Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Quakes, Tornedos, Hand Grenades

Fate was shaking the cosmic nitroglycerin the last few days for sure.

10 June 9am
JD, who returned from Colorado late last night, his friend Shakes who drove out here with him, Big Dog and I are sitting on the deck having coffee. BD and I had just rehabilitated an old picnic table and benches and this we admired the restoration work. Too bad the wood's a little rotty and it won't last long. Last week's winds have calmed down, it's warm and sunny, wildflowers are blooming and there's a faint scent of honeysuckle in the air.

Red comes over walking his little terrier, Tracy. He's in the same Korea Veteran cap that he was wearing when I last saw him in January.

"We have a problem," Red starts. BD and I look at each other. What could it be?

He tells us about having to go back up to Portland for medical appointments. He and his wife are elderly, the wife has been in a wheelchair for many years now, and Red's also had hip surgery and now needs eye surgery. We understand how these things go.

"I don't want to put you out by having to leave for weeks, maybe months at a time," he says apologetically.
"Hey, it's not a problem. We'll work out our schedules so that you can be away to deal with your medical needs," Big Dog tells him.

We all decide that Red and his wife will live in their giant trailer that they drove down from Oregon and JD, who was going to move into house, would move back into his old unit. Problem solved, I go back to internet to see about booking our summer in Europe.

11 June 8:30am
"'Morning, sir!" JD opens the kitchen door. Red's at our door with Tracy. I had just fixed a giant pot of coffee for JD and us.
"Coffee?" I hand Red a mug.

"We have a problem," Red says. Again. Hmmm. I'm not liking this. Before I can hear the rest of the story, however, I am called away to the bedroom by the little beep-beep-beep of my cell phone losing power. When I return to the kitchen, he's telling Big Dog and JD about his panic attack/claustrophobia/argument with his son. Not sure what the real problem is, but the upshot is that Red needs to go stay with his son.

"An emergency situation has come up and we have to cancel our summer plans for Europe…" I am on a email-a-thon with various parties in France, Italy and the Netherlands, canceling reservations. I hate to do this to people, but am glad I hadn't booked our flights yet.

"I still need to leave the States, even if it's for a few days. Maybe I'll just go to Japan," I tell BD.
"Yeah, contact Chan and see if he can get you a decent priced ticket."
Red and Grace pull out of our ranch. I go back on my computer.

12 June 9am
"Hey! I'm coming back to Japan at the end of the month!" I emailed my friends.

"I'll be there at the end of the month. Will call or text when I have details," I text my mother.

12 June 8am
A reply from Chan tells me they can no longer sell us the tickets we've known and loved for decades. The super discounted, wholesale priced tickets. I go back online but I can't find anything under $1000 to Tokyo. When I tell this to Big Dog, all he has to say is "then don't go." Maybe we'll drive up to Canada instead. I'm back to emailing everyone that, no, I won't be there after all.

"Sorry about yesterday. Won't be going to Japan yet. Maybe in the fall," I text my mother.

So, for now, it looks like we will be here for the summer. But I should know better than to make any real commitments -- emotional or otherwise -- because you never really know how things will go. The blackberries, raspberries and lolliberries are coming into season and there will be a pie or two for tomorrow's Ranch Family BBQ (it was supposed to be a Welcome Back, Red & Grace BBQ but now there is no Red or Grace to welcome back) and soon there will be peaches and nectarines! But better not to get my heart too set on anything because YOU NEVER KNOW. And my head is too full of other things. Like Bat Problems.


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