Thursday, October 11, 2007

Belated Birthday Adventure

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago while my in-laws were in town. They offered to watch the kids while hubby and I went out for dinner, but instead, because it was a gorgeous early autumn day (and you have to take advantage of those, especially here in the Frozen North), we decided to all go Childs Glacier for a picnic (pics forthcoming--I'm having sizing issues!).

The glacier wasn't calving as actively as it did when we were last there, but there were still plenty of cracklings and splashes to catch our attention. It was great. You can't beat grilled hamburgers (from my father-in-law's ranch) and hot dogs, super sweet fresh pineapple, and a loving family to make the best birthday bash.

After we ate and the bugs started coming out in force, we decided to head home. It's a 45 minute or so trip on a gravel road and the kids had school the next day. In the parking lot, the tire on our minivan was low, so hubby filled it and we stopped along the way to refill it with some of that Fix-a-Flat stuff in a can. That worked for about 12 miles. When we stopped again, it was decided that the tire was too badly damaged to be Fix-a-Flat-ted. Time to break out the spare. This was the first time since buying the vehicle over 10 years ago that we've had a flat. No, seriously. So the spare has never been needed. Our first task: finding the spare.

I thought it was on the inside, behind the back seat and under the carpet. Nope, just a little plastic nut. The actual spare was under the car, attached to the vehicle by some bizarre mechanism that required lowering it down on a thin cable by turning the nut above it, pulling the tire out from under the car, tilting it to get the brace thingy through the center of the tire's rim, then rewinding the cable so it wouldn't drag on the road. Luckily it was a gorgeous day because had we been trying to do this if it were rainy or snowy I think my hubby would have preferred to walk the 20 miles back to town. What a stupid mechanism!

But hubby and F-I-L valiantly changed the tire while our girls played on a nearby pile of sand. M-I-L and I chatted, and I took a picture of the moon over the mountains and river flats. (Again--pic forthcoming. Sorry!) (I have a picture of hubby and F-I-L changing the tire, but it is neither flattering nor in focus.) We went on our merry way, traveling along on the donut-esque spare.

The next day, hubby and I did go out for dinner, and to meet with a group of folks from his job who were celebrating a coworker's birthday. At that gathering, I met up with a guy I'd worked with 17 years before--and hadn't seen since--during a post-Exxon Valdez oil spill research season (I was a biology grunt in my former life). How weird is that? When hubby and I came home, the kids and the in-laws had a belated surprise party for my birthday, complete with balloons, streamers and cake. What fun!

All in all, a great birthday. I can't wait for next year. What will happen then? Perhaps a blown hose, or running out of gas. No matter what, I know it'll be fun.



At 9:31 AM, Blogger Writer & Cat said...

Happy B'lated B'day! That's what those books I sent you were for. Yeah, uh-huh...



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