Take the man to the airport at 4 o’clock in the morning for a 6:00am flight. On arrival, we discover he’s forgotten his briefcase. Race home, grab it, and return with only 40 minutes to spare to reach his flight (he did).
Doctor that afternoon says I have a bit of a bacterial infection. Usual pharmacy is out of prescription medication has to order it for pickup the next day.
Pick up prescription and discover it’s a suppository. The directions also specifically state not to drink alcohol while using it, but I’ve got at least two plans for the week that don’t work with that idea. Call the doctor, who says the problem is so mild it can wait if necessary.
Head to the final of six laser hair removal appointments and am told by the technician that the little, wiry hairs that have suddenly come back with a vengeance the past two weeks will require a higher power on the machine or more appointments. I choose the former and walk around with a sunburn on my beard area for half the day.
Little, wiry hairs are back. I pluck them with extreme prejudice.
Ready in plenty of time for guests to arrive for a Stitch & Bitch crafting night. Very little stitching, a little bitching, and several bottles of wine later, one very drunk friend projectile vomits in the guest room. Across a pile of linens, pillows, a carpet, two bathrobes, and oh, so much more.
Six of us leap up to clean, mop, keep him company/safe, and start the washer. To his credit, we all would have been pissed off if it had been someone we didn’t like or who didn’t feel bad for doing it afterward, but after two loads and just about everyone had gone home, I was still left with another three loads of laundry.
Pre-planned (as in before crafting night shenanigans) dinner with the friend who was so drunk/sick the night before. As expected, he is very repentant and embarrassed by the whole thing and offers to help me do laundry and/or shampoo the rug. I tell him not to worry, because I am headed up to the mountains the next day.
I am awakened at 6:30am to the sound of gurgling water. Think it’s the drain for the air conditioning … but then it doesn’t stop. I leap out of bed and encounter 1/2 inch of water on the hallway floor. The hot water heater has ruptured and I have no earthly idea what to do.
I access Yelp and call a well-reviewed plumber. Search the Interwebz for what to do. Find out how to turn off the water, check the gas main, etc. in less time than it takes to finish calling a professional. Throw dozens of towels on the hallway floor to mop up the initial mess and go to the garage for the shop vac.
Can’t find the shop vac. Find the motor, which is attached to a blower hose, but not the canister. Go back to the house to wait. Call my travel companion to let her know there may be an issue with our overnight vacation.
Realize all those towels will need washing when this is over. Come close to saying, “Fuck my life,” then remember saying it aloud is like asking the universe do to exactly that.
My love, with the best timing in the world, calls from his business in China. He’s having just as tough a week as I am and ensures me the water heater isn’t as important as my psyche. And he tells me where to find the shop vac canister.
Plumber wants $1,350 for a new hot water heater. I tell him I will think about it, then pack a bag to shower at the gym. Do three loads of towels on cold setting. Water heater problem derails other errands, but now I just want to get out of town to forget the stress for a little while, so I pack a bag and head over to pick up my friend.
Five miles from the Eisenhower Tunnel – about an hour outside Denver – we see a lighted sign that the tunnel is closed due to an accident. There is no place to exit without heading back home. Two miles out, traffic comes to a dead stop. The bed and breakfast at which I have a reservation specifically says they need a call if check-in will happen past 7:00pm, so we dial. It is 5:30pm and their voicemail says, and I quote, “If you are calling after 5:00pm, someone will return your call tomorrow.”
We redial every 30 minutes as we follow all diverted traffic over Loveland Pass, the old road that climbs above the timber line and back down in to the ski valley beyond. It is a beautiful drive, so I try let go of the fact we are going mostly uphill behind semis, U-Hauls, and hundreds of other cars. Only really relax when the B&B calls back to let us know how to check in/find our room key.
Once free of worry over the room, I have a couple of personal epiphanies. They are epic, as such truths usually are. Glad I am traveling with someone who gets it.
Stop in Dillon for a fabulous dinner. Things are looking up. Stop at the local liquor store for wine – one of the errands I didn’t get done due to the water heater – then continue on to Minturn, where we arrive around 9:30pm.
Our room is modern rustic, beautiful, has a jet tub, and the balcony overlooks the river. We drink some wine, watch some TV, and fall asleep to the white noise of gurgling water.
I catch the irony just before I doze off.
Tossed and turned a bit and awoke at 6:30am. This is good timing, since breakfast is served between 7:30 and 9:30.
Breakfast turns out to be pancakes and sausage. I try not to eat too much pancake. Mostly succeed.
You may have already asked, “Why Minturn?” The annual Eagle County rummage sale, of course. Heard nothing but good things about it for years, but it’s kind of a bust. Lots of pretty clothes, nearly all too small for me and my companion. Seems those female mountain folk are perfect size 8′s. Still find a couple of bargains, then return to Minturn for a so-so lunch in a diner that can only be described as “The Quintessential Shrine to 50s Vintage.”
My mp3 player stops working, so no more road music other than one CD I’d burned and what we can find on the radio. I shrug it off.
Stop in Red Cliff for what the road signs say is an “art and studio tour.” Manage to actually see neither. Check the map and decide to take the pass road from there to Frisco rather than going the quick route.
One-half mile from the entrance of the pass road, it turns to dirt. We retreat.
Turn toward Leadville. Didn’t know just yet this is the best idea EVER.
Park and explore. Consignment store, thrift shop, gifts, jewelry, an antique mall, and a beer at a saloon that’s been there since 1879. Even get a position report on a friend who is running in the Leadville 100 this weekend and no ticket on my car, which was parked for 3-1/2 hours in a 2 hour parking zone.
Without noticing, I have completely forgotten the issues of the past week and am now just enjoying the moment. Finally.
On the way home, my tiny bladder cries out for release near Silver Plume, so I stop at the Starbucks. As I am walking back to the car, a Toyota 4-Runner pulls in, four people exit, and one of them is my second (ex-)husband.
Palpitations as I pass this relative stranger – we were married in 1989 and divorced in 1992 – and then it occurs to me, there is no way on Earth he would know me on sight. My companion agrees as we drive away. Still not sure it really was him. Memory is constructive and everyone has a doppelganger out there somewhere, right?
Drop my friend at home and call my love, who has spent 18 hours traveling and has missed his opportunity to have a hot shower at the gym (they close early on Saturdays). He is headed to Home Depot to price hot water heaters.
I stop for gas and realize one of my credit cards is missing. I call my friend and work out the last time I used it. I call the restaurant from the night before and they do indeed have it, but I can’t get back there until Monday. They agree to hold on to it for me.
Manage to time my arrival at home so I pull in to the driveway as my love, whom I haven’t seen in 6 days, pulls out to go to the hardware store.
I breathe. He’ll be home soon. I empty the car.
I leave a bag on the roof of the car for two hours. My love finds it when he gets home.
He takes a cold shower and comments that it’s not as cold as it would be if it were winter. We watch some TV. He is now snoring behind me on the couch and I smile at the sound, which I didn’t think I’d miss, but there it is.
It is now 11:00pm and after this post and a glass of wine, I will awaken him to come to bed with me. Tomorrow we get up early to find a new hot water heater, get to the gym for at least a shower if not a workout, attend the Colorado Distiller’s Festival, and see Dead Can Dance in concert.
Every day is a new one. Tomorrow is no exception. But I’m so glad the string of days that made up this week is over.