Saturday, March 8, 2008

Havoc in Heavy Winds

Today as the winds topped out with gusts up to 60mph, I had a little adventure. Now, let's talk about the wind. It's not sustained at 60mph, those are the gusts - all day. It's so strong that the wind is creeping in the window cracks enough to feel it and blow the window shades (Yeah, i think we need better windows - energy saver, anyone? We'll be happy to take donations for that upgrade).

I was on my way back from a little shopping excursion in my just-recently-brought-home-it-cost-a-fortune-to-fix-convertible. Just a few hours earlier when we had been together we'd decided that my car was the definition of Murphy's Law - anything that can happen would have to THAT car. At this point I'd left Aaron at home, as he'd had too much "top down action" (No, it doesn't mean THAT). Just

So I take a little detour on my way home b/c the church down the street has built this HUGE transmission tower in their partking lot. It really looks more like they are drilling for oil, but what do i know about such things? I had to see just how big it really was since it was looming large over the trees in MY neighborhood too!

The church is off the main road and butts up to a neighborhood that actually joins mine. I have never been back there, so i decided after investigating the tower I'd find where our areas met. I also know there is a lake back there & wanted to see that.

I'm tooling along down the road, checking out the sights in this area & see a firetruck turn in behind me.

hmm... wonder where they are going. I was a little ways in front of them, so i didn't need to worry about pulling over at the point, but kept my eyes on my mirror just in case.

A minute or so later i turn down a few streets & see the lake! It's pretty! Plus, i still think i can find the road that joins to my neighborhood.

just around the bend of a small curve, i see something in the road ahead. It looked like the 60mph winds knocked down someone's tree. However, upon closer inspection, i see that it was ONCE a tree, but it's most recent life had been a utility pole. The whole pole had fallen into the road, glass from the light on the street & power,cable, phone lines all draped in the trees. This has effectively blocked the way out to my neighborhood.

I wasn't crazy enough to get too close, so i turned the car around in someone's driveway and headed back the way i came. That's when i saw the firetruck stopped in the middle of the road ahead of me. All of the sudden a firefighter jumps in front of my path (death wish?) with his hand raised in the "stop" gesture. He's motioning for me to turn around & go back the other way. There's a small, thin (in the scheme of things) wire laying across the road in between his truck & my car. He doesn't want me to come back that way b/c it could be "hot" (I guess this ISN'T the point i tell him that's the way i came?). So he wants me to turn aroud & go back. I mean, he REALLY wants me to go back. As a matter of fact, he looks at me like i am the densest person he's come across in some time.

hmmm... he doesn't seem to know going the other way isn't an option. i roll down my window & yell that fact out to him.

He doesn't hear - the wind swallows my words.

i said it again.

He still wants me to turn around... i'm just a batty woman. I'm sure he thought i was just whining...

finally, i put the car in park, unbuckle my seatbelt & literally get out of my car to tell him that I CAN'T GO BACK THAT WAY B/C THE POLE IS DOWN ACROSS THE WHOLE ROAD!!!! (ok, i didn't yell - don't bust my chops on that).

at last... he understands what i'm saying. His answer to that "well, ma'am, i guess you're stuck then."

Now, mind you, i have no problem with authority in these situations. I know they are doing what they should to keep people safe. I have friends who are in such positions (Hi Matt!) and respect that it's their job to do it. But this guy... he had a little attitude. I wasn't arguing about following his directions. I was merely telling him i COULDN'T do what he was asking. No need to get all testy with me.

I told him that was fine. I'd just get back in my car & chill until they deemed it safe for me to go back.

it was at this time that a neighbor, whose house i was right outside, came out & said i could use her driveway to get around the mess. She happened to live on a corner & her drive was from one street across her yard to another street. That saved me from sitting there looking like a dork, so i used the escape route & laughed myself home.

i know it was b/c i was in THAT car. It seems to attract adventures like the one i had today. Oddly, i think i am in for a very interesting summer =)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Home sweet home

Well weary travelers, I have returned from my time in California. I went to visit my best friend, Betsy, and her new baby boy, Jeff. Ok I did see her husband while i was there, but i can't talk about that (wink, wink, Betsy) :)

I flew to CA on a Thursday & came home the following Tuesday. It was my first time flying solo. I know, you thought i was more worldly than that. I have flown lots of places, but all with other people. Luckily those experiences taught me how to manuever through the Houston airport with only 35 minutes to make my connecting flight. (Did i mention the Houston airport is the 9th largest in the US?)

There was a close call... & it's a good thing i didn't check any bags. I might have been wearing the same clothes for the 6 days i was gone! Or... i could have had to wait as long as we did for the package sent via UPS BEFORE I LEFT (& scheduled for delivery on the day i arrived in CA!)

but i guess that's another story, now isn't it?

My time in CA was split between observing the habits of this little 2-month old and seeing some of the sights around the area. I have been to Monterey before, but it was a quick trip through the 17-mile drive area & some dinner. (yes, you didn't think aaron & i had been near Pebble Beach & not checked it out, did you?)

This time i got to see lots more views of the Pacific. They had a storm while i was there & when we went to see the ocean afterwards, the waves were big, loud & gorgeous. There is just something about the ocean... ahhh... I had to use some serious patience in getting the perfect wave photo. you know the one - with the wave crashing on the rocks & sending up the spray... i got that one!

We also went to Monterey Bay & attempted to take a whale watching tour - something we were all excited about - but luck was not ours. Seems jeff was more of a liability than an asset to Mr. Whale Watching Captain. What does he know? We had to make due with the restaurant that overlooked the harbor seals out in the bay & finish off the sad experience with ice cream & a little shopping in the souvenir store for me :)

That wasn't the end of the day for me though... it was my luck that Josh was off & he, Betsy & Jeff wanted me to see some more sights. We drove to Big Sur via Highway One (aka Pacific Coast highway). The scenery was some of the most breathtaking i have ever seen. I have some pictures of those sights that i am pretty proud of. I'll let you see them when they get off my computer...

i ended my visit there by babysitting jeff (who, graciously, slept the whole time i was "watching" him) and allowing his parents to remember what it was like to go out BEFORE they had him. I asked what they did on their night out, but they didn't mention anything other than the backseat of josh's car... hmmmm...

So now i am home, back in my bed, though it's smaller now that i have to share it again (hey, a bed to yourself should not be taken for granted those of you who are still single!). I'm also back at work and back to loving on the kitties. strange thing happened though while i was gone - Moodles McDoodles has started to sleep with Aaron in the bed now!!!!

That does it... i can never leave again!

Ha... who am i kidding? I'm outta here! =)