Today is my last day at this job! Woohoo! I actually woo-hooed in the street yesterday. Before my two brief days of freedom, let me tell you the story of my happy time in Maine. There are many foreshadowing moments from our trip to Maine. If it were a novel, you'd think it was heavy-handed. See if you can spot them all.
We didn't want to waste a day of vacation so we left Wednesday right after work. Well, we would have if the dude had packed Tuesday night. So we left at 7pm for our 7-8 hour drive to my mother's beach house. On Tuesday, I told my mother that we'd arrive around 2:00 am for the third time. "I'll leave the door open," she assures us. So we drive and drive and drive. As we crossed the Piscataqua we said hello to Maine for Barbara. We were a little late, arriving at 3 to find the front door locked, the garage door locked, and the porch door blocked by all the stuff from the garage (they had the floor epoxied). Inside, my mother was freaking out thinking that someone was breaking in. Finally, I went to the open bedroom window and said, "Mom! I thought you were going to leave the door open." She breathes a sigh of relief and let us in. She thought we were coming Thursday. In fact, it was only by chance that she was in Maine at all. Earlier she had been in NH and was deciding whether she should come back that night. D'oh!
On Thursday we blew a day of vacation going to NH to get a temporary registration on our new-to-us car. My dad gave us his old car. Everyone's embarrassed by our Civic. Later, my dad sent us to Walmart to pick up a big lobster for dinner. While it was being cooked, we shopped. We found a good deal on a waterproof, fireproof safe. We bought it. Um, yeah. Don't forget doing a household inventory is on my 101 list (#93). Anyway, back then we were happy and sharing an eight pound lobster for dinner with my dad.
Friday was a beautiful day, and we spent it at the beach. We got a tour of my cousin's place on the marsh--this isn't a beach cottage in the traditional sense. (It sleeps 8 and they only rent it to friends of friends--and cheap at that. So be sure to meet me in person before next summer.) I finished Bill Bryson's book on Shakespeare. I got one of those sunburns that comes from using a spray sunscreen (stripes on one arm and both legs). The dude and I went into the ocean with my nieces and played like we were kids. Later, the two kids pulled a couple of beach chairs into the surf and sat watching the waves as they rolled up and over their feet. They looked so adorable, and none of us had a camera. Isn't that always the way? It was a fabulous day. Later we ate at Blue Sky (Lydia Shire) and the food was fabulous! I had fried chicken livers. Not sophisticated but delicious. The dude had crispy skin salmon, my mother had shortribs, and my father had lobster pizza. It was a terrific dinner, the food and the company.
Saturday we met the other house (my cousin was hosting her parents and her sil) on the beach. It was a little bit windier which made the water seem a lot colder. So instead of going in, I thought it would be a good idea to try my niece's skim board. I think faithful readers already know where this is going. In my defense, it looks easy. Throw the board, run up, and stand on it. How hard can it be? Well, if you're me walking down a flight of stairs should be a lot easier than it is. I know I am clumsy, but I am eternally optimistic that this is the time I try something physical and turn out to be really good at it. This time! Well, this wasn't the time, and I have the scrapes on my knee to prove it. It has gotten worse over the past few days. You know, as a bonus for being an idiot forty-something. Of course, after the dude fell trying to do this, you'd think I would have backed out. My mother was yelling at some 16 year olds, "Hey, come show these two idiots how to do it!" Nice. When I collected myself and sat back in my chair she said, "You're the clumsiest one here; what made you think that was a good idea?" Thanks mom, way to be supportive. So there was a bit of a palaver with my cousin's restaurant reservations, and I really didn't want to go to Tapas and 'Tinis, my mother's suggestion, for dinner. I suggested we get fried clams at Ken's. My aunt and I started chanting, "Ken's! Ken's! Ken's!" No one joined in, but we did decide to do it. And it was yummy. And fun. My uncle is a bit of a raconteur and he told us a story about a finger accident that made mine look like kindergarten. There was lots of laughing, and the clams are damn good.
On Sunday, we packed it up and packed it in. Because of the new car, the dude and I drove separately. And it was a long drive. Even longer than usual. (I blame you, Massachusetts.) So I arrived home ten minutes after the dude at 11pm. And then of course, when I finally went upstairs, we discovered some things moved about. The dude hustled me out of the house and called the police. And now it turns out that I have to force myself to recall the good memories of the vacation. All I can really think about is the last two hours of Sunday night (technically into Monday morning) while the police collected evidence.