Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dashing Into Surprises

I've always enjoyed a good Christmas surprise. With this years "dash" for a white Christmas for Blowfish we've gotten quite a few! (see previous post)

First off, Blowfish was leashing up the pups to take them on their own little Christmas vacation when the kennel fella called to say....don't come he wouldn't be there. This fella is a friend of Blowfish's. He isn't one of those doggy spa people where your pups come back smelling like a streetwalker with polished toenails and hair bows. Nope. This fella breeds and trains hunting dogs for himself and some serious huntsmen. He's been off and won the National dog trials a few times and is a serious dog person.

Our dogs don't spend anytime in crates there ..... his facility has really nice dog runs with real houses and acres of "exercising" grounds where he teaches his dogs their trade. He likes our little spanielly pup so he gets to go out and work with the big dogs. Mermaid's hound is skit headed and can't be trusted but he takes her out to the work sessions too but on a leash and reminds her dawgs is suppose to have manners. He doesn't usually "board" dogs for folks but he does this for our dogs as a friendship to Blowfish.

Obviously this phone call thru the brakes on the dashing away plans. We hate the idea of the crate places and who knows at this late date if there was any room at the inns so to speak. So I asked Blowfish did he mention we were bout ready to dash and when would he be there? Nope. He didn't ask. So five minutes of persuading later he called the Dogman back and asked about time frames. Dogman good naturedly said...oh yeah you folks are getting on the road aren't you....well go on and just leave the pups confined and I'll come by and fetch 'em when this appointment is finished.

Wow! dash away and hope he remembers to come get the four legged family members? The same fella who just called to say he forgot he had an appointment and don't bring the pups out? Blowfish was sure it would be fine. It is. But we were three anxious states away before he called to say he had the pups and thanks for the wines.

The dashing itself went pretty smooth, no horror traffic, no holiday nerves fussing us up the road. Pretty easy really...until the 6th hour. Mermaid called to say there was some great clog on the interstate but maybe it wouldn't be too bad. We asked directions for alternative paths to get there in case the clog required exiting the interstate early. Nope, seems like it was another surprise. Mother nature was showering the area with slushies and roads were hazardous. So far it was just rain in our locale but apparently we were headed for the rough stuff soon. As mercy would have it, we exited where planned and the cars immediately behind us stopped to become part of a "clog" that stretched for 18 miles in both directions. As we exitied and turned left to cross over the interstate we felt really blessed cause the sherrifs cars were just getting into position to shut the section of interstate which had not been salted or sanded and was rapidly changing from slushies to sheets of ice skewing and scattering semis and cars every which way.

I cannot overstate how grateful I am to not be in one of those skewed and scattered vehicles.

So while we were gleefully counting our blessings and telling Mermaid the news we drove slap into slushy world and bout ended up in a Ram's muffler package. Wow! Blessed again, cause it was as close as you can get without contact. We were also noticing the continuous wailing of multiple sirens as we were on the last stretch of the dash and coming into the holiday shopping traffic of a good sized city. Lots of those sirens. The "authorities" were closing off those slushy turning to sheet ice streets in every direction. No salt on the roads and no first responders available, they were all out at the interstate clog. Declared emergency condiditons said the radio.

So we were kind of like the pups...where to now? It would not be possible to actually get to the hotel with the Christmas tree pond, the heavenly spa and the Library. We recalled a place where we had stayed once before and figured it wasnt too far away from our current location. We got there and yep they had rooms and we checked on in. Good thing too because all those folks who came swarming in from the closed interstate had maxxed out the interstate stradling chains and were now coming into the city determined not to sleep in their frozen cars. Before we finished getting the luggage on the cart there was a queue at the desk vying for rooms.

It isn't bad. We have a nice suite @ a Doubletree. A little kitchen area, a giant jetted tub, nice beds, 2 flat screen tvs, on board nintendo in the sitting room, etc. They even give you nice warm cookies when you check in. Polite staff, nice Christmas decorations.... really just fine.

Out the window , there is no "white" in this Christmas cause slushy world is mostly nasty gray ice and when those 30mph winds throw some of that on your bare face, well, it will sure get your attention. I know how Paco feels when he's up to the goods in snow.

While I was on the phone with the original destination seeking to be credited for the prepaid in full to get the discount spa-library-resort hotel.....

Mermaid came rushing thru the suite door eyes all aglow, heart shining with joy guaranteeing bliss for Christmas!

