Sunday, August 16, 2009

Flat Tires + Wakeboards

We had an eventful and fun Saturday. Neal and I set out for a ride around the lake. Things were going very well for 25 miles. We were chatting like a couple of girlfriends on a pamper-puff Saturday night. We were laughing. We were trudging up and down the countless rolling hills around the lake. Then, while we were riding, a bird pooped on my head. Although some people view that as a sign of good luck, I'm not sure it was in our world.

I stopped to wipe to poo off my head, fearing I'd get, like, Avian Flu or something. When I set out on the road to catch up with Neal, I could not find him. 10 miles down the road, he was nowhere to be found. And his phone wasn't working. After 20 minutes of worried pedaling, I found Neal. He was on the side of the road, pumping his rear tire with the pump of a dude he'd met on the road. Neal, it turned out, has a chronic tire puncture problem with his back wheel. He didn't inform me of this until his second flat in a span of 30 minutes, at which point we were out of tubes and there were no cyclists around to lend us one.

So, while everyone back at the ranch went swimming and wakeboarding and water skiing, Neal and I were marooned at the other end of Lake Winnipesaukee, at a Cumberland Farms Gulf gas station in Weir's Beach. Let me remind you that Weir's is the home of the dude from the excellent and highly disturbing documentary 'King of Kong.' We called back to the house, and Amy jumped out the door to come and pick us up.

This isn't the end of our avian poop-inspired 'good luck.' I left my Blackberry in the restroom. 20 minutes of treacherous waiting later, I realized I'd left the phone in the loo. It was gone. Some Red Sox fan with a 12-pack of Bud Light and a gallon of milk (I'm not making that part up, they went together almost always at that place) must've walked off with it. My bad. I leave my phone everywhere, all the time. Usually, I'm lucky. Yesterday I wasn't. So, the drama was heightened. As our wait neared the one hour mark, we had no phone. And we didn't know the number back at the house. And nobody's phones work at the house. All we could do was wait...and stare at the roller dogs and powdered sugar-coated donuts and Icees...and not give in.

After 90 minutes, Amy arrived. Turned out she had to work her way around a triathlon, and search a few Cumberland Farms gas stations in the Weir's Beach area before finding us. We laughed a laugh of relief and jumped in her SUV and headed home.

Home is where we're headed this morning. At noon, we'll drive down to Boston and walk to the Virgin America gate and get on the plane that will deliver us back to our home lives. Grady starts sophomore year on Wednesday—Wednesday! Jo Ann and I have tons of things to attend to. We all miss Pablo dearly, and can't wait to go to his grave, and to sit in his room and to see his clothes and to just, well, be in our home where we lived with him.

OK, gotta run!


Nancy said...

I wish you a safe journey home. My own personal take on the bird poop was Pablo having a smile at your expense. Peace and strength to your family and a wonderful first day of school for Grady.

Jen Berry said...

cool story. i am amazed and inspired by your strength

Anonymous said...

That's so funny about the bird poop! I was having a rotten day, not too long ago and went to the beach with the kids to kind of just chill and get an attitude adjustment. While laying out, a bird pooped on my face! Luckily, I had my mouth closed. Seriously!!!! A seagull! I smelled like fish guts all the way home. Sometimes, there are some things you just have to laugh about. Wishing you safe travels on your trip home. It's been really nice, unseasonably cool weather here in L.A. this past week. Lisa Hickey

Heather said...

Thinking of you as you journey home.Sending love and peace and strength your way.Missing Pablo as well.Hoping to see you soon.Maybe after some decompression.Zoey's hugs are at a premium now a days.Laura and Tish have been recent recipients ...seems to have a therapeutic touch that child of mine.

Stephanie said...

Safe trip home. Peace and comfort when you get there.