March 26, 2011

13

Did I mention I left Athens?

I’m writing this post from the back of Roxanne, sitting at her bright, red table with a beautiful lake out my back window. More about that another time. The important thing here is that I am in Atlanta, not Athens. I finally left the vortex yesterday, officially putting an end to the Home for the Holidays category under which I was writing for nearly four months. And though it was very much like cutting the umbilical cord all over again, leaving my wonderful parents’ home, it was time. I had spent a third of my trip at their house.

It was never my intention to stay there for so long but there was little way to avoid it. My teammates were sick and it was my job to make sure they got better, which I am almost positive I have done. Despite his little set-back about a week and a half ago, Rennie shows signs of having more or less recovered. His ribs are showing less and less, and he has no problem finding energy to play when there’s another dog around or a wide open space in which he can run leash-free (and find piles of death to rub his head all over), so I am pretty confident he is ready for the next four and a half months on the road.

Similarly, Roxanne is apparently behaving. The day before yesterday, I called my mechanic, James.

“Oh, hi,” he said, when I identified myself. “I was just thinking about you the other day.”

Back in late January or early February or whenever that was, I had finally picked up Roxanne for what seemed to be the last time. Her axle was repaired, and her clutch new, and her oil pan detailed and the gasket replaced, and her down pipe shiny and welded, and her master cylinder rebuilt, and the hole beside the clutch sealed. But James had told me to stop by before I left town anyhow, just to have him look her over once more.

Except in classic form, I had forgotten that I needed to do this until I had roughly 24 hours left before departure, so I called him rather out of the blue, hoping that maybe, just maybe, he had time to see me.

“When were you thinking of coming in?” he asked me on the phone.

“Well, I could come now or—” I trailed off, planting the seed that sooner would be better than later.

“Okay. If you come in, like, right now,” he said.

When I got there 15 minutes later, we climbed in, James behind the wheel, and we drove around the area, which also happened to be exactly where a massive manhunt had been taking place all week, because they had thought the gunman was still in that neighborhood, so there were cop cars and sheriff vehicles and helicopters all around us, though the guy ended up being about six miles away. Anyhow. Roxanne performed beautifully. Her brakes felt good, James said, and the only thing that sounded questionable to him was a squeaking noise, much like rusty springs on a mattress, that was coming from overhead.

“That’s been there since the beginning,” I said.

“I never noticed it before,” he said.

But I assured him that it was not a new noise and that actually, I liked it, because I do. It reminds me of a saddle and that provides a comforting assurance that I am, indeed, traveling.

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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Stephanie Cheatley
    Mar 26 2011

    Happy travels my dear. 🙂

    Reply
  2. SirenaSteve
    Mar 26 2011

    I hope you were not driving when you were taking those fotos 🙂 Happy travels! I’m stuck in paradise…

    Reply
    • Mar 28 2011

      Well, someone has to run paradise; right? And of course I didn’t take those photos while driving. I handed the wheel over to Rennie, so I could snap them.

      Reply
      • REnnIE
        Mar 28 2011

        ittzz TRoo,,,,sHee diDdd,..

        Reply
  3. Momminerd
    Mar 27 2011

    There’s a Void in the Vortex! A Veritable Vacuum! The Vagabond has Vanished, alas. Even the Dog has Departed. Silence is all around us like an ear infection. And just as welcome.
    Starvation looms…must I learn to cook again? What was that
    thing you did with pans and food? The same bottle of wine with
    the same cork in it will probably still be on the counter when you return.
    What a blessing it was having you with us so long. Now it’s somebody else’s turn. Be safe, always safe.

    Reply
    • Mar 28 2011

      Not everyone has ear infections that are silent. Most of them hurt like hell, actually.
      I miss you, too. And so does Rennie.

      Reply
  4. hillary
    Mar 27 2011

    God our mom is hilarious. and yes, be safe, always safe.

    Reply
  5. SJ
    Mar 28 2011

    TALLY HO! onward brave warrior! our kitchen is sad too, it misses your crepes.
    xo

    Reply
  6. Pep
    Mar 28 2011

    Is Rennie’s accent from the west of States? 🙂
    I am glad to hear he is fine again.

    Reply
    • Mar 29 2011

      He has a neutral accent. It’s called Broadcaster English, because I think he is hoping to be on a podcast one day but I am pretty sure that’s a bad idea.

      Reply

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