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October 13, 2000
two years ago

Packing Time

The morning was about as tightly packed as we could make it, and completely planned from the back end to the front because our plane leaves at 11:30, so everything has to happen before that. All the everything that was included waking up, a shower, getting breakfast at the hotel (okay, there are moments when I really want to do what they do, i.e. have yogurt, fruit, cereal of various sorts, toaster French Toast and waffles, and all the juice I can drink and no clean up), getting Fezzik from the vet's, delivering him where he as staying for the weekend, getting into the house to let it air out a little while we swapped stuff we didn't need anymore for the things we needed for the trip, and making it to the airport and actually finding parking before going in.

Oof.

It mostly went like clockwork. John had the start times for everything when it had to get started and we mostly stuck with it all. Dr. Biller was there when we got Fezzik, and she talked with us for a while about what to look out for and what she was worried about. Fezzik wasn't looking very good, still. He was still panting pretty hard and very bright eyed and he lost his hind legs while just waiting for us to get the bill paid and then again on the ways out; but Dr. Biller said that she liked to think that his nodes were getting smaller. She had checked out his kidneys and they looked good, so it looked like the constant need to pee was more a side affect of one of his chemo drugs than anything. I was worried to note that he wasn't looking as much better as he had been two weeks ago, when the chemo seemed to make him entirely better just in the time it took for him to take it. We piled him in the back of the truck as he was wobbling so badly, and forgot to let him pee on the lawn outside the office, something I regretted as we zoomed back towards Erie.

It was about a forty minute drive. Fezzik was so crowded by all the things in the back of the truck, he sat for the whole trip with his chin on his bed, getting petted by me. He was looking a bit wild eyed and panting pretty hard; but he seemed, of all things, cheerful. He seemed really happy, really pressed physically, and kinda oddly frantic in a physical sense but not an emotional sense. I have no idea if that makes any sense whatsoever; but that's kinda how I saw him. I proved to myself that I was pregnant and started just crying and crying hard, mostly 'cause it seemed obvious to me that Fezzik was in physical distress, but completely cheerful about it.

When we got him to the Goodell's, he stumbled his way to the lawn and peed like crazy. He actually walked far more gracefully after relieving himself. Which took away some of my fears. He was panting really heavily, and I actually cleaned out, filled, and then put the water bucket right under his nose so that he could drink. By the time we settled all his stuff and got a long note to Joan written, he had lain down on the cool concrete and looked far more comfortable and far, far less wild eyed and crazy. In fact, he looked pretty content and willing to just lie there while Molly tried to get him to play. He looked enough better that I could actually leave without too much misgivings.

We'd call while we were away to see how he was doing. And Dr. Biller said that we could take him in if he got worse, especially if his breathing got worse. It sounded pretty bad, now, but not that much worse than even two evenings ago, so it really was all relative.

The house stank with the finishing compounds. My eyes watered when we first opened things up. John waded in and did stuff, while I hung around outside, not wanting to breath the stuff. I carried stuff from the car to the house, and John did a lot of putting away until he discovered that parts of the floor had lumpy bits from the finish beading or something. So he called the flooring guys, said he'd mark the spots and would like it if they'd come and fix them while we were away. So he started marking things with the blue masking tape, and there turned out to be a lot of rough spots. With all the windows and doors open things aired out pretty well, so I was finally able to go in, but I didn't want to linger too long. I got a few of the rough spots as well, but mostly put away the things that had to go in the refrigerator, and left most everything else to be unpacked when we came back and the fumes were less noxious.

By the time we got out of there, I had a mild headache, as much from the fumes as from being exhausted from the week. We were also about fifteen minutes off schedule, so raced for the airport. Luckily there was nearly no traffic, so we were back on our schedule when we pulled into the economy parking lot. The only problem was that the lot hadn't known to accommodate our plans and was completely and totally packed. We finally found a parallel parking space right at one of the shuttle pickups and we had our usual luck with shuttles, as in one came by just as we were getting out of the car. We grabbed stuff, locked up and hopped onto the shuttle and went a few times around the lot before we finally headed in.

Last night, the United web site had told us which gate our flight would be at, so we went directly there. We were then told that our flight had been cancelled and we were flying on a Frontier flight that was leaving half an hour later, which wasn't a bad deal, all in all. It was easy to reach John's Mom and Dad on the celphone to tell them about the mild delay and we weren't going to have to fly United, which suited us just fine. When we got to the Frontier gate, they assigned us seats in row 5, which was right near the front of the plane, so we got an even better deal than we'd thought. Not first class, but we'd be able to be the first out, which was very nice.

I slept for just about the entire flight. I woke up for drinks and warm, soft pretzel, as I was, as always, a bit dehydrated by the flight, but for most of the rest of it I just napped deeply. It really helped, too, because by the time John's parents found us out in the passenger pickup area, my first inclination wasn't to ask them if I could nap as soon as I got to their house.

Isabel did do me the great good favor of offering me turkey vegetable soup with crackers, though and John and I enjoyed that a very great deal. We mostly just hung out in the kitchen and everyone caught everyone else up on all the news and things that have happened. Isabel took me down into the basement and pulled out a few things she'd saved from when John was a baby. His baptismal clothing, a few baby blankets, and a cute little bright red robe of warm fleece material. They were all still usable, with a good washing, and it was kinda fun to think of the baby using things John had used as a baby.

Isabel put together a lasagna for tonight, and it went into the oven to bake while we talked and talked and talked. We got to see the start of the Mariner's game, and then David showed up, as planned. Isabel asked me to make an herbal olive oil, so I chopped fresh parsley and basil and rubbed in dry oregano and finally minced garlic and let it sit for a while before we ate. It was good and fragrant by the time we ate.

Family dinner. Lots of good food, lots of conversation, and it ended up being a celebration of my birthday, as these folks hadn't had a chance to, yet. I got a gift certificate for Penzey's! Yay! Isabel laughed and said that the box wasn't really for me, but was actually for the baby, and in it were a few new baby clothes and a light blanket, which were all very neat and nice and completely machine washable. Yay! More things for the baby! They also served me a blueberry pie for my birthday dessert and on it were a number of candles and empty candle holders. George said that the full ones were ones and the empties were zeros, and I had to laugh, he'd learned binary and used it to spell out my age in candles and no-candles! John leaned over and muttered to me, "We're related to nerds!" I had to laugh.

Plenty to giggles about. Dinner was excellent and filling. David had a cold so left a little earlier than usual to make the long ride home, and we gratefully drifted down into the basement, into the little suite of bed and shower and bathroom and happily fell into a very deep sleep.

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