Tuesday, May 17, 2005

What I Did On My Mini-Vacation

Yes, I have been MIA from journal-land for a couple of days. I went out of town over the weekend...camping at the coast, once again. And since the Oregon State Parks still do not provide internet connections (we can't expect TOO much technological savvy from a state-run agency that is challengedto the extreme by the daunting task of keeping the johns stocked with toilet paper), there are times that I just need to choose vacating to the natural world over maintaining my umbilicus to the blogosphere.

The weather was neither completely delightful nor completely crappy. We didn't have the idyllic conditions with which we had been blessed on our previous outings of the last six months or so, but it didn't rain too much, and that is always a plus on the Oregon coast this time of year. I had decided that I was going to get in at least one weekend of vacation during the month of May--the last month until November that I would be completely free of any commitments (or so I thought...) So, I personally packed up the trailer, my dog, and whatever accoutrements I thought I would need, and headed out to the coast on Thursday afternoon, with the husband slated to join me after he got off work on Friday.

The 90-mile drive out was, for the most part, uneventful...except that about half-way there, I encountered the ominous "wreck ahead" signs.  The ones they save for particularly horrific accidents that cause closure of the highway in at least one direction, if not both. Seems a full-size pick-up took it in its head to cross the center line and smash head on into a lady in a mid-size Pontiac. The truck flipped, and the Pontiac shot off the road, down an embankment, and bounced off several trees. I learned later that the lady in the car was killed, barely a mile from her home. Sort of a solemn note upon which to start off a vacation...

Still, I felt I was on a mission: to prove to myself, if not to anyone else, that I was "okay" on my own. I very competently pulled into the campground, found my reserved site, and proceeded to go through the procedure of setting up camp. Didn't realize that this was the first time I was going to attempt to back the ensemble up with the brand new (to me) pick-up. Suffice it to say that the rig did not respond the same as it did with "Big Red" the van. With the result being that, on my inaugural attempt, I ended up nearly climbing a tree, first with the trailer, then with the truck, then with both as I tried to pull out and right myself for another crack at it. Embarrassing? Oh, yeah...but in the last couple of years, I have learned to plow right through what would, at one time, have been paralyzing discomfiture. What, after all, is your choice when you are dealing with challenging situations all by yourself ? You have to develop that rhinoceros hide and just go for it. And so I did. But I sullied my reputation, a bit, with my campground neighbors.  Imagine, if you will, the "blamma-blamma-blamma" of a diesel engine churning away for twenty or thirty minutes while an inept driver attempts to situate herself in her allotted campsite. Annoying in the extreme, no?

Dog and I eventually settled ourselves to our satisfaction, and got down to the business of camping. Dog moped around listlessly, looking as if her last friend had just died, until we partook of the obligatory beach walk. To Lucy, the only reason to go camping is so that the dog can go to the beach. And of course, simply walking on the beach is not nearly enough; one has to endlessly chuck some object--ball, stick, frisbee--so that dog may get as completely full of sand and seawater (inside and out) as possible before she can be literally dragged back to camp. Where she then drinks gallons of water, eats like a horse, and then passes out cold. The dog's life just doesn't get any better than that!!!

As for me, I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment of setting up by myself, making my own little dinner, and starting my own campfire. I had the brilliant idea of digging out my guitar, which I have not touched in at least ten years, and dragging it along to entertain me at my solitary fire. The poor old thing was a little the worse for age and neglect. It was covered with a film of fine, gritty dust, the strings were spotted with rust, it smelled mildewy and slightly "zoo-ey" (an unfortunate bonus of storing things for years where there are likely to be cats poking around...) I didn't uncrate it and immediately start playing like Segovia; but a little "muscle memory" did take over, and I managed to crank out an old song or two that I had learned a million years ago: "Diamonds and Rust," "Cats in the Cradle..."

I also finished reading a book I had ordered online several weeks ago. This was a satisfying accomplishment, as, for some reason, I have lately been buying books, getting halfway through them, losing interest and setting them aside. It helped that this book was only 237 pages long. Still, I felt like throwing a little party when I turned the final page.

I wish I could say that my entire weekend was filled with these ego-boosting little victories. But things kind of went downhill in a hurry when husband arrived on Friday evening. As usual, he couldn't be prevailed upon to leave work even fifteen minutes early to do something I wanted to do. This is a little game we have played for twenty-nine years---under no circumstances do you let the wife believe that anything she wants, does, or has is ever any higher than a tired second on the husband's priority list. I don't even know why I let it bother me anymore. I suspect that if it didn't bother me, it probably wouldn't happen. I guess every marriage has to have its degree of dramatic tension to keep things interesting. It's just that I was having such a good time by myself, and our little bullshit games just really took all the wind out of my sails. Then, on Saturday night, I tried to address some of the issues that have been concerning me about our business, and things really deteriorated. He decided that he has somehow become the official Café de la Rue handyman, and he's not happy with that being his "only" role in the business. I don't know where he gets this stuff. I had asked him to do some repair and reconfiguration work in the trailer because I thought he enjoyed doing that kind of thing. (Generally, he's never happier than when he's doing something that involves noise, sawdust, and power tools.) Next thing I know, I'm treating him like a janitor. Sometimes you can't win for losing...

So, there is the story of my weekend. It wasn't a great success. And to top it off, I had to come home and get ready for the first day on the new job. A situation that I've faced way too many times over the years...and have learned from experience that a certain amount of fear and dread is completely warranted. I've stumbled into too many bad employment situations to remember, and they have left their indelible mark on my psyche. Ah, but that is a story for another post...


  1. I remember you were going on a job interview but must have missed that you were offered the job! What are you going to be doing? Are you straying away from the restaurant business?  Sounds like the perfect male is just a figment of our imaginations. Lucky that our men got the perfect woman! lol.

  2. I would love to go on a little camping vacation with just my dog...especially if it was at the beach.  I know Berkely would love it!!

    Sorry it kind of fell apart as the weekend progressed.

    I somehow missed the info on the new job!!  What's the story?

  3. Glad to have you back....but, but, but....hicup, sob.....did ya have to tell a DOG story?     Hicup, snot, slobber........

    xxoo     htttp://journals.aol.com/ckays1967/myjourneywithMS/

  4. Sounds like Lucy had a great time. So.... what book were you working on? And what's the new job. ?????????????????? Inquiring minds and all that. Congrats on getting set up with the trailer on your own.


  5. A new job???? Did I miss something after you mentioning an interview?  Congrats!  I hope you'll be happy, busy and content.  But, not too busy for my visit sometime in 2006!  Sounds like a wonderful weekend...will be waiting for your photos! Lisa

  6. Well I'm glad you got the chance to get away.  Sometimes that's all you need to look at your life with new eyes.

  7. Somehow I missed the pictures the first time around.  Looks very fun, and the hair looks great <G>!  WHAT job?

  8. Well...to me it sounds like quite the successful weekend. To do all that on your own must have given you a sense of empowerment! I think I would have been quite intimidated. And, in spite of the fact the conversation wasn't a great one at least you two were able to express yourselves instead of keeping those thoughts and feelings bottled up. :-) ---Robbie

  9. WOW...great pictures! Looks like a place I would love to go camping. Reminds me of when I did actually get to go camping when I was younger a few times with my aunt and her family. Those were good times. I hope to take my own son camping someday. This looks just heavenly! (Melinda) I write a blog at www.dearnoah.blogspot.com  and www.takeaslowbreath.blogspot.com

    Nothing too exciting I guess...basically just me rambling on...except the Dear Noah one...that is about my son Noah who has autism.

    Take Care!