Life is an adventure with the partner is by my side. Take for example the long weekend that was. To kick it off in delight both of us took the Friday off and made it an even longer weekend. Our initial plan was to escape to the mountains Thursday evening and spend four days in quiet and peace. But as it’s usually with our plans, it didn’t quite pan out the way it was intended. Work and other miscellaneous tasks interfered; hence we ended up spending Thursday evening and Friday at home. I won’t complain though…this gave me enough time to muster some confidence to host a dinner at our place Friday night. I cooked for six—yes, six—and it turned out pretty well. It had to happen someday and I’m glad it happened sooner rather than later; I can’t keep running away from inviting people when everyone is generous enough to have us over time and again, right? Anyway, back to the point. The dinner that I cooked was well received and much appreciated. Oh wait, that’s not really the point,
but can we make it the point? here we go back to the real point…
So, off went Friday and on came Saturday. Only three more days before we had to dive into the routine again, and we had already spent half of the first day in bed. Way to go. But what’s more important than sleep? Nothing, if you were to ask me. No harm, no foul, then. We spent a good part of Saturday morning discussing where we wanted to go—the mountains or the beach? After long deliberation we decided we would head east to the shore. And I could already feel the oceans calling out to me.
We set out around noon with everything for the sojourn in place. Few hours into the drive the car made a beep and signaled to us that it was time to fill the gas tank soon. To give you some background, this is one thing that the partner and I argue about every time it happens. Our definitions of soon varies. While I am the kind who gets tense and pulls over at the next gas station on the way, the partner is someone who keeps giving assurances about how many gallons of gas there is in reserve and how far the car can go on that. Now, we had just crossed a small town and we were in no mood to turn back to the last gas station we’d passed. So, the partner, as usual, reassured that there was enough gas to take us into the next town for fill up and I, as always, became a little anxious and kept hoping to spot a gas station quickly to calm my nerves. And as luck would have it we traveled the next 30 miles with no gas station in sight.
And after those 30 miles, just like that, with no more gas to fuel it, the car started showing signs of giving up. No amount of pushing hard on the accelerator was any help. The lovely car that it is, it coughed up to the last drop in the effort to take us just a little bit further. We looked at each other in disbelief. You told me it would go at least 50 miles, I questioned. It does; it did when I drove from work to home back in Boston. I think it’s your driving that burned extra gas this time around, he retorted. All this while, the car kept moving, slowly but steadily. It even climbed up a bridge with much effort. And then went downhill seemingly easily, thanks to the slope. And the two of us, surprisingly, kept our cool and were actually laughing about the situation we found ourselves in. Right after the descent there was a parking lot and the partner asked me to pull in there. And so I did. I steered and the car took it upon itself to move with the little energy that it had left; that energy was just enough to pull into the parking spot at the far end and after that, the car wouldn’t move any further, not even an inch, and its whole system shut down…about 1.5 miles after the initial warning.
So, yes, we found ourselves gas-less in the middle of who-knows-where. The parking lot we pulled into turned out to be of the town’s visitor center. HA! We got out, ran in (as it was closing time) and inquired about the nearest gas station. We learned that it was just half a mile down the road. What a relief it was that we didn’t have to walk under the scorching sun for long. After freshening up, we set out to get fuel for our vehicle. And during that mile’s walk there were more smiles and more talks about how funny we found the whole thing and how it all had played out well enough to keep us amused but not make us agitated.
Like I said, life is an adventure when the partner is around. Had I found myself in the same situation alone, I am sure I would have lost it. I don’t think I would’ve been as calm to be able to think on my feet about what needed to be done next once the car started showing signs of shut down. But, all credit to the partner, I thoroughly enjoyed this whole experience instead of letting it get to me. The partner has a way of putting a positive spin to things that happens around him. He has a way of brimming with optimism even at the worst of conditions. He has a way of making me smile and teaching me how to take it all, the circumstances that I would otherwise find stressful, lightly. So, as I stood there filling gas in the car and saw him clicking photos of our savior gas station, I couldn’t help but feel grateful that he was around to share this memory with me.
The rest of the vacation? Well, that was fun too, with some exceptions.
We spent a little time Saturday evening and the whole of Sunday at the beach. I enjoyed soaking under the sun and then finding solace in the droplets of rain that trickled down from the marshmallow clouds, reading, writing and napping by the ocean, playing in the water, trying to but not really helping with the sand castle that the partner built, and so much more.
And Monday, we visited a lighthouse nearby—spotted from the top of the lighthouse the colliding of two ocean currents; noticed a bunch of dolphins playing in the sea, pretty close to the shore; and, stopped by at the museum there to learn about the lighthouse’s history, before heading back.
Now the exceptions: it was so extremely humid on Saturday that it became impossible for us to sleep in the tent. We tried for hours before we called it quits, drove the car up to the parking lot and slept in the car. While the humidity went down Sunday night, we had something else that kept us awake on and off—Chigger bites, as we learned later—kept us busy scratching all night long. There were so many bite marks on my body as I woke Monday, and the itching didn’t stop for days after. I still have the marks to show (hoping hard that they’ll fade with time), but thankfully, the need to itch has worn-out. I wouldn’t have been so glad to return home had it not been for the burning bites.
Because really, what’s not to love about ocean side breeze? Or about the sound of the waves singing you lullaby as you slept? Or the endless views of the horizon?