our distance goal. During the day I remembered to call Sunny to give her an update since I hadn’t spoken to her since waiting on a tow in Buford. When I told her we were about 15 miles outside of Des Moines, she said that might mean something to her if she knew anything about geography. I told her it meant we were in Iowa and had finished getting through Wyoming and that we had tackled the wide expanse that is Nebraska. She remembered Nebraska as rather plain and uninspiring from our trip across the country back in 1973. I told her I didn’t remember that state from that journey but that I found it changed landscapes as one drove through it.

At this late date I don’t remember much else about the day’s journey, which is probably a good thing because it means it was rather uneventful. We did actually make it to Davenport which represents the first time this trip that we set and met a destination goal. Impressive if you ask me; given all the bumps literal and figurative in the road on this journey.

Monday, October 01, 2007

And the winds they do blow

Sunday Wyoming to Nebraska (362 miles)This time we got an earlier start, determined to get moving and make up for losing a day. With high hopes and without consulting a map we aimed for Omaha, soon we realized this was a rather ambitious goal. Nebraska is a very long, long state; something that had not changed in the six years since I last traveled Route 80. What was different were the winds which were gusting at up to 35- 75 miles per hour depending on whether one believed the reports I heard or the ones TGF heard. Regardless of clocking the winds it made driving the Behemoth challenging as it was a top heavy beast.

As I drove along feeling more confident suddenly the road changed, or was it a tire. Since I could only see the tires on one side, and given all the problems we had had, I decided it was wiser to pull over and check things out. Of course all the tires were fine but I could barely open my door, or see for all the wind stirring up the dust of the plains. We quickly hopped back on the road. The winds were creating the most amazing dust storms which suddenly that image so much more than it had been before as I struggled to walk in the winds, drive through them and watch dust funnels form. Western Nebraska was rockier and more barren, but as I drove east, the landscape softened and there were trees atop slightly scalloped hills. The other natural feature that teased my eyes was a river that traveled along side for a long time. I loved watching the colours change and the movement of the gentle current. It reminded me of the bay and of the wrap I made (that I have not put up the photos of) for Ruth.The rumbling of the road continued but I no longer feared it was a tire problem. The bumpiness of the road shook me all over and I often felt like one of the bobble headed toys keep in the back window made for just such conditions. My other thought was of those silly machines that proposed simply by jiggling a person that one could lose weight. If that were true by the end of my journey I should be easily ten pounds lighter. Clearly this was not to be because one, those types of machines do not work; and two, the road food is not conducive to weight loss. Actually the rumbling was really hard to deal with because there was no way to truly relax into it and I keep wishing for smooth roadways. There were times when I would almost cry when the bumps started while other times I would almost cry when the road became slick as a sheet of ice.

As day grew long we settled on exit in Grand Island. This was a huge and luxurious feeling travel spot, a Bosselman’s with restaurants, a barber shop, a mini grocery store, and free wireless throughout the property! This was the most elegant of the Motel 6 (or anywhere this trip) that we stopped at and I really appreciated the slight upgraded décor though the room was on the small side.

It was lovely to stop driving after my first full driving day of the Behemoth. Truly lovely.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Saturday Wyoming to Wyoming (149 miles. Yes you read that right)

As six years earlier, the early morning light in Wyoming is beautiful. The light coming over the hills, the undulating horizons, and the endless expanse of sky is so beautiful that it is almost overwhelming. This time I was able to see the skylines as the sun was rising, thanks to Wyatt needing to go outside as soon as a human stirred. The winds were fierce in the early light and though I wanted to take photos the lure of the bed was much stronger than any artistic motivations.

TGF offered to drive the Behemoth to the Sinclair gas station as she had more experience maneuvering the beast and once on the highway we would find a place to switch driving. I strolled over to her to negotiate payment and such. In passing I noted that there was a red Dodge diesel truck on the other side of the pump. The owner of this vehicle would soon prove invaluable to our journey and protected our safety. A few moments later he was looking over our truck and said, “I don’t mean to be nosy but I think you’ve got yourself a problem with your towing rig. The tongue looks yanked out of place.” Sure enough it did not look right at all. The rig was barely on one the ball hitch and he said we were lucky that we hadn’t lost our car. We thanked him profusely for pointing out the wrecked car dolly, filled up the gas tank (again for buckets of money), pulled the truck to the side of the gas station and call B*dget.

One of the first things the very helpful guy said was “you should NEVER back up the vehicle when you have a car dolly”, which was exactly what TGF had to do the night before. She replied that our dealer had even drawn out directions for how to back up. There was an awkward silence from our guy on the phone and some hemming and hawing. Soon Iron J Towing was pulling up behind our crippled Behemoth. A tall, thin, dark haired guy named John took one look at the hitch and said, “Shit!”, to which I replied that was not exactly the assessment we were hoping for. Aside from his negative judgment he was quite helpful but said he would have to send another guy with a larger rig out. On the positive he thought there was a B*dget car dolly left at their tow yard. We tried to think positively about this dolly because who knew how else we were going to do this trip if we had to leave a vehicle here.

Shortly after Mikel from Iron J Towing came by, gave the same assessment on the condition of the hitch – basically it was f*cked and would need a major repair. We mentioned that John had indicated there was an abandoned B*dget dolly at the yard. He noted that it had a flat tire. Soon he was on the phone with B*dget when I overheard him say that he doesn’t do tire work on Saturdays. I fought the urge to say something about it must be nice to decide when one does what type of work but bit my tongue and wondered if $50 dollars under the table would change his mind. After a fair amount of back and forth with our rental company and Mikel it was decided that we would follow Mikel to the yard, in the east part of town so he could see what he could do. It was there at the Iron J Towing property that TGF remembered my tevas had been on the roof of the Purple Beast, only now there was but one lone sandal. I was now down to one pair of shoes, a pair of cheap sandals, until we landed and unpacked in Ohio. Mikel kindly sent us off to get some breakfast while he saw what was usable between our car dolly and the two he had sitting there.

