Friday, March 17, 2017
Unfortunately for us, the desert weather situation changed last week. Things turned HOT. In the 90’s. Some people thought that was a great idea, and waxed on about how lovely the heat was. This (perhaps menopausal) Daisie found it to be SWELTERING, wildly uncomfortable, and with no amount of air conditioning able to make things any more desirable. And because luck isn’t always with us, it failed to cool down to a reasonable sleep-worthy temperature. In other words, the Daisies didn’t sleep on the two nights before the big exit. And, take this as you will, but my sleep deprived self might be complaining. So, adhering to the adage: “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the desert,” we did just that. And so, with the usual drama and trauma, we left the Fountain of Youth, our place of exile, around 9:00am on Monday.
The lack of a good night’s rest does not make for a pleasant day. In the spirit of not riling my Hag-mates, I will leave this to your imagination. For my children, you know what I’m talking about. We fled the desert in the early morning, with the temperature already approaching 80 degrees. It was hot. As we headed north, our discomfort, due to the heat, (and perhaps physical closeness) didn’t get any better. I don’t remember the last time I sweated for 6-1/2 continuous hours while sitting. It was a death-drive to Bakersfield, with NO STOPS. We were a hot, sweaty, cranky bunch by the time we landed at the Orange Grove RV Park. Picking oranges helped the general mood, as did being able to run the AC on high. The nighttime temperature dropped to 50 some-degrees, which also improved pretty much everything. You can’t put a price on a good night’s sleep.
As is the usual on the homeward trip, the next day, which would be Tuesday, we headed north to the first stop on the “casino tour,” Rolling Hills Casino. We dined at the “half-price for seniors” buffet, I made a donation via the “Gushers” slot machine, Craig broke even, and Dad won $12.
Stella was happy to be at a park with something to smell. It’s a gross understatement to say that she is prey-driven. The RV park, located on tribal lands, complete with a golf course and large open green area, is home to long-eared rabbits and many, many birds. In order for her to enjoy these things we put a harness on her, and a 12’ flexi-leash, and hold on. Tightly. She hits the trail running, nose to the ground, loosing her (mind) self to the call of the wild. The usual drill includes a quick lap around the park, with the person on the other end of the leash becoming increasingly annoyed at her inability to respond to any command, wish, desire, suggestion…. We eventually reel her back into the Hag, hot, panting, and with tongue hanging, and I’m talking about both Stella and the leash holder. There, she drinks copious amounts of water and relives the experience she just had by wistfully looking out the window and occasionally letting a small whimper escape. Not unlike the evening walks in the desert, this isn’t as enjoyable as it sounds. Even though we may not hit the jackpot at the casino, Stella does, each time we pass through.
This year, the trip home included two extra, out of the ordinary, stops. I mention this as it is not something that usually happens and therefore was a HUGE treat. The day we left FOY we stopped at WinCo in Indio for a few last minute groceries. This was quite a departure from our normal strict adherence to schedule and I greatly appreciated it. Unplanned stops are not something that happens with this group. On our next to the last day out, we stopped in Redding, for 90 quick minutes, to see my dear Mother-In-Law, Marion. She had given Dad some wool a year ago, and he braided it into a rug just for her and we wanted to deliver it. Marion loves pink, and this rug had a lot of pink and COLOR in it. When Dad told her that she had given him the wool for it, she said, “Yes! I recognize it!” It reminded me of a crocheted rag rug my Grandmother had made for me that lied next to my bed when I was a small child. She made it from leftover scraps of fabric from clothing she and my Mom had made. I used to sit and look at it, remembering the dresses and thinking of my Grandma’s hands working away. That is how it is with work that springs forth from your hands. It blesses the maker as much as it does the recipient. It gives everyone a chance to reflect.
Our final night on the road was spent at Seven Feather’s RV Park. Again, I will note this for the record: Three casino buffets back-to-back is NOT a good idea. It causes suffering on the part of the diner. I’m not one to partake of sodas, but I managed to imbibe of the Ginger Ale beverage as often as I could manage, which was a couple of times a day for the duration of the northward journey. And, on the last morning’s drive, I polished off the last of this soothing gift from the gods. I wish I could say it helped. Poor food choices are in and of themselves a natural consequence. One needs ample time and distance from a buffet to recover, and hopefully the days ahead will bring both.
We followed our usual plan on the last day, and unhooked the Jeep from the Hag prior to the last gas fill-up, about 20 miles from home. At this point, I become the driver of said Jeep, making me the first to arrive home. It gives me a chance to see what calamity has befallen us during our wayward journey and figure out how to break such news to my Hag mates. My homecoming occurred around 12:30, and for once, things looked manageable. There were a few branches that had come down, and one of the gates wasn’t working. These are minor things compared with issues of the past. The lights were working, we hadn’t lost power during the 2 months we were gone, no pipes had broken, etc. Somehow we dodged bad luck. And, if this wasn’t enough, we were able to unload the Hag BEFORE the rain returned.
In the words of Dorothy: “There’s no place like home.” It is good to have cooler temperatures. It is good to see nothing but green and daffodils. And, I may be the only one who feels this way, but it’s good to see the rain!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!