Friday, October 20, 2017

After a twenty-minute drive

out into the countryside, Carlos and Bob and I finally arrived at a sign that announced Bo's Body Shop Reader Dear, I was relieved! And then Carlos banged on Bo's door, and I was delighted to meet the car man himself!

Before attention was turned to the condition of my car, however, there was a lot of joking around to do, and it was clear that Carlos was looking forward to seeing Bo's collection of museum-piece cars, and showing them off to Bob and me!

"This one has its original paint!" he exclaimed about one of them (forgive me, Viewer Dear...I really should have taken notes*).

Carlos asked Bo to uncover one car after another, and I ohhed and ahhed in fascination!  Truly, Reader Dear, it was an interesting glimpse into the past!

There was an interesting glimpse into Bo's past, too.  He brushed aside the kudos when Carlos pointed out piles of award trophies stacked on shelves.  Seems that Bo is a talented snowmobile racer! He showed us a vintage  snowmobile which has served him well for years!

After the interesting tour of cars, Bo took a look at my scraped-up auto.  He did a few minutes of figuring and came up with a (terrific) estimate.  I yes-yes-oh-yessed it, and we made arrangements for bringing the car back after Bo ordered needed parts.

Reader Dear, all's well that ends well, they say.
However, "The end" is yet to be.  Ride the rental car along with me!

*Ruing the fact I didn't take more photos, as well.  Those cars were impressive!  Almost all of them were 60s-era vehicles (ergo: great big boat-sized cars! I couldn't imagine driving such an auto.  But, "Buy one!" Carlos urged.  "I'll be your chauffeur!")

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Okay! How about right now?! I asked.

(Dear Reader, I was on the phone with Carlos, my newly-established amigo, who had assured me that anytime today would work for him to escort me to the auto body shop of his friend.)

"Yes, yes.  I can be there soon, " Carlos replied. "Do you know where is the gas station--the Sheetz gas station at Brownstown? I can be there soon.  I will be there, and I will take you to my friend's shop.  It is not far, just a few minutes from the Sheetz station!) 

Thus we made the plan, but I was still uncertain as to the details.  I drove out to the Sheetz station and parked, unsure what to do next.  I did not see the white Lexus that Carlos had been driving the day before.  Was Carlos going to ride with me?!  Could I trust him? What if he had some nefarious plan in mind to...well, to do what?!  Steal my (slightly bunged-up) car?!  Kidnap me?!  (I am smiling, Dear Reader, because my hesitations seemed slightly ridiculous, even at the time!)

Just when I had reached the conclusion that I must have misunderstood the plan, I spotted a white Lexus pulling into the Sheetz parking lot.  "Hello!  Hello!"  Carlos greeted me joyfully.  He introduced me to his friend, Bob, who was riding in the car with him.  "Are you ready to go?" he asked.   ''It is just a few minutes away! Follow me!" 

I was relieved.

Off we went!

I must not lose sight of that car! I thought.  I was happy, Reader Dear, that it had a bike carrier on the back to distinguish it from other white cars.  (I'm pathetically auto-ID-insensitive).

Up the road we went (heading in a northern direction).  On and on.

On and on!

On and on!!

On and on!!!

Miles and miles later I was getting nervous. How far will I go?  I asked myself.  Am I going to follow this stranger all the way to Timbuktu?!

I pulled out my phone and called the man.

 (Reader Dear, Bob [his companion in the car] was laughing in the background!)
"We are almost there!" said Carlos on the phone.  "Just a few more minutes!"

Arrrgh! Really?!  I thought.
Where on earth am I going to end up?!

(to be continued)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

As luck might have it,

I may be getting a very good deal!
Reader Dear, I was at the bank last week.
It is a small, local bank with a small lobby.
The mass shooting had just occurred in California.
Another customer in the bank was remarking to the tellers about the occurrence, and all attention was focused on this man.  He appeared to be a very friendly guy.
As luck had it, I exited the bank just ahead of this fellow.
"Drive carefully!" he said to me as we walked out into the sunshine.
"Ha! Interesting you should give me that instruction," I laughed.  "Look at my car!"
I indicated which car was mine, and waved a hand at all the dings and scrapes ( Dear Reader, the damages involved three separate incident-slash-accidents.  These badges to creative-slash-careless driving were there for the world to see.  Only one-third of the disfigurement was due to the misconduct of others (a young driver backed into me at the mall.  It was pouring rain at the time.  My quick glance at the  damages did not serve me well [though I'm happy for her]).

