I drove the RV West to Deception Pass State Park in torrential rain, and once I claimed my spot at the campground, I commenced to seriously relax. The rest of the first (rainy) day, I blissfully read a whole book and went for a lazy walk on the beach. On the way, I saw a pair of geese with their fluffball babies, which made me tear up because I missed my kids.
The next day, I woke up to the RV toilet overflowing. The entire bathroom floor was soaked and soggy. Also, Steve called to tell me two of our ducks had gotten killed by a racoon in the night. Not to worry, though, because I was on vacation and determined to stay in a go-with-the-flow mood. No pun intended.
That day, I rode my bicycle up Mount Erie, a ride considered a “leg shredder” by the hardcore macho guys who wrote the bicycle route book I like. And wouldn't you know it – they were right. By the time I huffed and puffed up this seriously steep mountain, my legs felt quite shredded. But good! And the view! There's nothing like endorphins and pride in a goal accomplished! And people incredulously staring at your sweaty self once you make it to the top. (Yes, I'm a show off. I know).
On the way into Anacortes, my tire went flat, making me almost crash. I keep thinking: if the tire had gotten flat on the super fast descent down Mount Erie, I might not be alive. Maybe. Luckily, I knew a bike shop close by, and the folks there changed the tire in no time flat. (What is it with the puns today?)
Back at the RV, Steve called me.
“I know what you mean now!” my husband, who never complains, sighed.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Being with the kids all day...”, he said. “It's intense.”
I was floored, and very, very touched. Steve is a hands-on Dad who spends more time with his kids than almost any other man I know. For him to validate my burnt out state felt like the best gift ever. I so very much adore my children and my life, and at the same time, it's the hardest job I have ever done. Sometimes, when too many things have built up, I get emotionally and physically depleted with taking care of them in a conscious way, homeschooling them, taking care of the homestead, and running several businesses at the same time. Mea culpa, my choice, I know. I like being challenged, and I make the choices I make for a reason. This is why self-care and time away is so important for me.
And boy, did I take advantage of this time away! My last vacation day found me hiking at Bowman Bay, one of my favorite places on earth. The park got more crowded as the day went on (since it was a sunny Mother's Day), but I found a far away bluff with not many people, where I sat and stared into the blue water and knitted.
Then it was time to head home. And this is where disaster struck. I had an uneasy feeling, an ominous intuition the whole way back. First, the CD player stopped. Then, the mph gauge failed. And soon after, in the middle of a busy roundabout in Sedro Woolley (an hour away from home), the RV died on me. It just stopped, in the middle of traffic, with people honking at me, while all the relaxation from the past days drained away from me. I frantically dialed 911 first, then a tow truck company.
The very short story is that two police officers showed up. They were incredibly kind, and the older one kept saying, “We'll take care of you. It's mother's day, after all.” I couldn't believe it. They jumped the RV four times, so I could drive it to a nearby shop and save hundreds of dollars in towing fees. They escorted me with police lights and all! It was so exciting!
And the best part: The older cop drove me all the way up to Concrete, half an hour away, so Steve could meet me there to take me home. And the other best part: All the RV needed was an alternator belt. And the other best part: The kids and the citizens of Concrete saw me get out of a police car. I made sure to hug the officer so people wouldn't think I had gotten arrested. And because he had been so kind.
It all ended well! Happy Mother's Day to me! And you, too!