09 October 2011

Trip Report: Arkansas Fall Gather

22 Sep 2011
Day 1:  Still getting things ready to go.

I should have been packed and gone the day before.  But I was waiting.

At the end of June, I saw the post about the Fall Gather.  I'd wanted to go to Alaska this year but that didn't happen so I was hoping I could get as many trips in this summer since TheMomma was doing so much better.  So well, in fact, that she could stay home by herself if she chose.  We were both excited about this new turn in her health.

I told her about the Arkansas Trip and how nice the folk I'd met at the Rally were.  Many of them were planning on attending this gather.  Without hesitation she said I should go and it would be the perfect time for her to go spend time with her Sister.  This time successfully, unlike back in May when she got really sick and we had to go get her and take her to the hospital.

She and I spent Mother's day in the emergency room and a few weeks later she was back there.  That's when we discovered she was over medicated.  Once off of most of those meds, she got drastically better!  I didn't hesitate in my thinking either, I would join the group in Arkansas.  I just didn't know how or when I would leave.  With TheMomma feeling so much better, I was thinking about taking 10 days to get there and back.

That would leave meaning the week after I got back from the planned weekend with Cruzman but it seemed to be okay.  Well regular followers of this blog know what happened.  TheMomma didn't live past August!  Even today it seems incredible that she's not downstairs right now watching Jerseylicisous.

Suddenly everything looked different.  The world seems blander.  My life seems shallow without her there to add depth and remind me of the things Mothers remind you of.  I was just going through the motions.  I did (am doing) what's expected.  Went Camping with Cruzman not even realizing that it was the same weekend as the Women's Sportbike Rally.  Not really caring either.

My brother insisted that I not cancel the trip.  He said I should take the Kia and tow the bike.  There's one problem with that:  he uses it to commute to work.  He has a motorcycle.  I call her Big Girl.  She's a Kawasaki KZ1000P and she's pretty tired.  She's got  oil seeping out of the engine cases.  She needs to spend some quality time with the mechanic to get that fixed.

Besides that, My brother doesn't have the passion for motorcycling that I do.  I could just imagine the frowns in his face as he prepared to go to work knowing he told me to take the Kia (Still My Sister's Kia to me even though she died back in 2006).  I considered it but decided instead to go ahead and get a car like my mother and I had discussed before she died.

He could have the Kia.  It has too many memories for me to keep it.  It needed brakes and tires and and and....  So instead of spending the time since Camping with Cruzman getting ready to go to Arkansas (like inspecting the rear bearings to find out how bad bad was), I was shopping for a car.

I took my big brother's advice and switched from looking at older SUVs to spec shopping for something newer, that got good gas mileage, that was like the Kia but not the Kia.  Hell, not a Kia.  To me those will always be My Sister's cars.

Friday before the Wednesday I was thinking to leave, I found the car I wanted.  Rather than waiting until after I got back from Arkansas, I thought it'd be the perfect way for me to get to know my new to me car.

In the mean time, I took delivery of a new gps.  Cruzman kept telling me that I needed to get a more reliable system, even to the point of insisting I take one of his with me when I went to Alaska if I hadn't bought one for the trip (when I was planning that trip).  So when geeks.com had their sale, I bought one for under $50.

I may not have mentioned it but My brother and I are still in shock about TheMomma's sudden death.  Even a month later we were behaving as if we were walking barefoot in the sand, just struggling to get one foot in front of the other.  Something that should have only taken a day or so took longer.

But it finally happened.  I'd given up the idea of Riding Baby to Arkansas for putting him in my "red wagon" and pulling him behind my car.  I picked this up on the day I should have been on the road for Eureka Springs:
My new to me 2010 Chevrolet HHR
By the time I got done there, it was too late to get the hitch installed so that I could leave on Friday morning.  Instead, I went home and got the "red wagon" ready to take Baby to Arkansas then Packed so I could leave as soon as the hitch was installed.  I was hoping I'd be able to leave before noon.
My sales lady was awesome and did everything she could to get me out of there as fast as possible.  Her name is Claudia Cyrus and she works at Nash Chevrolet.  When you go there, tell her I sent you!

So the garage had a new look, Dette's Kia was now relegated to living outside while the HHR moved in.

I was trying to be happy about it
but honestly I didn't feel anything.  With my plan shot, I didn't even feel like going to Arkansas any more.  However I had a room mate that I didn't wan't to disappoint and who I was looking forward to meeting.  Thepopularjock and I had been exchanging PMs and such for the last few months, I already felt like we were friends even though I couldn't remember his name.

So I concentrated on getting in the right frame of mind.  I was going to do everything I could to get there.  I'd already pm'd Thepopularjock to let him know I wouldn't be leaving when I said I would.  Turns out, he didn't leave when he planned on leaving either!
I was relieved as I set about getting ready for a fast departure Friday morning.

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer
The last thing needed to make the car mine:  Oscar's watchful presence.

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