Meanwhile, the fellow bank patron had introduced himself as Carlos.  "I know someone who can fix all this for you!" he exclaimed, looking at my bunged-up car.  "He will give you a very good deal!"
"He is a friend of mine!"  he added.

 "Great," I said.  "What's his name?  Can you give me his phone number?"

"I don't have the number with me," said Carlos, in his endearingly heavy accent.  "But you can call me tomorrow and I'll give you the number."

"Okay!  I'll do that!" was my response.

My thought, Dear Reader:  Hmm, this calls for caution, but...What do I have to lose?

Now Carlos, as I mentioned earlier, was super-friendly . We visited a while in the parking lot before going our separate ways, though when we parted he was still a virtual stranger.  I'm not sure I could have chosen him out of a line-up of other tall, handsome men of South American origin, but I did have his phone number.

I found the phone number where I'd scribbled it on a receipt in my wallet.
"Am I going to do this?" I asked myself.   I'd already gotten one estimate on repairing my car (from a standard auto-repair shop). It seemed outrageously high.

I called Carlos.
When I made the call, it was nearly noon.  Carlos picked up, and I explained that I was the woman he'd talked to in the bank parking lot the day before.  I was hoping to get the phone number for his car-repair friend.

"Oh! Hello!How are you?!" was Carlos' effusive response. 
"I can give you the number," he continued, "but this man, he can't hear you.  He doesn't answer his phone, because he can't hear.  I'll just take you there!  I'll take you to his house!  When do you want to go?"


My thought, Dear Reader: Hmm, this calls for caution, but...
What do I have to lose?

(to be continued)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Reception

Post-wedding, the wedding party and the wedding guests and the brand-new husband and wife adjourned to a separate tent where tables were set up for a buffet meal.

Fruit punch was served, along with cheese and pretzels as hors d'oeuvres.

The meal consisted of lasagna, homemade dinner rolls and two types of green lettuce salad.  Dessert, Reader Dear, was a pie counterpart to Wedding Cake.*

*There were several kinds.  All of them were round and sweet and celebratory, the perfect stand-in for cake.**

**Yummy, too.

A flower girl, she was my cross-the-table dinner partner.

video video

While we ate dessert, there were surprises for the bride and groom--some singing, stories, and a poem from the sister of the bride.

Not only did that knot get tied, Reader Dear;
I'd say that it was formed into a lovely bow!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Wedding Day

The sun was shining on the wedding of Lorene and Owen!  It was a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding!  Viewer Dear, I barely knew the bride and had never met the groom, but The Yard Man had gotten to know the bride as a fellow employee at the food co-op where he works, and he looked forward to attending this wedding to which we'd been invited.

Inside the tent, I had a lucky seat on the aisle, so I could crane my neck to view the about-to-happen scenes and capture them for you!  Here are the groomsmen, awaiting their cue.


They were followed, naturally, by the bride's attendants.

who were followed (no surprise) by the one wearing white and smiling radiantly, on the arm of her father.


When the bride reached the front of the tent, she and the groom were seated on chairs (and, likewise, the entire wedding party was seated).  I was curious.  Turns out, the bride and groom are members of a religious sect that is prone toward lengthy marriage ceremonies.  The service lasted nearly an hour and a half!  But, I found it very fascinating.

And I enjoyed the antics of two other attendees (small ones) who were not so interested in the singing or the spoken words from the front, but occasionally passed the time sitting on the ground pulling up chunks of grass to toss at one another.

I counted many types of head coverings (six is the number, though I hesitate to tell you, Viewer Dear, as you may suspect I was letting my mind wander from the ceremony, and that would be a false assumption!)

From time to time, there was group singing.



videoFinally the service reached its ultimate conclusion--the tying of the knot!  The beautiful, glowing bride and the handsome groom promised to love, honor and cherish one another until death shall part them.  The minister pronounced them husband and wife.

I believe I had a great big smile on my face.
 The minister did not voice the words; but, "Now!" I thought, "Now you may kiss the bride!"

 And he did.

 (Reception to follow)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

I'm in a Quandary

 As far as tales to tell you, Reader  Dear, I've got the wedding of Lorene and Owen.

And I've also got a local fair.


Besides those two, I've got Carlos and Bo about whom to share.

All three of these bits of my life history are receding rapidly into the past, Reader Dear.
If I've only got time to regale you with one, what will it be.  Which piques your interest most?
The Fairly Big Affair?
The Fairly Small Fair?
Bo's Very Fair Deal?

