Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tale of a Mom road trip

Years ago, three moms took a road trip together sans children. The cast of characters were Jo, Amy and me. Jo is from Nova Scotia and was visiting me in Boston. Amy lives in the next town and is a long time friend. We all met on the 'net before there was a web, and I'd already vacationed with my kids in Nova Scotia twice.

Amy and her husband own a share of an old farmhouse in Southern Vermont. The plan was to drive up there, bring as much fabulous gourmet food and drink as we could manage, and eat and drink ourselves into several stupors before ending the trip with a shopping excursion to the Manchester Outlet Stores.

The drive up to Vermont was uneventful except for the speeding ticket I got on the Mass Pike heading towards I91. I was ticked, as I don't usually speed (much) and we were in a fricking minivan, for heaven's sake. Who gives minivans tickets for speeding. The Mass State Piggies, that's who.

Once we dropped off my kids at my brother's house in Western Mass, we were game for anything. We arrived in Vermont, prepared an amazing dinner with smoked fish Jo brought from Canada, and treats we picked up in Boston. Fully sated with food and drink, we sat around and gossiped and laughed our asses off.

Amy's house has no television and very little in the way of amenities besides a HUGE country kitchen, wrap around porches, land galore, and a nice big river that runs through the property with a bit of a swimming hole right down the hill. So naturally we spent a lot of time in the swimming hole, which was icy cold and surrounded by the most slippery rocks known to mankind.

The second day we were there, I unfortunately got some kid of a mean stomach bug. Like the kind where everything was pouring out of every orifice, the fever was high, and I was rendered useless for anything other than an occasional moan. That afternoon the sky turned very dark, and a huge storm blew in. It was the kind of storm with so much lightening and thunder that it seemed like a show in a planetarium. Crashing winds and huge booms went on for a bit, and then the electricity shut off.

Now one would think that a country home in the woods of Vermont would have some kind of contingency for an electrical outage. Not this house. Owned by three Jewish couples, planning for a big storm was way down on their list of things to have in the country home. Way behind board games, books, and great cooking tools. Not only did we lose electricity, the entire region lost electricity. For about a hundred miles in any direction, we were all in the dark.

Our most immediate need was ice, for we had valuable food in the fridge. But for me, there was another, even more pressing need. You see, in this house the pump ran on electricity. The water pump. The one that flushed the toilets. Remember that flu I had? Um, yeah. But then something else happened. Jo got her period and our need for water became even more pressing. She's got cramps and I'm dying and poor Amy is the only one still on her feet. She kept walking down to the river with a bucket and filling it up so we could 'flush' a toilet, but the truth is, it didn't work all that well.

We did find ice for the fridge, moved all the food from the fridge to the freezer so it wouldn't spoil, and found enough flashlights, oil lamps, and candles to light the house at night. But the truth is, it wasn't all that fun because we all felt like crap after a while.

So we went home. We shut up the house, turned off everything, packed the car, threw away everything that might spoil in the fridge and took it to the dump, and then headed for home. Listening to the radio on the drive to pick up the kids, we heard that the power was restored about an hour after we left.

Honestly, I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life as hearing that the power was back on.

That was the most disasterous trip I've had in a long time, but it ended up being one of my most favorite memories. Every time I return to the house in Vermont, I think about how funny it all was in hindsight. And what has been one of the oddest Mom vacations I've had has morphed into our family's favorite place to go and chill out for a long weekend. But I always pack flashlights and candles when we go.

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Blogger Karen Sugarpants said...

SO this is the trip you twittered about! You poor things! I'm glad it's still a happy memory despite the storms outside, in your belly and in your friend's uterus!

27/3/08 6:41 AM  
Blogger Daisy said...

It's part of Murphy's law, that the power will go on after you give up.
My family is headed to Nova Scotia in June, to vacation and continue some of Husband's family history research! Believe it or not, we made sure the cottage we'r renting has wi-fi.

27/3/08 2:54 PM  
Blogger KLee said...

This sounds great! I'll have to try this with my leftover strawberries! Thanks for the idea...

27/3/08 6:00 PM  

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