Friday, November 24, 2023

Thanks for the Trouble

 We all went to Las Vegas for a couple of days.  We drove and had lots of time to talk about other trips we'd made.  Did we talk about the ones that went off without a hitch?  No.  Because honestly there wasn't much to talk about.  Instead we talked about the time we'd hit a terrible rain storm and another time when we were in a friend's car which we discovered half way there was having engine trouble.  We had all instinctively leaned forward hoping it would make the car have more power as we drove through the hot desert.  The whole ride, we'd wondered if we could make it.

We did and while we were in Vegas got the  fixed. I don't remember what the problem was other than it seems like we were lucky to have made it.  The ride back had a touch of trouble when one of us thought they had left their phone and we pulled off the highway at an exit called Zzyzz Road.  It was night and in the dark there was nothing to see but emptiness and  a sky full of stars.  While the family member found they actually had their phone, I checked out the sky and wanted to get out of the car, but there was a sinister looking big rig truck parked on the side of the road. Or at least, the rest of the people in the car thought it was creepy looking.  It was probably just dark because the driver was sleeping.  Anyway, no more star gazing for me and it was back on the road.  Every time we pass that exit, one of us tells the story.

There isn't much to tell when things go well.  It's the trouble that makes them makes them memorable.  Since it's Thanksgiving, someone here will definitely tell the story of my husband's aunt who invited everyone to dinner and then forgot to turn on the oven to cook the turkey.  Dinner was at midnight.

Of all the perfect birthday cakes my mother made for me and others, the one I remember the most is the cake that fell on one side.  My birthday is around Easter and she always decorated my cake for the holiday.  This time she made green icing and arranged all the little chickens and ducks  so it looked like they were going up a hill.  I thought it was wonderful.

So what was memorable about this trip to Las Vegas?  Not the fact that the hotel was excellent and that the one of us who gambles went home a winner.  No.  What we are already talking about--- the supposed five hour drive that became eight hours both ways.  Going because there were high winds and it was a sea of red lights as we crept along down a mountain to the Nevada border because dust made the visibility bad.  On the way back it was the sea of red lights on the Cajon Pass because there was construction and fewer lanes.  Both ways because we had to keep charging the Tesla.  Unlike going to a gas station where you can just fill the tank, Tesla decides how much power you can get, but never seems to fill the battery.  One of the charging stations we stopped at during the trip was right below the final approach to the Las Vegas Airport.  The planes literally flew right above the car.  It was late at night which made it a combo of eerie and cool.

There are lots more stories of mini disasters I can think of.  Getting stuck on the Eiffel Tower when the elevator broke.  The time I got trapped under a dingy in Malibu.  So many others misadventures I can think about  that are so much more interesting than the times I've taken smooth uneventful flight that arrived on time.

A Post Script -- We were supposed to have Thanksgiving dinner with some family friends.  We had dropped off dessert last night and I had just finished making biscuits to take with.  It was barely a half an hour before we were to leave and one of us realized he was too sick to go.  We all stayed home.  It was five o'clock.  I raided the refrigerator and made fresh cranberry sauce to go with the mashed sweet potatoes I had gotten at Costco the night before.  I roasted cauliflower and made cole slaw.  There were the biscuits. I found Tofurky slices for vegetarian me and real turkey slices for the meat eaters.  You better believe this Thanksgiving will become part of the repertoire of stories of when things don't go right. 


Patty Jenkins said...

Good morning -- You have indeed had memorable trips. My most memorable was when my husband and I were heading home after visiting his family in Texas. I was about seven months pregnant with our first child. Somewhere in New Mexico, in the middle of nowhere, my husband pulled to the side of the road and stopped. He said "Look to the right" and there was an absolute wall of water roaring toward us, down what had been a dry creek bed. Thank goodness we were far enough back we had no problem, other than being stuck there for hours. By the time the water subsided and we could drive across safely, there were about 20 cars on each side of the creek. Some big highway trucks had crossed earlier and one of the drivers wanted me to ride with him and my husband could drive our VW Bug in the wake the truck made. I said "no way." By the time we crossed and found a motel, it was a pretty sleazy-looking place -- I just prayed the bed linens were clean!! They were, but the tub was rusty!!

I had a shock when I stepped on the scale this morning -- I weigh every day. This morning it showed 8,888!! I didn't eat that much yesterday!! For some reason, that number comes up when the battery is low.

We had a good Thanksgiving dinner -- family and two friends, one of whom is a vegetarian. He brought his own lentil loaf, which is tasty, and some strange dessert concoction which, to my taste, isn't. There were several desserts and my grandson ate a large portion of the cherry/pineapple dump cake -- he does love that!!

I'm about half done with an afghan made with Red Heart "Stripes" yarn. I'm using "Retro Stripes" -- it is gorgeous. I didn't need to buy more yarn but couldn't resist the "Stripes." There aren't a lot of color choices, thank goodness, and some of them aren't to my liking but I did get four colorways. I just need to live to be 150 to use all my yarn!! A friend bought a sterling silver tea service just because, as she said, it pleasures her to look at it. That's the way I feel about my yarn.

Have a good day -- enjoy your writing and, hopefully, crocheting.

Linda D Osborn said...

There is nothing like family travel--I really miss it !! I hate bugs, so of course they follow me everywhere. Once a nasty looking creature flew into the car, and I was so scared I swatted at him, that knocked the keys out the window of our VW Bug, and we spent a lovely time looking for them. The creature left, laughing.
Once we locked car keys in our van, and my husband had to remove the sun roof and our son climbed in to save us from the desert heat. We once had to get everyone except my husband out of a VW van and push it up a dirt road--including my 86 year old aunt who was of course in full holiday finery and heels.
We did a lot of driving and camping. Have you ever stopped at EVERY turn out in Grand Canyon ? We walked to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, with my big purse swinging back and hitting the 5 year old in the face on each step. We were "mooned" as we cruised in Boston. I miss it all, and would gladly go again !!

Betty Hechtman said...

Patty, it sounds like you had quit an adventure. Interesting about the lentil loaf. Last year I got some fake turkey thing at Trader Joe's which was quite good.

I know what you mean about yarn. I like to look at it too. It's the same with art supplies.

Good luck with the afghan.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda Osborn, loved your stories! They left you with a lot of good memories.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Wow, Betty. Blogging about difficulties and disasters--and you've clearly had a lot of both--doesn't seem like a fun way to spend your time around Thanksgiving. I hope things are wonderful from now on!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, the important thing is that we were all together on the trip to Vegas. The impromptu meal turned out really tasty. The secret is to roll with whatever happens and add it to my repertoire of stories.

chkntza said...

I'm glad you ended up having a wonderful Thanksgiving. My biggest travel mishap was when I went to Vienna, Austria and my suitcase went to Toronto, Canada. I had to buy new clothes while I waited for mine to catch up to me. When they did some of the clothes were wet.

I have a lot of books because I not only like to read them I like to look at them. They are a comfort to me.

Betty Hechtman said...

Chkntza, Wow, that's crazy about your suitcase. I wonder why the clothes were wet. I can understand books being a comfort. I feel that way too.

chkntza said...

I'm thinking my suitcase must have been left outside in the rain.