But you didn’t even know we were gone, did you?
What I didn’t mention last week when I wrote about our Sunday Drive (with Vomit) was that poor Wonderboy’s little bout of carsickness didn’t bode well for what we had planned for the next day. See, I had decided that if I’m really going to drive these younguns of mine all the way across the country after we sell our house, it might be wise to take a little test drive. A pre-road-trip road trip, if you will. Destination: Alice’s cottage. Hard as it is for me to believe, we’d never actually been there before; she moved into her current house after we abandoned her for the Blue Ridge. We were supposed to visit last summer but Wonderboy broke his head. Literally. And that was actually the least serious of the medical emergencies he threw our way that week. Needless to say, those events necessitated reworking our vacation plans just a little. As in: goodbye, Cottage Garden; hello, hospital cafeteria. (Ah, old friend, how I’ve missed your pudding.)
Now here we are a year later, on the verge of another big adventure, and I just couldn’t see hightailing it all the way to the other coast without ever having taken a stroll in the cottage garden. So with my little heart all broken because Scott is far away, I concocted this plan to betake ourselves to parts north for a week of gabbing and eating and baby-kissing and toddler-chasing and gabbing and singing and swimming and also gabbing. And then the day before we were supposed to leave, Wonderboy threw up in the van.
Also! That very same morning, last Sunday it was, one of Alice’s children woke up feeling ill and he too did some spewing of his own. But not in the car (thank goodness). Two more of her little ones were listless and glazed that day, and it sure seemed like some nasty virus was commencing a slash-and-burn mission through her household.
This was the point at which any sensible mother would begin to rethink her vacation plans. But I am not any sensible mother. Nor, it would seem, is Alice, whose philosophy is "If the kids get sick, let ’em get sick together." Okay, that isn’t really her Philosophy with a capital P but it WAS her stated opinion on this particular occasion. So Monday morning, after some dithering (because Dithering is my middle name) I went ahead with Plan A and loaded the kiddies into the minivan and hit the open road.
I didn’t mention this excursion on the blog because I didn’t want The Internet to know my house was sitting empty all week. The Internet might think I have jewelry worth stealing. (I don’t.) (But I do have a lot of Signing Time DVDs and The Internet might not have realized that I brought them all with me.) But it was hard not to tell you, dear readers of these posts who utilize the internet yet are somehow not The Internet, that sinister entity. I sooo wanted to blog the trip. Which I couldn’t have done anyway because when I arrived at Alice’s my ancient laptop, Cantankerous Marge (who, as I’ve mentioned before, is not equipped for Wi-fi but I figured I could just use dial-up—you know, blogging the old-fashioned way) would not turn on. You could push that button as hard as you liked; she remained stubbornly blank-screened no matter what. I guess she does not like traveling. Or perhaps she simply does not like me. There is a nice Apple repairman in town, and I am hoping she will like him better.
It wouldn’t have mattered anyway because as it turned out, I was too busy gabbing and eating and baby-kissing, etc., to blog. I did sneak a few minutes on Alice’s computer here and there but all I managed to do was fill my drafts folder with fragments about what a glorious place her cottage is and how brilliant and adorable her children are and how annoying it is that California is sort of really really far away from where she lives. Oh, and I invented another new word, which is always satisfying. (You should try it.)
We had the most fabulous week. No one threw up. Well, Wonderboy did, but only once, and it didn’t signify anything except too much milk in his belly. He had more than double the number of beautiful girls waiting on him hand and foot (and stomach), and it is possible I lost track of how much food and drink he was actually consuming. He rebounded quickly, especially after Alice’s Patrick gave him his Very Best Shark Shirt to wear. It is an important shirt, and I am sort of jealous that it doesn’t fit me.
I will write more about the trip later. There are about a million things to say. (But fear not, I shall limit myself to six or seven.) We arrived home early this morning (and nothing was thrown up except our voices in several rousing choruses of "Poe, Edgar Allen") and the van is mostly unpacked, the laundry is washed but not dried, the babies are thoroughly napping, and I have cleaned out the fridge. Which I know you’re supposed to do BEFORE you go on a trip, but I refer you to the "not a sensible mother" passage earlier in this post.
And now I must go make a grateful phone call to the kind young friend who kept our plants and hermit crab alive this week. Also I must go break Jane’s heart by telling her that no, we cannot leave stagnant rainwater pooled in the top of the birdseed bin on the deck even though yes, it WOULD undoubtedly be extremely interesting to watch those mosquito larvae mature into grownup bloodsucking mosquitoes with a thirst for Little Girl.
December 2014, part the first
2010 in the Rearview
Anne Shirley’s Apprentice Goes to Rocky Ridge Farm