Monday, June 24, 2013

The rest of the trip ... Where do I start?

The rest of my time in Montana with Erin, Luke, and Clara was wonderful.  I don't have pictures to show you because, as you know, my camera broke the first day.  I did use Erin's camera a lot, but I didn't have any way to upload all the pictures in the limited amount of computer time there, so pictures will have to wait til Erin can get them off the camera and send them to me digitally.

Where do I start to tell you about the rest of the trip?  How about a few more verbal snapshots ...

-Sunday morning we drove into town and went to church.  Then a quick trip to the general store for root beer and chips to add to our picnic and then down the street to the tiny town park which is right next to the tiny town pool.  We ate our lunch and then Clara and I donned swimsuits and braved the cold water.  It's a nice little pool, built and maintained by the citizens of Winnett.  Clara is a water girl and I was wishing I'd taken out my contacts or brought goggles so I could swim underwater and play around a bit more.  After our swim, it was back to the store for ice cream treats.  On the drive home, we were behind a pick-up pulling a trailer with barrels of fertilizer.  One of the barrels fell off and rolled into a ditch and of course, Luke stopped to help the driver get it out of the ditch and back up on the trailer.  If someone needs help out there, you just stop to help.

-Monday night, we ate dinner at the ranch.  We had steaks from last year's "Bentley" -  grilled, of course.  Some of you know that I was a vegetarian for many years and may be surprised to know that I not only ate that grass-fed, Montana range beef, but thoroughly enjoyed it!  With Jan's Nine-Day Coleslaw, mac 'n cheese, and banana pudding for dessert, we were stuffed.  Not the healthiest meal I've ever eaten, but one I will remember for a long time!

-Tuesday we drove to Billings.  It's normally a two hour drive, but a stop in Roundup and then a road construction delay stretched our drive into three loooong hours.  I told stories in the back seat most of the way.  Our plan was to go to the hospital lab for Erin's pregnancy blood work, lunch at the Indian restaurant, shop, and then go to Erin's midwife appointment mid-afternoon.  Then we would do a bit more shopping before taking me to the bus station.  When Erin passed out after her blood draw, scaring Clara and me, and requiring a longer rest time after the blood draw and leaving Erin feeling pretty crummy, our plans got changed.  We still ate lunch at the Indian restaurant and I navigated Billings, driving Luke's big pick-up.  I am rather proud of the fact that I was not at all flummoxed by the driving part, due mainly to the fact that I drove a 15 passenger van for years. Big truck, no big deal.  After lunch, we decided to head straight to the midwife's office where, thankfully, Erin was able to rest on a comfy bed in a lovely room in the cool and quiet while Clara played with toys.

-When I was pregnant with Andrew and we had relocated to Massachusetts, I remember the long drive to Great Barrington to meet the midwife for the first time.  It was over an hour to her place.  We'd had two homebirths already and wanted to do it again, but on that drive, we started questioning the wisdom of going so far for monthly appointments when we could have used the services of the doctor in town, a five minute walk from our house. When we finished that first appointment and walked back out to the car, Coty said, "So far, I've never met a midwife I didn't like."  I liked her, too, and we did those drives, and the midwife, Kathy, and her partner, Allison, ended up delivering our fourth, fifth, and sixth children at home.  After Erin's appointment on Tuesday, I thought back to Coty's comment. It's a little more complicated for Erin and Luke, living as remotely as they do and trying to figure out all the logistics for the birth of their next little one, but I have no doubt that they will receive warm, thoughtful, tender, wise care from Pat and Mountain Midwives.  Yea, so far, I've never met a midwife I didn't like, either.

-I got to hear grandchild #2's heartbeat that afternoon!  

-I rode the overnight bus from Billings to Denver on Tuesday night.  Erin took me to the bus station where I turned into a choked-up, teary, basket-case.  It was SO HARD to say good-bye, especially knowing that Erin still didn't feel well, that she had switched plans and decided to stay in Billings overnight with relatives of Luke's she'd never met, that she still had all the shopping to do, and the drive back the next day, and was pretty exhausted from it all already.  I HATED to be leaving my girl with all that, and I wasn't all that happy to be sitting in the bus station, either, with the sketchy young guy in shorts and a hospital gown, walking around talking on his cell phone and swearing, and the panhandler hitting up waiting passengers up for money.  I found a quiet corner and had a long blubbering phone call to Coty. Finally, 45 minutes late, it was time to board the bus.  The bus ride was fine.  Comfortable, cool, quiet, not crowded, a beautiful sunset.  It was uneventful except for when, at the first stop at 10 PM in Sheridan, Wyoming,  the bus driver threw a woman off the bus for smoking in the bathroom.  Whoa!  That bus driver wasn't putting up with any nonsense.  Jonathan met me at 5:45 AM in Denver.  We had a lovely breakfast and then I got a shower and a nap, before a visit to the African fabric store and lunch with Kandyce, and then the flight home.

And now ... home.  Sitting on the porch earlier this evening, I heard a sound I would have expected to hear in Montana, but never did ... the yip, yapping, barks and howls of what sounds like a pack of several coyotes out in our woods.  And just now ... the barred owl.  Welcome home.  For many reasons, it was so good to go ... and so good to be back.


1 comment:

Kathie said...

Awww poor Erin - I hope she felt better the next day and the rest of her journey went ok. That must have been so hard to leave her.

But it sounds like you had a most wonderful trip! What a thrill to hear your 2nd grandchild's heartbeat!

And so good to come home. That's a lovely feeling!