Friday, November 23, 2007
The Trip, II
It was a snowstorm people still talk about.
We went to bed to the sound of swirling winds, slamming snow, and that certain comfort of knowing you are safe and warm under a down blanket with a furnace roaring away.
We awoke to a full on blizzard, complete with eerie silence, snowplows tearing down the highways, drifts five feet deep against the house, and work canceled.
Being the women we were, however, we scoffed at snowshovels. We sneered at salt. We snickered at the mere idea of going into work, even if the location we worked at was no more than a mile away from our cozy home with the pretend firelogs snapping merrily in the fireplace. Why burn real wood when we had DuraFlame?
The snow finally let up a bit while dropping close to three feet of the white stuff on our area alone. We couldn't go to work, but, we could trudge to the local store, where we stocked up on the necessities; cigarettes, Pepsi, popcorn and some actual food for JL.
I placed a call to my father's sister, E, to see if my cousin, MM, would still be flying in to visit. Stapleton, the forerunner to DIA, planned on being up and functional long before her flight was to arrive the next day, Wednesday, one of the busiest travel days of the year...so, yes, all was a go.
Sludging back, cigarettes going, we discussed our course of action. We'd go into Boulder and get chains (ohhhhh!! there's a good idea!) and some food at the real food market, go to the bank for cash (this is an important part of the story) do one or two other errands, drive to Denver, pick up MM, who was 15 and had never traveled before, then head out to Grand Junction. If we left our house by 10, we'd easily make her arrival time of 11.30AM, we'd saunter in, pick her up at the gate, and we'd make Grand Junction by oh, 5P at the very, very latest...7P if we let JL and MM take a fast swim in the hot springs pool in Glenwood Springs.
I don't know what we were smoking.
Somehow, the winds whistling around us were ignored. The still impressive flurries that settled into huge mounds of snow didn't seem to make a dent in our travel plans or cheery holiday manner. Scary to think a few years later, I would be the manager of a corporate travel agency, and after that, Mr. Neebes would put me in charge of a BigName's travel accommodation's for ACTF, a story that one day may be told....or not. We'll just say when that happened, I wasn't impressed by anyone's name, although the plans came off without a hitch.
Back to the story.
Mounds of snow. Piles. Hills. Children swooping on sleds. My dog, Sherman, so named because he wasn't ugly enough to be called Grant, chased after JL, both of them burrowing in snow caves and tunnels.
Sherman was a mutt, a wonderful, amazing dog that I still miss to this day. Part terrier, part traveling man, he was, without a doubt, the smartest dog I've ever known... everyone who ever met him wanted him. Even the Godmother, and she didn't like dogs. He was well behaved, perfectly housebroken, he understood everything you said. When he died, I was bereft, and it wasn't until the Terrier that I really loved a dog like that again. While they frolicked, she and I decided it would be best if she let her new boyfriend, the once and future Godfather, know of our travel plans.
He, wonderful man that he is, laughed so hard at hearing we were going to drive to Grand Junction over not one, but a number of high mountain passes, he almost couldn't breathe.
"Oh, sweetie," he said, in his very, very proper WASP accent, since the Godfather's family goes back to those people who first walked off the Mayflower, "Sweetie, are you two crazy?".
Well, yes, but, we don't like to be reminded. We huffed a bit, and said it was what we promised to do. My father had purchased a turkey, ffs.
"He'll understand if you don't go over. You three girls come over here with JL and Sherman. We'll have a great holiday here."
Now, understand, Godfather has silver and crystal and furniture that has been handed down for 400 years. He gave amazing parties. His house was in the center of Boulder, it was lush, it was comfy, he was, and is, a dear, dear man.
Thing is, he called us... 'girls'. Sometimes, he slips.
"No, we'll be fine."
Oh, how we hoist ourselves on pride!
The only positive thing about not going to his house is, we have this tale we still tell.
The next morning broke clear and sunny, bright on the mounds and mounds and mounds and moun... you get the idea. Snow as far as the eye can see. The roads were plowed clear since the machines hadn't stopped for 24 hours. Our neighbors sidewalks were clear, as they hadn't stopped shoveling or salting. We were... well, we had one area stomped and shoveled enough to back a car out.
Now, both Godmother and I had each purchased a new car at the same time, in fact, that is kind of how we started talking to each other... our new blue cars (I told you she had to have whatever I had) were parked next to each other in the parking lot. Mine was your average car. Hers, oh, hers was a souped up Mustang. Sleek. Upgrades galore. Beautiful. (again, remember these details)
We went into the garage on that Wednesday, to pack my car, a basic but cute Datsun to drive over on our road trip.
As stated in prior posts, I hate road trips. I hate them with the passion of a thousand suns, being forced into them as a child, sitting in the back seat with the GoldenChild, while my parents honed their skills as combatants in the front, never knowing when the battle would spill over onto me, I lived in fear of those times, and trips taken in later years with my ex did nothing to improve my feelings about enclosed spaces and internal combustion engines.
I sucked it up, figuring I was going to be with my best friend, her son, a cousin I love and my dog. What could go wrong?
A flat tire.
I had a flat. And, we had no idea how to change a flat.
We stood there, looking at it... and smoking.
"Well", said Godmother, "Fuck that. We'll take my car."
We moved the things into her lovely, spanking clean Mustang, and backed out of the garage.
We were off.
It was 10.00AM. on Wednesday.
Grand Junction was roughly 6-7 hours away, with the side trip to the airport.
We arrived at 3.30 A.M. Thursday morning. What happened in between makes up Part III.
Posted by quin browne at 5:48 PM