Monday, May 12, 2008


I'm sitting here late on Monday night; we've been home a couple of hours. I've put stuff away, had a rather glorious shower, shaved the stems, enjoyed a foot bath, and watched two damn fine TV eps (Bones and House...gotta love season-finale season!). Tomorrow I'll go to my Mom's church early to attend a mass in honor of Dad. I'll work in the afternoon and then go to PT.

This weekend was good on several levels. His folks' house was under stress, as usual, so I removed myself from it as much as possible and just took in the outdoors. Birds swooping from tree to tree, squirrels chasing each other in a springtime mating dance, the pretty weather as I accompanied Mom J. on a shopping errand that netted me a new top...I spent 2 hours Saturday morning on the front porch just enjoying the cool weather, the occasional animal, the quiet. We were only there Friday night and Saturday morning, at his folks' house, but they were stressed enough where I distanced myself from it, and most of them remembered what this weekend was, so I was allowed my antisocial behavior. In the early morning on Saturday, I allowed myself a cleansing cry as I remembered the significance of that morning last year, us all sitting around a conference table hearing what we didn't want to hear, knowing the decision had already been made for us, that signing paperwork was a mere formality in light of Dad's wishes and personality...

Saturday afternoon, we set off for the campground, undaunted by the foreboding weather reports of rain threatening to hit in the early morning hours of Sunday, and promising to stick around all day Sunday. Arrived and settled in. Weather was beautiful, clear, breezy, not oppressively hot. Other than some white trash neighbors to our right who played their country music too loud most of the evening, there were no problems. I went for provisions, he relaxed and scouted for wood...we enjoyed a simple meal of hot dogs and chips with plenty of Gatorade to counterbalance the sweating we were doing, and then settled in by the fire...stayed up til 11 just watching it and talking...

5:30 a.m. Sunday, the rain hits. No, actually, I should say the comedy of errors starts, as you'll see...Well, ok, we have the rain flap on, let's see how it does. It doesn't take too long for us to realize that we certainly did put it on wrong side up, and that the leftover poles had a purpose after rains...and rains...and rains...and leaks from the moonroof and drenches the sides and leaches its way onto our air mattresses, pillows, etc. There's no point in being pissed at the elements, though, so we ruefully wait it out, until my bladder can't take it anymore. We decide that I'll make a run for it, hit the showers, and he'll pack up the inside of the tent best he can, and then we'll do breakfast. So much for eggs and bacon over a toasty fire...

The shower's a balm, but not much of one, because I realize at the shelter that I've forgotten my shampoo and I'm damn sure not traipsing back in the deluge just for a trial size. I take a good rinse-off shower, hand scrubbing away how sweaty I've been feeling. It helps, and revives my spirits, but we're both tired as we hit the local IHOP. Bone tired. Running on 5 hours of sleep and above-normal activity level tired. We call his Lil Sis at her work, explain the sitch, and hop over to Irmo to grab her keys, so that we can go to her place, dry some stuff off, maybe grab naps. We briefly meet her new beau. She warns us that the place is a mess. And that the A/C has just stopped working. And the washer's broken. No biggie, we only really need to dry stuff. We get to her place and discover that the downside to the A/C being broken, is that every single window in the place is painted shut. And that her place being a "mess" is the largest understatement in the history of understatements. I feel worlds better about our apartment. Seriously.

Ah well, we're too tired to care...we clear a path and crash on her bed for about 2 hours. I wake up a bit refreshed, but it's getting stuffy in the apartment. Upon exploring, discover the weather has cleared. The sun is shining rather gloriously and there's a high breeze. Bug Husby and see that he needs more time, so I offer to go over to the campsite and check on the stuff we abandoned in the deluge and grab a couple of things we forgot. He knows I'll bounce off the walls otherwise, so he doesn't put up a fight; plus he's still too pooped.

The site's fine, but everything's still wet enough where coming back that night could be uncomfortable. I set our camp chairs in a sun spot to dry, and pull off the rain fly, securing it across the picnic table in the hopes it'll dry. Drop the doors and open the screens on the tent to air out the tent interior, and pray we don't get any more rain. The weather's so beautiful I drive back with the windows down, blowing my hair all over the place. The hair's shorter now, by the way...not crazy about how short either. There's just no pleasing me.

Husby's up when I get back and in agreement about the stuffiness of the apartment, so we hang out outside for the better part of 2 hours, waiting for his sis to get off work and drying our air mattresses in the sun. I do some exercises, we people-watch, chat, and curse everytime the maintenance man cruises near his sis's apartment on the golf cart only to bypass it. The winds are fantastic. Lil Sis and beau get home, she flags down the maintenance guy, and he offers to unstick as many of the windows as he can, even though he's off the clock for the day. We're hanging out on the screened-in porch, the only comfortable spot in the place, chatting, when we hear this loud BOOM nearby. I think it's coming from Fort Jackson, the Army base down the road, but an instant later, the power goes out. Blown transformer. Classic. Sigh. Guy finishes windows, we call power company to alert them to outage, and go to dinner. Neat place. I gotta stop ordering chicken fingers anywhere else than Longhorn though; they've definitely cornered the market on those suckers. We get a call during dinner that the power's back on. Head back to her place to watch the short movie her guy has written, directed, etc. We're home maybe 5, 10 minutes, when we hear another loud BOOM and are in darkness again. Laugh at the rather unusual warning shot the neighborhood wiring apparently has. Thank the gods that the guy got the windows open earlier, the winds are heavenly. We sit in the dark and talk until 1 a.m. Husby and I crash at her place on our air mattresses; I'm out within 5 minutes.

I woke up this morning with a swollen throat, not sore per se, more like a lump that wouldn't go away. Blame it on the night air and ask Husby if I snored last night. Rattled the windows with a decibel level as yet unheard of apparently...I actually strained my throat from...snoring. Weird. Poor guy's too nice to shove me to roll over, so his sleep was sporadic and he's still beat. I realize I've slept like a log and am ready to rock, so I offer to go break camp and bring back breakfast. Head over in weather that's exquisite, leaving me a bit rueful that we're packing up today, but more wishing we had more time to explore Columbia. All in due time. I break camp, hit McD's, roust him up, and we pack up and hit the road. The weather's beautiful, 70-something, windy still...we decide to take the Interstates all the way even though it appears to be a longer trip distance-wise; it's a surprisingly fast and pretty trip...takes us less than 5 hours and I still get to see fields, cows, n' stuff.

We got back by 4 p.m., and spent the evening unwinding. This is the best I've felt in quite awhile. I pray my Lil Bro and Lil Sis can find peace like this. Sure, I still have healing to do, and I miss the crap out of Dad; but this deliciously elemental weekend was a much-needed recharge and I look forward with fresh eyes.

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