My chicken tender had to extend her duties with the girls recently. She was only supposed to have a stint over the long Memorial Day Weekend while I was glamping, which ended up being expanded by six more days.
It was a soggy, wet weekend. We were in camp swampy, as we dubbed our site, slogging through mud, in the drizzle, setting up our tents.
The second day of the Memorial Day weekend, I received an urgent text from my sister, informing me our dad had taken a fall, hit his head and was in the neurological ICU unit of the hospital.
I was frantic trying to figure out how to get all the way down to Mobile, AL from Virginia. I had ridden to the camp with three other ladies and certainly couldn’t expect them to cut their weekend short. Renting a car seemed the most logical solution, when one of the women said she had frequent flyer miles and starting figuring out how to get me to Mobile that night. That’s what I call a sweet, caring woman!
During all my anxious figuring, my sister sent me the phone number of the hospital. Even with spotty phone reception, I was able to talk with my dad and his nurse. They reassured me he was doing fine and wouldn’t be released until sometime early in the week and I should plan to come down upon his release because he would need me more then.
I did my best to let the trauma go and enjoy myself, though there was a little cloud over me all weekend. And bigger clouds over the whole camp, intermittently releasing their pent up rain all over us.
When the weekend was over, we packed up all our wet belongings, threw them into the trailer and made our way back home, knowing that everything needed a good drying out. One woman offered to dry my tent out, knowing it would be a moldy mess by the time I returned home and managed to set it up to dry. Thank goodness for wonderful friends!
It was hustle time once we got back. Unloading the trailer, (we had an enclosed Uhaul trailer this time- worlds easier to pack than the open trailer we typically use.) stuffing my belongings into my car, hauling them back out again, trying to open as much out as I could all over the house to let things dry.
I washed three loads of laundry, packed water, food, clothing and toiletries to ready myself for my four a.m. departure to Mobile, along with making sure the chicks were well stocked with food and water. I was pooped when I hit the bed.
My plan was to stay with my dad until the following Sunday. I managed to accomplish a fair amount for him while I was there. He now has a walker and one and a half shelves in his freezer (which also got a good defrosting) are full of wholesome food. With pleading on my sister’s and my part, he will have some extra help. (He listens to her much better than to me.) I left Sunday feeling like I did all I could for now.
The ride home was eventful. I managed to set my alarm for the wrong time and ended up waking at two a.m. I had everything packed in the car before I looked at a clock and realized I could have slept much longer. Oh well.
I made it through Atlanta before having to pull over and take a nap. I zonked out for two hours. After refreshing my water bottle and taking care of necessities, I was off again- for a mile- before traffic slowed to a stop. For two hours we crawled our way one whole mile. Why is it people don’t know how to merge into one lane? I was really happy I had that rest break. I actually did a Sudoku and listened to a whole CD waiting for things to open up.
Everything went along fine until I hit Fayetteville, NC. I couldn’t go any further without sleep. I pulled into the first available parking spot at the rest area, dropped the car key in the cup holder, reclined my seat and was asleep before I laid my head back. When I came to again, I really needed to pee, so I grabbed my purse, locked the doors and headed to the bathroom. Yeah- the key was still in the car.
All my necessary documentation was also in the car when I went to call AAA. I have a dumb phone, so I had to ask a fellow traveler if he could get the number for me, which he did. When I called the number, the automaton asked me to type in my account number- yeah, not happening- or bypass that and hit the pound key. Where was the pound key on my phone???? So I just hit a key. Eventually I was able to get everything straight with a real person and an hour later, my knight in shining armor showed up.
I was amazed by how quickly he was able to open my car door. He had a thin plastic “bladder” he inserted through the door frame and pumped up creating an opening. He then stuck a rubber coated wire with a crook in the end through the opening, and released the lock. The whole thing took about thirty seconds.
I finally made it home.
The chicklets and Ethel were just fine and dandy when I saw them the next morning. They thanked me for the grass I harvested for them and otherwise ignored me. I’m thrilled to have a good, responsible chicken tender who doesn’t mind being flexible- makes my life so much easier.