By the time we finished our meal down the road at Penny’s Diner (this end of Rawlins was the bustling end while where we had stayed was the down on it’s luck end of town), Mikel had taken the Subaru off, disconnected the defunct dolly and had another one almost ready to hitch on. By this time, Don a older guy with a body crooked and awkward from hard physical labor, and bad teeth, who I assume was the owner or manager of the joint was chatting us up. Especially since I would be driving the Behemoth from for awhile we were asking about the mountain passes. He assured us there was only one more major one and from the crest, “you can see all the way over to Ohio where we would be able to see our husband and yell at him to get back to work". Needless to say we did not correct him about a husband waiting on our asses in Ohio. Clearly Mikel had broken his own rule and replaced the tire on the dolly so we could hit the road. I thanked for his help and going beyond the call; I also let him know that I would be publicly thanking Mikel and Iron J Towing. So if you are ever in a pinch in the vicinity of Rawlins WY, you now know who to call for excellent help. Just don’t mention if you’re a lesbian, don’t talk about the dangers of cigarettes and pretend politics doesn’t exist as a topic up for debate.

Finally we were on the road, looking for a good pull off to trade rides, which we soon found. At first I was a little nervous about handling a 24-foot truck plus hauling the Subaru but I remembered a little thing TGF told me. Her dad and she have always bonded around cars. TGF is a good driver and has what her dad refers to as a good gut for driving, as in it’s instinctual for that person. Well she apparently told him that I have “the gut”. I replayed her telling me that tale a time or two to calm my nerves, and it really did help.

A bit down the road she buzzed me saying the cats could probably use some water – the hot winds continued – and a bathroom stop for us and the dog might be a good idea. The next likely place was in Buford at the Buford Trading Post. We hung out a bit, stretching our legs, giving Wyatt some time out of the car, getting water to the cats, etc. The owner of the Post came up to ask TGF if the soda machine had eaten any of her money, which seemed nice, but he was abrupt and odd about questioning her use of dimes rather than quarters. We decided he was bit cantankerous and left it alone. Getting into our respective vehicles I steeled myself up to the challenge of a series of turns to get out of there and back on the highway. As I climbed the entrance ramp my phone rang. “The Blazer won’t start.” Ugh. I told her to call me if she couldn’t get her going, or to catch up to me. A few minutes later I called her and found that she still had had no luck so I needed to turn around at the next available exit. Luckily this was not too far ahead and as I neared the entrance to the trading post I noticed the sign: Buford WY. Pop. 1. Elevation 8000. Sure enough Purple Beast was making the same noises and not turning over as she had before we replaced the battery and alternator, after being assured the fuel pump was fine. Not so sure about that any more.

A call to AAA told me that a tow truck would be on the way within an hour, and because I was confident they would not get the Purple Beast to start, I requested that they switch which vehicle was on the dolly since there was nothing wrong with the Subaru. The sun was beginning to make it’s descent but the beauty was almost wasted on me as this had put another hitch into our plans and I was starting to doubt our ability to successfully get to Ohio. About this time we both phoned our mothers because, frankly, at this point our inner child needed a cyber hug awful bad. A bit later AAA called to say that taking the working car off the dolly was not covered and might cost about $200. I was really frustrated by everything and really didn’t care about the money, I just wanted to get back on the road. When it had been more than an hour I called again and was told that tow truck that had been sent to rescue us had broke down. Irony, no? When I went over to TGF to tell her this she was chatting up two guys who she announced were professional wrestlers. They were great guys. Mosi is originally from Detroit, which is where they were heading, but had lived a number of places. Jeremy was from Idaho, in the process of relocating to Detroit. Mosi was a chatty guy, while Jeremy was a good foil for his tales. My phone rang with another call from AAA telling me they were having problems finding another tow company allowed on the property where we were stuck. No I am not kidding. Apparently the owner of this land and apparently most if not all of Buford is a bit, um, prickly. In the midst of this, as the skies got darker, I remembered that I had brownies from Roger the Neighbor, so despite being stressed and stranded I played the gracious hostess and passed the dessert around to the wrestlers who had said they would stay until a tow company came to help us.

Another phone call from AAA tells me they found someone but, and it’s a big one, they will have to tow the Purple Beast and we will have to follow them to somewhere else because The Buford Man does not like any work done on his property. Now keep in mind that the store has long since closed and Mr I Live in Town of My Own is nowhere to be found. Finally after dark Sean from Big Al’s Towing showed up. He was great! Told us great stories, like the guy who pulled off the highway to walk his dog and was told by a cowboy type man to “get off my land”. Mr Dog Walker said "hey it’s a public highway". Apparently not and Mr. Cowboy let off a load of buckshot into his engine and Sean towed it away. Sean called Mr My Own Town to tell him he was coming to help us. What Sean didn’t tell his was that he was going to do the work right there. In fact Sean was surprised that Mr. My Own Town didn’t show up to bother us. The charming Sean also only charged us $100 for at least an hour of crazy work of switching the cars. It was quite the project towing a dead car up onto the car dolly. Upon his recommendation we drove about 25 miles to a Motel 6 (which is the chain we stayed with the rest of the trip) because they are relatively inexpensive (read bare bones) and allow pets.

So though we had been out of our motel room for a good 12 hours our miles traveled were very low for last Saturday.

(Dear readers please note I am posting these way after the fact so the posting date is correct but for example this happened over a week ago. I have been having difficulty having enough energy to write and internet access is still quite irregular. I have started on last Sunday's entry and hope to post it soon. We are in Ohio already so do not fear.)