Sunday, June 3, 2012

Are We There Yet?

This trip, more than any other before, the answer was no.

Honestly, in all of our years of traveling down to the coast, which should only be a stinking just over four hours of actual driving time, never before have we had such a time just getting there.

The ordeal began days ago, really, with Miss Lizzie, our former houseguest.  Yes, i say former because she was only supposed to live with us temporarily, and temporary turned into most of a year, and she had promised to have a new place by  June 1 and we had to hold her to that.  She had a place lined up, then waited until 5pm the day before to start packing her very large amount of stuff.

That meant tripping over her packing and coming in and out while we were trying to get stuff done, too.

Top that off with the fact that Blair forgot she was supposed to come get the last three unweaned kittens to bring to Liza while we were gone, and i had to call and remind her, as well as me having to take 8 of them up to the shelter so they could be up for adoption for the week we are gone, and laundry that got put off until the last day because the dryer was out of order (rain), and i was a frazzled mess when i woke up at 3am and decided it was useless to sleep any more, i might as well start trying to get stuff done.

Then it really hit the fan.  Yes, Miss Lizzie and The Hazelnut were gone, as well as about half of the kittens, so it all should have been easier.  It wasn't.  Instead i couldn't find stuff, and i got more frazzled, and i have never been so unprepared for a road trip so close to leaving time in my whole life and then a toilet stopped up again.

Yes, really.  That about did me in.

Then there was the joy of the actual driving, which we started much later than i wanted (or than anyone else wanted, either).

The great state of "Loosiana" as we say it when we are being sarcastic, had decided in the Department of Transportation's wisdom, specifically, that the first weekend of the summer was the best time to shut down two lanes of the interstate.  For miles.  So besides all of the usual construction mayhem, which is everywhere, it took us over two hours to make what should have been a 45 minute portion of the trip, with most of that time being totally stopped on the interstate.

Freeway? i kept thinking.  Who in the world had the ridiculous idea to name it a freeway when no one is "free" to go any "way", much less get anywhere?

Humph.  And a debit card debacle.  Pay at the pump indeed.  Not with my card, apparently.

The best thing about the drive, besides it being over and landing me in a place where if the plumbing is recalcitrant it's not my problem, was the fact that we actually got through the grocery and sundries shopping in record time.

It was simple.  Bigger Girl and Teresa took a cart and went to get what they wanted, #2 Son and Little Girl did the same, and Sweetie wandered off in bliss, continually coming back to the cart with something toothsome he wanted, or a sundry notion or two, and if he found on of the other two carts our group had wandering around the place, he tossed them in there instead.

The mom bought soap and toilet paper.  No one else seemed to think of them.

So we arrived, and went crazy because it turned out that one of the kittens had messed on a bag that got stowed in the car without the stower noticing somehow (that's what that smell was i got a whiff of a few times on the trip!) and we had to start a load of laundry right away to get the smell out, and then everything was unpacked and all over and Grandma and Grandpa were hugged and thanked for bringing us again, and i got to put on my still-supportive-but-not-at-all-sensible-to-wear-when-you-are-running-around-the-house-with-kittens-climbing-on-your-feet-and-yet-oh-so-comfortable Cobain shoes, and that was that.

Oh, and Ol' Bessy survived the trip and actually agreed to use the wi-fi here without balking.  Bonus!

Today is

Broken Dolls Day -- Japan (all broken dolls are taken by their children to monks for burial)

Chimborazo Day -- to publicize that while Mt. Everest may be the highest, Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest from the center of the earth)

Day of the Rice God -- Chiyoda, Japan (rice transplanting festival to honor Wbai-sama, the Shinto rice god)

Dr. Charles Drew Day -- honoring the man who made blood transfusions possible

Economist Day -- Argentina

Father's Day -- Lithuania

Festival to Bellona -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of war)

Gioco Del Ponte -- Pisa, Italy (the Battle of the Bridge, a medieval parade and contest for possession of the bridge)

Impersonate Authority Day -- at your own risk, i will not bail you out just because i noted an internet holiday and you decided to celebrate it ;)

Jack Jouett Day -- Virginia (the "Paul Revere" of his day, rode to warn Governor Thomas Jefferson that the British were coming, 1781)

Mabo Day -- Australia

Martyr's Day -- Uganda

Mother's Day -- France; French Antilles

National Cancer Survivors Day -- US (but please, survivors everywhere, feel free to celebrate)

National Chocolate Macaroon Day

Opium Suppression Movement Day -- Taiwan

Procession of the Golden Chariot -- Mons, Belgium (celebrates the delivery of Mons from the plague in 1349; reenactment of St. George slaying the dragon in the afternoon)

Pull Your Pants Up Day -- internet generated, various dates given, and some are trying to make it a national movement; to encourage young men to pull up their pants for 24 hours and see if they enjoy having both hands free

Repeat Day -- i said, "repeat day" (no, i don't know who comes up with this stuff, sometimes; if i do, i try to place the blame appropriately)

Sj├│mannadagurinn -- Iceland (Seaman's Day)

St. Clotilde's Day (Patron of adopted children, brides, disappointing children, exiles, parenthood, parents of large families, queens, widows; against the death of children)

St. Kevin of Glendaulough's Day (Patron of blackbirds; Dublin, Ireland; Glendaulough, Ireland; Ireland)

Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant -- London, England (in honor of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, one of the largest flotillas ever will assemble in a formal river procession of over 1,000 boats)

Trinity Sunday -- Christian

Whit Sunday -- Orthodox Christian Churches and Greece using the Julian Calendar

Worst Day in the Fairy Year -- Fairy Calendar (must be nice to know when your worst day will be)

Anniversaries Today:

The Duke of Windsor marries Wallis Simpson, 1937

Birthdays Today:

Lalaine, 1987
Rafael Nadal, 1986
Anderson Cooper, 1967
Deniece Williams, 1951
Suzi Quatro, 1950
Curtis Mayfield, 1942
Colleen Dewhurst, 1926
Allen Ginsberg, 1926
Tony Curtis, 1925
Leo Gorcey, 1917
Josephine Baker, 1906
Dr. Charles Drew, 1904
Ransom E. Olds, 1864
Jefferson Davis, 1808

Today in History:

French scholar Peter Abelard is found guilty of heresy, 1140
Hernando De Soto claims Florida for Spain, 1539
Construction of the oldest stone church in French North America, Notre-Dame-des-Anges, begins at Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, 1620
Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo is founded in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 1770
President John Adams moves to Washington, D.C., to live in a tavern (the White House wasn't ready), 1800
In Humen, China, Lin Tse-hs├╝ destroys 1.2 million kg of opium confiscated from British merchants, which prompts the First Opium War, 1839
In the last military engagement fought on Canadian soil, Cree leader Big Bear escapes the North West Mounted Police, 1885
The poem "Casey at the Bat", by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, is published in the San Francisco Examiner, 1888
The coast to coast Canadian Pacific Railway is completed, 1889
One thousand unemployed Canadian workers board freight cars in Vancouver, British Columbia, beginning a protest trek to Ottawa, Ontario, 1935
Launch of Gemini 4, the first multi-day space mission by a NASA crew, 1965
A blowout at the Ixtoc I oil well in the southern Gulf of Mexico causes at least 3,000,000 barrels of oil to be spilled into the waters, the worst oil spill ever recorded, 1979
SkyDome is officially opened in Toronto, Ontario, 1989
Aboriginal Land Rights are granted in Australia in Mabo v Queensland (1988), a case brought by Eddie Mabo, 1992
USS Carter Hall engages pirates after they board the Danish ship Danica White off the coast of Somalia, 2007

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