New Hampshire or Bust


We set the alarms for 5:55 Saturday morning and were out of the house by 6:40. The GPS was set, the gas tank was loaded, and the coffee was hot. The baby was a little cranky, but we plowed on. Conversation flowed as we headed to New Hampshire, and we pulled in the parking lot at the Murphy’s house at 9:03. And, by 9:40, Justin and Fran were on the road to Killington, Vermont for a day of skiing. We made it, and the weekend was not ruined.

Our bank account, on the other hand, was a different story. Just before Justin left to ski, Jack, our mechanic, called about the car. I’ve only met him once (I needed to meet the man who replaced our beloved George, who moved back to Lebanon; Jack told me I could call him George if it made me feel better). As I re-introduced myself over the phone, Jack reassured me that he knew exactly who I was and that he appreciated the nice note I left for him. I’ve learned that it is incredible important to make a personal connection with ANYONE who helps make your life easier. It’s also imperative to be polite, as anything that goes wrong in my life is not their fault.

But, back to the conversation with Jack. He found that the problem was indeed the battery of the car, and he had really hoped that he’d be able to make my day with a relatively easy fix. Unfortunately, that was not meant to be. It turns out that the battery had been bad for quite a while. Therefore, the alternator was working over time to charge the battery. And, you guessed it, the alternator was shot. Instead of charging 14V, the highest Jack could get it to charge was 10V. He told me that he could just replace the battery, but that would be dead within six months if I didn’t replace the alternator as well. The tab? A mere $658. $221 for the battery. $329 for the alternator. $100 for the labor. And a little for the government. Great.

Justin took the news in stride. After all, we need the car to be working, and one $658 payment is a lot less expensive than 48 $350 car payments. So, my buddy Jack got to work on the car and had it ready in three hours.

After getting the blow about our car, I headed to my friend Abby’s house. She has a seven-month-old little boy, James, and we figured it was time for Robbie to show him the ropes of being a little boy. Robbie definitely showed James how it was done. I’ll be honest; I was concerned that Robbie would be really rough with James. He’s bitten other kids (he even drew blood once…) and pulled hair frequently. But he was so gently with James! He got very excited about the “bay-bee”, giving him frequent hugs and kisses. Robbie even helped James figure out crawling! OK, I’m not really sure about that one. But, James did crawl for the first time. Maybe it was all the running around Robbie was doing. Maybe it was watching Robbie crawl between furniture and under tables. Whatever it was, it worked. James officially crawled for the first time yesterday!

Fortunately, Abby and Jamie (her husband) have their choice of babysitters, since they live on Dartmouth’s campus. We were able to find a sitter last night and enjoy a night out with other adults. Hillary, Fran, Abby, Jamie, Justin and I went out to dinner and didn’t worry about crying or feeding anyone or entertaining anyone. We actually had conversations! We did something interesting at dinner; we made a rule that no one could sit next to a spouse. The girls sat on one side of the table, the boys on the other. It was really nice to get to talk to other people about topics you might not normally discuss. Justin and Abby talked about their love of talk radio and being the voice of descent in political discussions. Hillary and Jamie talked about reality TV. Fran and I reminisced about elementary school (we’ve known each other since first grade!).

This morning, Robbie had us all up at 5:30. That’s the bad part about sharing a room with a kid while you’re visiting people. He had good reason to be up, though. He was soaked! His onesie was wet up to his chin. His footies were wet. His blankets were wet. Probably the 27 bottles of milk he had over the day… Right now, he won’t drink anything that isn’t “nait nait.” In fact, he’ll hand it back to me, reminding me that he wants milk. Great…

When it was actually a descent time to wake up, Robbie took a bath with the company of Hillary and Fran’s youngest beagle, Cooper. Well, not actually with him. Cooper was on the outside of the tub, licking Robbie’s face. The two of them had a big time playing together after the bath. Cooper really wanted to help Robbie get dressed… He proved to be more of a hindrance.

I love having friends to go visit, particularly friends who live less than a mile from each other! It’s even better when everyone gets along (it can be stressful combining different worlds). I’m finding that, as I get older, I’m valuing my friendships more. My friend Jill has become one of my best friends. I call her a few times a week on my way home from work, and I hate when a week goes by without talking to her. She is my sanity. Don’t get me wrong, she’s always been a good friend. But we’d go awhile without catching up. Something changed when we had kids; we needed other people who were in the same boat. Hillary and I were friends in high school, but we never really hung out outside of school. We lost touch for a few years. And now? She’s one of my favorite people to be with. I have a blast with her and never run out of things to talk about. Abby is calm and introspective and makes me think about things in a different light.

I mention them just to name a few. There are so many more people I’ve gotten back in contact with after years of not seeing them (thanks, Facebook!). I guess people come into and go out of your life for a reason. It’s just a really great feeling when they come back and you can fully appreciate them for who they are.

Sorry for the uber long post. Guess I just had a lot to catch you up on after 45 hours of not blogging!


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