The long way back

My lovely daughters came in to wake me up this morning to tell me they were letting me sleep in for my birthday, which was nice. We had a relaxed start to the day, drinking tea and coffee and eating cinnamon rolls. I opened my presents: A God In Ruins, the book that we inadvertently taught Destroyer the c-word from, a unicorn themed card game, and a new shirt and a bottle of gin. A good haul.

Eventually, we packed up the car and drove down to the border, where there was a sign indicated an hour’s delay. Well, that wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t like the three hour wait we had in the summer.
Four hours. Four hours of sitting in the car, inching forward once every five minutes, while the kids gradually grew more tetchy and bored, and I began to flap and rage. Perhaps that was the dull ache in my kidneys: apparently I had not gone to the toilet enough before we left, so after three hours of waiting I was hunched over in agony and then had to sprint up the road away from the car (stuck in a line) to relieve myself at the Duty Free. And this wait was after I drove all the way down the wrong lane and barged to the front of the queue, after not doing so last time and being stuck for even longer. So I suppose at least it wasn’t five hours.

Then we drove home, stopping at Trader Joe’s to buy groceries, then zooming the 100 miles back to Seattle, where I got La Serpiente to sleep and then went climbing.

I did about an hour, although after some poor woman fell off near me and broke her ankle I wasn’t in the most enthusiastic mood to carry on. At least she had friends with her to help her out – there wasn’t anything I could do to help so I made myself scarce and went home shortly after.

I still had to fill the hire car up to 3/4 full, and it was at 1/4 full, so I put 3 gallons in, which got it to 5/8ths. I drove back to Ballard, put another gallon in, and lo and behold in defiance of mathematics the tank was still 5/8ths full, so I gave up trying to fill it and drove it home. I’ll fill it up tomorrow, rather than drive from filling station to filling station in a massive sulk.

And now, to bed. This was an interesting way to become 43.

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