Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's Going By Too Damn Fast

It's already Wednesday night, and this week in the northern part of Lake Champlain is going by way too fast. Right now we're in Plattsburgh, NY, some 20-30 miles from the Canadian border. So far I've managed to jibe the boat and end up up with a bruise the size of my fist right where my ass meets my left hip. But I've also explored some places I've never been before, and thoroughly enjoyed those places so long as nobody touches my left butt cheek. But let's go back to Friday night so I can get you guys all caught up.

First there were 150 pears. On Tuesday night we checked on the pear trees and decided we needed to harvest before leaving on the trip. And we couldn't just pick all those pears and not do something with them because then we'd come home to 150 rotten pears that we may as well have just left on the tree. We put the coffee table up on the dining room table and placed the pears up there to ripen out of the reach of prying snouts. Nemo especially loves the fruit trees on our property, it's a smorgasbord of apples, pears, blueberries and peaches that occasionally fall to the ground. A trip out to do his business ends up in an unexpected snack. What's better than that? Let me tell you, there's nothing better than an unexpected snack. I should know. It's the promise of an unexpected snack that keeps me returning home when Todd's there. And he uses this to his advantage all the time.

We brewed up two batches of pear ginger jam on Friday night. Todd's a jam-master. Not the rapper DJ kind, but he rocks the Ball jars. I ground up the pears using the fruit-basherator attachment for our Bitchen-aid mixer. Todd boiled the jars, peeled some fresh ginger... then about 2 hours later we had 24 jars of jam.

Saturday morning we made two more batches, cleaned out and packed the truck and drove a leisurely ride to Rutland, VT. We spent the night at Todd's parents house while they were attending a high school reunion in Albany and we had the joint to ourselves. Let me tell you, it's pretty weird to be walking around naked in my in-laws house, but whatev.

Sunday morning we headed to the Rutland Airport, which is basically a shoebox with planes parked behind it, and picked up a rental car. The plan was to leave our truck at Chipman Point, then drive the rental to Burlington. So far we've spent God knows how much money on one way car rentals, and snuck the dogs into 3 out of the 4 rentals. (Just so you know, an old fitted bedsheet works wonders at keeping the dog hair off the upholstery.)

We arrived in Burlington and met up with Todd's old friend Brian for the sail from Shelburne (where we'd left the boat) to Burlington. Brian good naturedly helped Todd fix our carelessness with the dinghy. We'd forgotten to close the air vent on the dinghy's gas tank. The bottom of the dinghy filled with rain water, which then caused the tank to float and flip over to fill the tank with water and the bottom of the boat with gasoline. But when 2 badass Eagle Scouts put their heads together....

Blur... sail to Burlington, grab a mooring, head in to shore, drink lots of margs, eat enchiladas, then meet up with my old friend Laura. I haven't seen Laura since the night before she left our dorm in Australia. She was another American student living at Dunmore Lang College. She only did 1 semester in Oz, while I did the full year.

Laura came walking up to meet us at the Echo Center in Burlington. She looks exactly the same... her beautiful blonde curly hair, her cheerful voice, her boisterous laugh. It brought me back to when we were 20 and exploring our lives on campus just outside of Sydney. It's amazing how much can change in 16 years. We're both married. She has 5 year old twins. And the time I spent with her was way too short.

Monday morning we bombed around in Burlington, and then Tuesday was the trip across the lake and north to Plattsburgh. I learned a very important lesson about sailing with the wind from behind en route to Plattsburgh and how precarious that can be. Until I tell you about that, I'll be sitting on my right butt cheek.

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