(You could say, "All three!" of course.  But you know that wouldn't be fair!)


Thursday, October 12, 2017

I'm Putting together a Society

of fellow Ultimate Trippers.
I met a guy in the parking lot behind a thrift store a couple of months ago whom I welcomed into the club.  He claimed to have died more than one time for every decade of his life!  It's all because of motorcycles, he says.

He'll be eighty years old real soon (if he makes it, Dear Reader.  Or even, evidently, if he doesn't!)

Then, just yesterday, I inducted a third member!
It was Michael,  from a local pharmacy where I like to shop (Reader Dear, it's far more than a pharmacy; they've got all kinds of other  [necessary and some not-so-necessary] items in the store.  They've got lots of supplements, vitamins, and good snacks.  I was shopping for organic tea that would send me into the Land of Nod.

The first box of tea I picked up contained the herb Valerian.  I discovered this while I was scrutinizing the label, the list of ingredients, the suggestions, the warnings.  "Consult your physician if you are taking medications," said the box.

Yikes.  I looked for another box of tea and found one that promised me a "Good Night's Sleep" and did not contain Valerian.  Instead, it contained nine other leaves and peels and a "proprietary blend" of herbs.
Hmmm.  Would this second tea do the job as well?  Was it necessary to have Valerian in the mix to really get me snoring?

Reader Dear, I decided to ask one of the store employees who is there for consultation of this sort.

I carried the two boxes of tea to this man and I asked, "This one box of tea contains Valerian and a strict warning that I must ask my doctor about using it.  The other doesn't say anything about asking a doctor, and doesn't contain Valerian.  Do I really want Valerian?"  Then I added, "I died and came back, so I'm on a lot of meds.  That's why I'm asking."


"Well," he said, "When that happened to me...."

Reader Dear, my eyes popped open wide!

I discovered that Michael left this world behind because of an auto accident, on New Year's Eve two years ago.   But he, like me, returned!  

So we became instant buddies!
And that's when I inducted him into the club!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rainy Days are Always Best

for leaving a beach vacation spot (that's my belief) and we (The Yard Man and I and all of our descendants) were fortunate to have a rainy day as our final one!  It made it so much easier to furiously pack, clean, empty the fridge (while eating a final lunch), wash all the dishes, strip the beds, remake all the beds (as per instructions: "Use the blankets and spreads to remake the beds"), load up the cars, take a final walk-through* (checking all sockets for stray phone chargers).  Take a final photo.


*Throughout our stay, The Little Actor and I had been keeping a running total of the number of sailboat depictions that we found scattered everywhere in the mansion.  Our first total was 29, but we kept making new discoveries. Once, while we were eating a meal, The Little Actor looked over at the kitchen window and spied a sailboat-shaped  ornament that'd we'd overlooked, hanging from the window blind.
"Hey, that makes thirty-one!" he  yelled excitedly.

We found a few after that; however,  I was certain we'd seen them all by the time I did the final walk-through.  But, ships ahoy, I spotted two more sailboats we hadn't previously counted, painted on a lamp!
I ran to find The Little Actor so he could verify that this upped our grand total to 35!

It gave a nice finale to our stay, making me smile as we sailed away!
(Uh, Reader Dear, we were just driving down the rain-wet road in our cars;
but, for the sake of a rhyme,
I'll speak figuratively any old time!)



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Yet Another Glimpse

into the vacation life of me and The Yard Man and all of our offspring at a rental house in Milton, Delaware:
Let it be known, there was very little calm and quiet serenity, but lots of noise and boisterous fun!

There was Meal Prep:

There was hiking.
All of my small actors pronounced this walk hot and boring!  The conversation:  If all the trees died, in what order would everything else  (including humans [including us] die?  Do you have any insight into this that you could  pass along, Reader Dear?

There was biking:

There was TV watching:
Yes, Viewer Dear, it is possible to watch TV from a prone position on the arm of a sofa
Now playing on the big screen: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

There was (more) oaring of the kayak:


(More) playing (and lolling) on the beach:

But, much as I hesitate to remind you, Viewer Dear,  vacation life is not all roses and birthday cake:
Aha!  It was a fake one, lying right there in the sand, lying!

No lie, it was delicious!
There was a wind that fought to turn umbrellas inside out!


And the curse of the Biting Flies continued!

Rather than end this post on a minus note, however, Viewer Dear, here are some major pluses:
And another
One view from the mansion

The view to end all views!