“At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey.”
– Lemony Snicket, 'A Series of Unfortunate Events'
Sunday September 29
Wow…what a great sleep. Call me crazy but I am really beginning to love sleeping on the floor.
Fully rested now, it's time to prepare for a busy day. We have a birthday party to attend, shocks to replace, dinner and a sleepover at Ellen's later. Oh…and a home to find.
First things first.
Brian is making quiche for the party and Renee is making these fantastic looking mini-pita dippers for hummus. Wendy pitches in…and I watch…I'm a better cleaner than cooker anyway (d'ya think? there's a reason Wendle calls you a kitchen-tard)
If you remember, Chris' house is on Redrooffs Road out past Colin's place. When he worked on the Civic last time, we walked back to Colin's. Brian and Renee's house is much further away and, as I mentioned, we have a birthday party to attend. Wendle asks Chris if he'll drive me back after I drop off the car and he says sure. Beauteous!
Brian is looking for a great mechanic and we have highly recommended Chris…Wendy asks him to come up to the party later to meet Brian.
Guests begin arriving at 11.00am. The first to show are Louise (Renee and Daniel's mom), her partner Jim and Capt. Radar, a dachshund mix (a wiener dog). Jim was a fisherman who now lives on his boat and cruises the coast in the summer. Capt. Radar is his first mate
Next to arrive is Adelie…the birthday girl and her grampa, J.J.
Just as everyone is settling down, I have to leave for Chris' place. I head out, descend the many stairs and get an almighty and unwanted surprise…last night's big pile of dirt (the one i scraped with the car) turns out to be a gigantic, black, half buried boulder.
I check the car in the sunlight…double Crap…there's a huge gouge along the bottom of the right rocker panel. That is not good. (@#*k)
Well, it is as it is…nothing I can do now. (double @#*k!)
I arrive at Chris' place and knock on the door. Chris comes out, ready to go. We hop into the car and I look in the mirrors…hmmm…his driveway is narrow, twisty and also has large boulders alongside of it. I don't see anywhere that I can turn around…I ask Chris, “So, how do we get out of here?”
“Just back up”, says Chris.
I've been in much tighter spots
I start to back up.
One thing about the Civic, the driver's compartment is really low and it's very difficult to gauge where the edges of the car are. It's usually just annoying…today it's lethal.
Ahh triple @#*k!!!
We get out and check…sure enough, I've now scraped the bottom of the left side rocker panel (at least they match).
I haven't had a freakin accident since I was a kid…Not a one! Now I've had two within twelve hours.
Nothing to be done about this right now…although Chris believes it will cost about $1,800 to fix the damage…might as well head back to the birthday party.
Chris is astounded by the steepness of the hill leading up to Brian and Renee's. He's concerned about driving the Civic back down (don't worry about it Chris, the damage is already done). I'm sure he'll be fine. I remind him to come up to the house when he returns so he can meet all of the great people.
Daniel (J.J.'s son, Renee's brother and Adelie's uncle) has just arrived for the party. We head up the stairs together. It's good to see him again. He tells me that we should go fishing again as the Coho are jumping now. That would be cool. He also tells me that Wendle and I should get a jeep. He says there are places out here you can't get to without four wheel drive…plus, the car is higher off the ground (a little late for the Civic, but great advice)
The birthday party is very enjoyable. The food is amazing; Brian's quiche is the best I've ever had and the little toasted pitas (with olive oil and some kind of herb mixture baked into them) are crunchy and super tasty. And there's cake! It's chocolatey goodness won't fix the Civic…but it sure does make one feel better about it all
Meanwhile, Derek (the young teacher we met at Up The Creek) e-mails Wendy to say that he looked at the apartment we recommended yesterday and is moving in today. That is wonderful news. That should be a great fit for Derek and Dave & Jeanette. Fantastic! Derek also sends along a tip on a place for Wendy and I…and it belongs to a friend of Colin's whom we've met and liked a lot, Herschel (August 25 Post). We will definitely check it out.
Around 1.30pm, Chris texts to say that the car is ready…he's on his way over. Wendle reminds him again to come up for a visit.
Chris enters the house, is greeted by all and then starts talking cars with Brian, who tells him about his VW Vanagon Westfalia.
It's a lot of fun to watch people connect…and these two guys are super stoked about vanagons. Finally Brian says, “Do you want to see it?”
Chris says, “Sure!” and he, Brian and Wendle head out to see the car.
I have a big grin on my face…which everyone around the table notices. I explain that there is not much I enjoy more than hooking people up. I also say that we have met so many amazing people on the coast and we have wanted very much to get everyone together so they can meet each other.
Everybody seems to think that would be a great idea.
Renee says, “We can do it here. A soirée”
Oh Renee, that's awesome, “you give us a date and time and we'll get the word out to everyone.”
The coolest thing is that everyone who reads the blog will already kind of know everyone else because we've written about them. How sweet is that. What a great way to connect new friends
So…you're all invited to a soirée at Brian and Renee's on a date still to be determined (so keep your calendars free).
Brian and Wendle come back into the house a while later. Brian says that Chris really knows his stuff and that since Chris and his dad (the great body man) have worked on Westfalias before, he will be able to do all the work Brian needs. He is thrilled.
Wendy shows me an e-mail from Alun. He has heard from Martin and asks if we'd like to see the apartment that he and his wife Dana are renting.
Wendy also mentions what Chris has told her…it's unlikely that our insurance will be affected by us repairing the Civic through them but if they are, Chris' dad can probably do it at a price we can afford (gawd, i love this guy)
It's getting later in the afternoon and we have to leave the party to drive to Gibsons for dinner at Ellen and Don's. We say goodbye to all and thank everyone profusely for making us feel like part of their family. Wendy looks around for her jacket…hmmm…where is that thing?
Oh, there it is.
Sorry Capt. Radar
We'll continue our tale tomorrow…after we've had a chance to shake the dog hairs out of Wendy's coat.
Moose and Wendle