Our family travels a lot.  You have to when you live quite literally in the middle of nowhere.  We travel mostly to the same place which is where we are originally from.  That’s where the big grocery store is, the one-stop store to pick up stuff that the grocery store doesn’t have, and of course the other stores that support our “hobbies” like crafting or thrifting.  People keep asking why I travel the 3.5 hours instead of the 2.5 hours it takes to get to an out-of-state town that has the same stuff, but that place doesn’t have our friends and family to visit with.  So we suck up the extra hour and make a weekend out of the trip.

During our drive, we begin to make a mental inventory of what we brought and what we may have forgotten.  If by chance we forget something pretty important before the 10 mile mark out-of-town, then we may turn around to get it.  After that mile marker we are plain out of luck unless it’s a very important medication and even then, it’s a toss-up if we turn around.  If it’s okay to skip a few days of the meds. then there is no turning around.  The drive is too long to mess with turning around.

So the last time we went to town (that’s what we call it… it sounds so archaic, but that’s the way it is) it was well past the 20 mile marker, and we were in an entirely different county when Roger discovered that he had forgotten his phone.  Those of you who don’t know him, his phone is his life.  He is always on his phone.  Those who do know him accuse him of being like a teenage girl, talking and texting and talking some more.  We both secretly thought that this trip was going to be doomed without that phone.  We did agree out loud that there was no chance of going back home just to get it.  He was just going to have to suck it in and live without it for a couple of days.

After 70 miles, we arrived to the first fairly big city and we stopped at the Safeway for a potty break and some lunch.  Then we were off again to the next stop which was again the Safeway at our destination city for a potty break and a get-well flower arrangement. 

As I walked up to the vehicle after the last stop, I noticed something amazing.  There, sitting on the outside vents at the base of the windshield and wipers was Roger’s phone!  It had traveled the entire 190 miles there and two stops in busy parking lots.  It also survived an abrupt, sharp turn at a garage sale sign, which I never found by the way.

I can’t even explain how relieved we felt that we found it, and can only explain the whole situation as being phenomenal.

Stinky mess

Our middle child came rushing into the house one day and announced that there was a skunk by our house.  I, very afraid of getting sprayed, decided to suck it in and venture out to see what she was talking about.  Sure enough, there was a skunk between our house and our neighbor’s.  I had brought my camera with me to document the creature being there in broad daylight and took a couple of pictures, with my zoom of course.  That’s when I discovered that the skunk was awfully still.  Maybe it was playing opossum saving its spray defense for the last resort.  Oh, no.  The poor thing was deceased.  It got stuck in the chicken wire fence that separates our properties, and perished.

This was not something I was going to take care of.   Never, ever, EVER!  It’s gross, but that thing was left for a couple of weeks sitting in the fence with both us and the neighbor hoping the other would cave and take care of it.  Finally, the weather got quite hot and we couldn’t stand the stench any longer.  It was getting kind of embarrassing since I am sure the whole neighborhood was starting to smell it too.

Have you ever had a time when you have thought to yourself, “This is not what I signed up for!”? Well, guess who had to remove that thing?  Yes, the resident volunteer fire fighter who had extrication training under his belt.  Granted, the training was for humans caught in mangled cars and not dead, stinky skunks stuck in wire fences, but hey, he was that more qualified than the neighbor was. 

After gagging and puking a few times, he got that thing out and to the garbage dump.  The poor old skunk got the last laugh though.  It’s been at least a month, if not more, and it still smells like skunk outside.  When it gets breezy, the smell reaches several blocks away even.  We have dumped bleach out there, but the smell doesn’t go away.  I am tempted to dump a few gallons of tomato juice out there, or maybe even some hydrogen peroxide.  I am sure that as time goes by, however, that the smell will naturally go away, and we will be well onto the next crazy adventure.