Oh, look, it's spring! Sort of...
|Poor things will have snow on them by Saturday|
The weather can't make up its mind, which is standard for March around here. I do not want to leave February behind without giving credit where credit is due: Larry (unlike last year) absolutely won Valentine's Day 2022. I don't have photos, so you'll have to just believe me when I say that he planned ahead, going to a specific deli in town to pick up authentic New York Italian bakery cookies, a box of fancy wrapped chocolates, AND (believe it or not) a Valentine's Day card with a camping theme, into which he glued a picture of our camper he had printed.
I KNOW, right? This all made me look particularly bad, since - even though I had picked up some sweets for him way ahead of time - I was reduced to rummaging through the junk in my desk the night before to find (amazingly enough) a Valentine's Day card (unused) from ALDI last year. Oh, he was smug! And I don't blame him.
Unfortunately, we've still got this going on, SINCE JANUARY:
|Dishwasher remains broken|
Home Depot has offered to buy me out (i.e., give me the original purchase price plus tax of my dishwasher), since one of the parts they ordered isn't expected until April and who knows if that will ever really show up, global affairs being what they are, and hey, I am NOT going through WWIII without a dishwasher, dammit.
|...to buy a dishwasher|
So I looked up what dishwashers cost now, and - even if I buy the cheap Best Buy house brand - I'll still be out about $200 anyway, once installation and haul away and a new protection plan are purchased. This is, to be honest, discouraging, but I guess I'll end up paying it. SOMEONE's got to keep this economy going, and it looks as though that someone? Is me.
After a month of handwashing dishes and trying to convince my kids that one of them should accompany me in the camper van to visit Uncle Matt in Florida, I set off on my own (with a promise from Anna that she'd stay at our house a few days to make sure Larry ate something other than roasted peanuts for dinner), and you know what? It was really fun! The camper is cozy to sleep in, and - since I can just lock myself in for the night - feels super safe, even when I am alone.
|Woke up to a marvelous South Carolina sunrise|
I haven't gone away in February since, oh, 1988, when I went to Florida for Navy basic training. So I knew intellectually that things are warmer down south this time of year, but somehow I was still pleasantly surprised to arrive in Georgia and see people wandering around in shorts and eating ice cream outdoors and generally enjoying life. IN FEBRUARY.
It's enough to make me a southerner, I'll tell ya.
I visited my brother's new house and marveled at the palm trees and exotic wildlife and went biking with him on the shore road that he swore had no traffic (but it did, PLENTY) to the park that he said was only 6 miles away (more like 10, I quit at 8.5 - I just wasn't used to the heat). I used the (blessedly car-free) sidewalk to bike back to our parking spot, a sidewalk populated by many geriatric pedestrians you couldn't just yell "PASSING LEFT" at without giving them a heart attack, so it was slow going, but I made it. Barely.
|Susie calls these "Dr. Seuss trees," and she's right|
And then I drove even farther south to visit some friends/neighbors who had moved to the Miami area a few years ago. The husband showed off his nifty solar system he'd had installed on the house, and I showed off my nifty camper van, and we were both suitably impressed by each other's new toy. They drove me to Key Biscayne, which was beautiful (do I have any good pictures? NO) and only reinforced my newfound notion that people down south really know how to live (at least, in February).
Also, their house was adorable and surrounded by the local wildlife:
|Peacocks, loose, in the street - it's insane|
All of this visiting and seeing new places was fun. The trip home? SO MUCH DRIVING. True, it wasn't any more driving than I had done on the way down, but somehow it seemed longer heading back. Maybe because I had no time left to stop somewhere else warm and fun. Instead, it was just a slow (and expensive - those gas prices!) slog back to the wintry north.
The most notable occurrence during the return trip was that I ended up in an RV park the first night, parked next to a miniature horse named Flash. I don't quite understand it. Georgia, I guess.
|Luckily, you don't smell manure when you're inside a camper van|
The second night I picked a nice quiet campground in North Carolina (with heated bathrooms, thanks be to God, because temps were dropping, and no livestock), and everything was perfect until the Boy Scout troop showed up. Still, I can't complain, as it was another comfy night in my camper van (have I mentioned my camper van?), with me all snuggled in with my heated mattress pad and my cozy blanket. Especially since there were those heated bathrooms...
|My cozy nest (forgot my pillow, though)|
I came home the next day to find the house still standing and Larry well fed, with leftovers in the fridge, so apparently I can get away with leaving home again. Which I might, since the dishwasher is still broken and prospective employers continue to not hire me (or even respond to my applications).
In an attempt to remedy the unemployment situation, I spent this past Sunday revamping my resume to remove any hint of my age, so now anyone reading it would guess I'm maybe 35. What's silly is that I FEEL younger whenever I look at it. I'm an honest-to-God millennial, now, albeit without the typical millennial problems, I guess.
|Larry and I aren't far from looking like this, actually|
So now I am busy reapplying to a bunch of jobs and planning my next getaway should I (and my millennial resume) remain unwanted. Not sure how I'll pay for that gas, though...