Last year, we headed out on our epic road trip on January 1st – the western New Year’s Day. This year, we headed out on the first day of the Chinese New Year. The year of the Dragon…
So – Gong Hei Fat Choy – May prosperity be with you.
My plan was to leave by 9AM since I had to drop a book off at the library, go to the post office to have my mail forwarded to Silver City, and to the bank to get some cash. Plus, I needed to stop in Blue Hill for gas, and be at the Honda dealer in Augusta by 1PM to get the brakes down.
Well, as we all know, plans don’t always come together as we would like.
First off, the 90% packed car needed a little rearranging this morning so the remainder would fit. Max knew something was up last night when I began taking crates and things out to the car. He got pretty antsy – “you won’t leave without me, right? RIGHT??”
This morning was no different. He stayed outside by the gate as I came and went, anxiously watching for any signs that I was going to leap into the car, gun the engine, and disappear from his life.
Based on his heightened alertness, I figured he’d run right over and jump in the car when I finally had everything loaded but the Poodle. Imagine my surprise when he stood in the driveway, looked me right in the eye, and took off down to the neighbor’s house at the end of our lane.
I cursed and swore. Went inside the house for one last lookaround, came out, slammed the car doors, whistled… No poodle. Not even any sounds of a poodle. H-m-m-m-m… should I drive down there (the car would be closer when I snag him) or walk? I chose to walk, giving my special “come on, Max!” whistle. Still no sounds – nor sightings – of a poodle.
And then, just when I figured he could have gone a half mile while I was cursing and slamming doors, he came bounding around their house to greet me – big old doggy grin and windmilling tail. I scooted low and held my arms open, and he galloped over and sat (yes! SAT) right in front of me. That deserved a reward and I just happened to have some treats in my pocket.
But now we were 15 minutes off the departure mark. No problem. I had allowed plenty of time. But…
Running into friends at the post office was also not part of the plan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy I saw them. But they added another 10 minutes to the delay. Then I had to wait in line, fill out not one but two forms, and finally, we were on our way. But wait! There was still the bank to deal with.
After making a deposit, and getting cash, I asked if I should let them know I was going on a two month road trip. “That would be a good idea,” the teller said. “Especially if you’re going to use your debit card. Just get in touch with us before you leave.”
“Er… I’m leaving NOW.”
So, more delay… When we were finally and officially really on the road, we were almost 45 minutes behind schedule.
Nevertheless, we made it to Augusta with time to spare – without any danger or excess speed, I might add. Time enough to sit in line at the dealer’s (free to customers) car wash and eat lunch before taking the car to the service bay.
While the car was being serviced, Max and I waited in the lounge. Not quietly, not sedately, oh no, not Max. Miko was there and he and Max are old buddies. Miko is the 5 year old golden retriever “shop dog,” and he and Max ripped up the showroom!
They ran and wrestled, and wrestled and ran. They went into all the offices – well, mostly Max went into all the offices. Miko is used to the place so doesn’t feel the same urgency to see what’s in all those places. They played until their sides were heaving and their tongues were lolling out the side of their mouths. Miko disappeared and Max laid down at my feet.
For two minutes.
Miko reappeared and they were at it again. Max found a tug toy and came bounding over to Miko and it was GAME ON. I tell you, an hour and a half went by mighty quickly.
Max is pretty well worn out tonight – I can only imagine how Miko is faring. We’re in Portland for the night and will really, truly be “on the road” tomorrow.
A few days ago, I was having pangs of – I’m not sure what to call it – not fear, I guess just mild anxiety. I realized that last year’s trip had been at the end of months of planning, organizing, mock layouts to make sure everything would fit the car, building that great platform to fit the rear of the Honda Element, lots of research, maps… All of that. None of which I had done this time.
I was three days out from leaving and I hadn’t even packed a single thing! That was the anxiety. Shouldn’t I be in some frenzied state of last minute organizing? Shouldn’t I have at least packed up the studio boxes? I mean, after all, I wasn’t even using the studio for the past three weeks.
So, Saturday came, and my friend, Hank – thank you, Hank! – came and helped me get the platform into the car. And I washed some clothes. But I still did not pack.
Sunday. Pack. Clean. Make a run to Ellsworth for some great kibble for Max for the road. I feed him a raw diet, and it’s impossible to do it easily or safely on the road. Last year, we did a freeze dried feed that I reconstituted but he lost weight. The other day, my friend Diana from Portland (the other Portland) Oregon told me about Origen which is the closest to raw you can get in kibble. 75-80% meat protein, properly balanced with fruit and vegetables and no grain. Hence the run to Ellsworth – and three hours taken out of my last day to pack!
Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Deadlines are meant to be pushed? or flaunted? or ignored? or?
Who needs deadlines anyway? We’re on the road.