Raymond and I just got back from Connecticut. We were taking care of Stephanie and Terry’s animals.
I was thinking it would be much more enjoyable than before because my sweet nephew Terry got cable for me.
As David says about proper stemware that it’s the only thing that separates us from the lower orders, I feel that way about the ability to watch “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”
Since I’m old, Stephanie got other people to take care of the horses and donkeys for the most part. I’m only giving them dinner.
Last week she walked me through it and gave me strict instructions.
1. They must be fed between 4:30 and 5.
During our dry run she was unkind enough to note that since it was taking so long for me to walk the short distance to the stable it might be wise for me to leave the house at about 2. The fact that it was icy and I’m 71 meant nothing to her. I waited until she turned away to give her the finger.
2. I was to unlock the black and white horse’s door to the outside but not open it.
It seems that he will be very anxious to eat and may well trample me so when I do open it it has to be fast.
Since I’m not sure of the horse’s names I will refer to the black and white horse as Lenny and the Brown horse as Steve.
3. Then I am to go over to Steve’s door and open it.
If Lenny tries to push his way into Steve’s room I am to shove him back. This may take a bit of skill but I’m sure I can handle it since Steph says it will be easy. Although a long time ago she told me to offer some apples to her then horse Joker (aptly named) and he chased me all over the field while she laughed hysterically so she isn’t to be totally trusted.
4. As soon as Steve is in his room I am to run over to Lenny’s room and open the door for him and the donkeys (they like to dine together) while leaping out of the way.
Now here’s something interesting. I am to lock Lennys door open because it seems that he knows how to close it.
I’m thinking Len might have fingers and if I get close enough to check I’ll let you know. Here’s hoping that I don’t do it while his foot is bearing down on my face because I wasn’t fleet of foot enough to get out of his way when he decides to put on the feedbag.
Then I fill the water and feed the barn cat.
I went up a day early because it was supposed to snow and their house is on top of a long driveway that is curvy and steep. I did my job well as you can see from the pictures. Steve Lenny Donkeys in yard Donkeys dining Barn cat dining
The first night was fine. Ray and Theo stayed in bed with me while Theo’s sister Lucy went into the other room to bark for the whole night at the oncoming snow. At least that’s what I was hoping. It did enter my mind that it could be a killer but I stayed put since in the words of my cousin Barbara who is famous for writing “In Space no one can hear you scream”, they can’t hear you in Connecticut either.
About the second night things started going south with the dogs.
We go to bed, me, the 3 dogs and one of the cats. Ray is definitely the odd man out in this situation. I have to situate myself in a way to protect him because every time he changes position either Theo or Lucy jumps on him snarling. Finally he went in the other room to sleep.
Ray was clearly unhappy there. One morning I found him sleeping in the back of the closet. His cousins either bullied him or treated him with an appalling lack of respect. When I complained to Stephanie via text she wrote back that my dog lacks social skills and doesn’t know how to get along.
The third day the driveway was cleaned so I ventured out. Going very slowly I got to the bottom. I’m a big coward so it was no mean feat.
I went to the grocery store. I was running out of dog food and a few other things. I was really feeling happy. Not being locked in is a lovely thing which is why I don’t commit crimes.
Since getting down the driveway worked well I saw no problem getting back up. WRONG! Almost at the house my car slid on the ice and I backed into a snowdrift.
I tried and tried to get out but no go so I decide to go around the car and attempt to clear the wheels with my hands.
Not only wasn’t that successful but I got stuck for a few minutes between the car and the snow and I started thinking that I was finished. (Hey, this is becoming kind of a mystery story)
Anyway to make an already too long story short I escaped my snowy bonds and took the groceries into the house.
I texted Steph and Terry texted Gilson, the guy who clears the driveway, to come over and help my get my car out.
He did come and together we got it out with ropes and sand. It took over an hour. After we were finished I asked him if he’d like some coffee thinking he’d say no and he could go home and I could go in and hug the animals (even the mean ones).
Well to my surprise he said yes, he’d clear the driveway better while I made the coffee.
Here’s something that people that know me know and that’s that I have no ability for small talk and I hate talking to people I don’t know. Plus my hearing isn’t what it once was and Gilson speaks with a thick accent.
My solution was to make myself a fast vodka and grapefruit juice for me and coffee for him.
I immediately relaxed so that when he came in I was a real Pearl Mesta. (look her up)
We sat in the kitchen and the conversation went quite well. He even said that I was so helpful in getting the car out that he was surprised at my age (he actually asked me how old I was) “You seem more like 58”
I think that’s what he said but as I told you, he has an accent so he might have said “This coffee is great”.
I don’t know how we got on the topic but he regaled me with a tale of someone he knew who was given one month to live but cured himself with enemas after ever meal. I helped him with the word “enema” he just made a distasteful face and pointed at his rear.
Now that I think about it maybe it wasn’t an enema at all. I’ll look up the brazilian word for enema and next time I see him I’ll ask.
The next afternoon I started preparing for my exit the next day. By this time my dog was a nervous wreck and every time I walked anywhere near my car he’d stare longingly at the door.
I wiped off the snow and ran the engine to make sure it was still operative in this cold weather. It seemed fine but as I was walking away I looked back and noticed a pipe hanging down under it. I crawled under and saw that it was connected to my rear wheel.
My heart sank. Cars probably need pipes like that. All I knew was that I was going home if I had to walk.
I was already worried about getting out because it was going to snow again on the day I was leaving.
Steph, Terry and I had been texting and I told them about it. Stephanie said I should just pull the pipe off. she was sure I didn’t need it. Terry said he would text Gilson and have him come over the next day and get my car working and sand the driveway.
He did come and he tied the pipe up. He kind of agreed with Steph that it would be ok for me to drive home.
I loaded up the car, put my dog in and waited for him to sand the driveway. He suggested he follow me down to make sure I made it ok, which he did and I did.
I had only gone a block or two when Gilson started flashing his lights and honking. I stopped.
He got out of the truck and told me my wheel was shimmying and I could not drive the car to the City like that.
He followed me back to Steph’s driveway and said he’d come back in a few hours with a tow truck but I told him I would call AAA. I wanted out as soon as possible.
I did call and they came pretty quickly. They took my car to a garage. At Terry’s suggestion I called an airport limo and hired them to take me and my dog home.
I hope they can fix my car because I love it but coming into the City (notice I always capitalize that word) put all of that out of my mind.
We were going across 57th Street in traffic when the driver shaking his head said “You really like living in this City?”
“I don’t just like it. I love it.”
And so does my dog. When we arrived at my building I gave my bags to my doorman and tried to take Ray for a walk. He just pulled towards the door. He wanted to go home. And this is how he slept last night. At peace with the world and no one snapping at him.