Peace be with you all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dashing Away

When I was a mere tadpole my Mother would refer to a man as "dashing" so I first learned this word as a synonym of "handsome". Once I started school and started learning holiday lyrics like "dashing thru the snow", I came to understand "dashing" could mean other things. Now, this very Christmas, I have yet another experience with the word "dashing"; it means you have too much to do in too little time!

I don't mention this too often but the truth is, Blowfish is a yankee.

Last year he got a hankering for a "white" Christmas . (I NEVER in my entire life wanted a white Christmas, I like mine green and warm....preferably swimming weather). So last year we made plans and reservations to go up to Mermaid's where snowy Christmases are a standard. Thing is we didn't go cause Blowfish was a guest up at the Cardiac ICU. Mermaid came rushing down the mountains from afar to be with her Daddyfish and we found we could fa-la-la-la-la Christmas spirit into most everbody on that unit. It was a fine Christmas and we joked with Blowfish he got his "White " Christmas wish.... just as a sea of medical personnel in their crisp whites.

We were back up there in the CICU in March, July and just here lately the week before Thanksgiving. So you can imagine my surprise when Blowfish started pushing the idea of a "white" Christmas for this year. Really, has he never heard the saying, " be careful what you wish for you might get it!"? First he mentioned it, I though it was those medicines talking. But nope, it was the real Blowfish saying what if he only had one Christmas left? What if he never again got to experience a white Christmas? Fine with me, but Blowfish was all puffed out about it.

Well, I could understand that so straight away I offered to fetch in a damn truckload of snowy white sugar sand from Siesta Key. I even offered to fetch a sled so he could ride down the driveway on it as much as he wanted but none of that cleverness or generosity was good enough for that yankeefish.

Blowfish was adamant about going to Mermaids for Christmas.

Now understand, Mermaid doesn't actually have a Pond. She's young, not yet even a quarter of a century old and Ponds are right pricey in her location so we can't actually " go to Mermaids" like Blowfish was thinking. No, we can go to Mermaid's city and spend Christmas in a hotel and travel around in the fierce cold visiting her a bit each day. Oh joy!

I pointed out to Blowfish there were a lot of reasons to NOT DO THIS!!!!!!

First off...did he remember what happened the last time he wished for a white Christmas? Did he realize his docs would not be giving up their family time to come with us ? Did he realize we did not have any frozen pond attire? Did he accept the reality that we would not be experiencing Christmas morning next to a nice warm fireplace with a beautiful tree with a great cup of tea in our pajamas!?
Did he understand Mermaid has housemates that might not wish to have our entire family making merry at their place before noon? Did he remember I have a business to run in a failing economy and that I just should not risk being unavailable to my in-progress projects? Did he remember he has very, very low opinions of holiday meals in restaurants? Did he give thought to the sheer damn logistics of getting us there with all the Christmas?

Blowfish was not to be deterred as his response was,
"You can do it sweetheart".
Not, "we" can do it.
"Sweetheart" can do it.
"It?" I questioned
" Sure," replied Blowfish, " we'll have Christmas dinner at Mermaids and we'll tell her to invite all her friends for a Christmas afternoon open house for football and a real Southern Christmas dinner." I mentioned Mermaid , or her housemates, might not be on that same page. Blowfish mentioned he had already mentioned to Mermaid to mention it to her friends.

There is entirely too much mentioning at this pond!

Reckoning I was out voted I sweetly offered to make the reservations.
We will be staying in a beautiful hotel , in a suite overlooking a pond in the middle of which is a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree. "We" have requested tea in our suite ... not just coffee, and real cream and real sugar...none of the fake stuff. Our hotel has a beautiful paneled Library with floor to ceiling stocked bookcases, a ginormous fireplace and tasteful Christmas decorations. I have reserved it for Christmas morning for the Fishys to open their presents. The hotel staff will bring the Christmas breakfast to the Library. The hotel website says they have a state of the art spa on-site with a Sweedish sauna. I have reserved that too for regualr defrosting sessions. Blowfish will be happy with the "White" in his Christmas, I will be happy to sit in the warm Library, next to the Christmas tree, sipping my tea and waving ta-ta to the fools dashing thru the snow.

Which,( you probably noticed), gets me back to "dashing" through my list with no time to check it twice! I have dashed ahead of all my projects and done my best to keep things smooth. I have dashed along and gotten all the gifts for scattered loves acquired, wrapped and shipped. I have dashed thru decking the Pond for Christmas and I have dashed thru laundry and packing and last minute baking. Tomorrow morning we will take the Pond dawgs to their hotel, drop off remembrances to a few favorite locals and then commence our 6 hour dash away haul to Mermaids.

Merry Christmas!