Last night after pulling into the train station about an hour late (which was fine with me, I was actually kind of hoping to see the end of the movie playing on the train) my husband is, amazingly, NOT at the station. A station that is barely manned by geriatric “volunteers” who are hoping to close up but not heartless enough to send a Mama and child out in the cold. Perhaps sensing my vulnerability, two very scruffy-looking young folks (he in a beard that sports all sorts of florae and fauna, I’m sure; she so be-layered I can’t make her sex out for five full minutes) approach me: “Um, are you getting a ride?” I am happy to help them out because I love, love that the world works this way. In a few minutes I make my way to a phone booth to call Ralph – beginning to worry for his safety – when he and Nels burst into the station. The first thing I notice is that Nels has bare feet. The next thing I notice is that we are all clamping together for hugs in various two- and three-somes and the few remaining people at the station are smiling at us.
Our hitchers sit on the floor in between our seats and the bench seat with the children, who are seated all the way in the back. And these guests pay for their ride by being held captive by 4 1/2 year old and 2 1/2 year old conversation (which is kind of like, a retarded robot talking to a cocaine-fueled monkey). Nels tells them all about “CHOCOLATE CAKE” (caps his). They discuss one of their favorite films and Sophie insists on correcting Nels’ pronunciation of “Iron Giant” (I can’t even phoenetically spell out how poorly they both pronounce it, which is why it’s funny). Ralph and I can’t even get a word in edgewise to ask where our ragamuffins hail from or what their original plan was in making way from the desolate Lacey station to downtown Oly. Of course all four adults are laughing, because the kids are simply hilarious and sweet. We drop the two yewts off one hundred very cold miles away from where they started and as we pull away we hear them give a cheer: “We did it! We made it!” and we smile.
I feel the same way; yesterday’s Portland exodus involved my sister’s car failing just a couple hours before we had to get to Union Station. After mulling over our options she accompanied me, Sophie, my bag, and my giant fucking carseat on the bus (very, very sweet of Jules) in the pouring rain. We were in the station only a few minutes before boarding; I gave her a hug, thanked her for her amazing hospitality, and wished her luck with her car.
I guess the prayer I sent up about safe travels worked. Or for my atheist friends, it was just a coincidence. Either way I’m relieved and thankful.
My children, reuinited after two days and nights, spent their sleep latched together in bed. Right now they are having a post-breakfast runaround upstairs, delighted to be in one another’s company.
And I’m glad to be back, too. My life with the kids is a pleasant one. After four days away I return to a house that needs some Mama-care. There is a suspicious amount of sugar-cereal and white bread in my cupboard, and two kinds of dairy gone bad in the fridge (including raw milk from Dungeness Valley Creamery – and at $8.39 / gallon that’s a very sad thing).
Now: off on my grocery-errands and laundry detail. It’s good to see Port Townsend again.