And For Their Final Act

I'm sure you're tired of the exclamations that I start these posts with, but... I'm not.

Holy Toledo.

Last Thursday, C and I (with some very valuable help) loaded our every belonging into a 26-foot U-Haul truck, went out for sushi with the best mopper/sister, and returned home to fall asleep on an air mattress in our house.

For the very     last     time.

And what's remarkable is that it felt ok.  It wasn't like I was leaping for joy or popping some bubbly or having any kind of warm, fuzzy feelings, but all the same, I wasn't weeping and clawing at my hair, which really must be some kind of small victory, don't you think?  Maybe more than small...

What's also remarkable is that the very mattress that we slept on has been continuously inflated for... wait for it... FOUR YEARS.  And it hasn't leaked, period.  If that doesn't totally shock you, I don't know what to say, other than to say  lay off the meds, for both our sakes.  This is my shameless and enthusiastic plug for the Simmons Beautyrest air mattress.  Go.  Buy one.  Mine's flawless, but if yours pops, don't come crying to me.  I'm sure it will be your fault.

So Friday morning, we deflated the mattress (for the first time), threw it in it's bag and closed the garage door behind us on our way out.  C hopped into our pickup truck and I clamored into the U-Haul.  There must be a height requirement for truckers, because I had a seriously hard time getting into and out of the cab of this thing.  It was a strange turn of fate when we first laid eyes on our 26-footer.  You know how U-Haul's have those fairly tacky cartoonish pictures of random world destinations?  Like a sumo wrestler and a giant Macy's float in the shape of a Spicy Tuna Roll painted on the side of a trailer with the words, "Visit Japan!" written above the picture in Indiana Jones font?  Well, I'm pretty sure that this particular U-Haul was manufactured especially for us.

Along with a picture of our favorite neighborly woodland creature, our U-Haul was showcasing the up and coming Canadian hotspot - Saskatchewan!  It was like someone just knew where we were headed. I cackled up a storm driving that thing north toward the border - driving increasingly slow, mind you, because if a moose ran in from of that gas hog, there was going to be a very small chance that I'd manage to avoid it.

We arrived at camp around 11:00 PM and unloaded one important passenger - a gigantic jade plant that has been in my family since I was a little girl.  A certain jade plant that was now (sorry mom) frozen solid.  The leaves snapped like sheets of ice, and were scattered on the floor of the truck.  Jades are members of the succulent family, intended to inhabit an arid climate, which is distressingly far from the  -10 degree temperature that night.  I still haven't given up on her, though.  We brought her drooping body in from the chill and I gave her some water and whispered some nice, I'msosorry kind of words.  The next day I pruned off the limbs that felt like water balloons, because there is just no way that a texture like that could be healthy.  So now she's a little ragged, and probably still dying, but we're not letting her go without a fight.

On a related note, this summer I kept a Bonsai on my desk at the rafting office.  This plant, too, got sick and dried up, but I had recently read about the ever-important "cut off the gangrenous limbs or you'll lose the patient" policy and quickly got to work.  A month later, the plant was sailing into the woods where it became part of the earth again, and not simply a prickly naked single stalk of what used to be a thriving maze of branches.  I have a tendency to get carried away with scissors.

So Mama Jade, Kiwi the cat, our air mattress and cookware I haven't seen in a year are finally in one place.  And even though the process was tedious, maddening and sometimes ugly, it's made for a good life story.  And as one of my dear friends, Amy, put it:

Soon it will be all over (for now, for a while) and you'll be settled in to a cozy log-ish home with far fewer moose than you're accustomed to, that is not a small kitchen-less apartment above a restaurant, and that does not come with its own wheels. 

Thanks, Amy.  You always know how to make a girl feel good.

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