Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fasten Thine Seat Belts

Frivolities on my day off were cut short Monday when severe weather threatened. I packed up the dogs, our picnic and pyjamas.

... and established squatters rights in the barn office.
My policy is:  horses are kept in stalls during lightning storms, but someone has to stay with them to cut them loose if a tornado warning is issued.
This is why: 1000 lbs with steel on their feet standing in saturated field under trees, is not a winning combination in Alabama.
While Cole and Pete hogged the bed, Garrett and I kept the horses calm.
Garrett has become an invaluable helper.
This lasted from 5 to past 10 PM.
Cute little red triangle is tornadic vortex signature, in other words, hold your breath and hope it veers left.  
After two days of rain filling my wheelbarrow,
we didn't require a refill.
Mother Nature delivered more and more.
By 11 PM, the worst was over and the horses were cut loose, so Cole and I started making our rounds.  Nothing like crawling around in your PJ's toweling up mud that flooded into a house, I didn't even bother with the garage, it was still rising!
Turns out the garage was the least of our worries.  Getting to the other flooded areas was perplexing because the farm roads were impassable.  
By midnight, I'd swapped to a 4x4 utility vehicle.  I kept Cole out way past his bedtime.
Tuesday was my other day off this week and it was Cole's cancer restaging at Auburn University Vet School. Pete went his separate way for a full day at physio camp. 
Observing that his two older brothers were away, Garrett hatched a plan.
We went to the car dealership to inquire about roof racks and a cargo box for my subcompact.  Even with the seats removed, it's not comfortable for myself and three big dogs.  I had to face the truth:  I'm not a single parent to an only child anymore.  We're a foursome now.  We'd outgrown the small car and while she still held her value, Garrett decided we needed some growing room.
He proved to be tenacious in negotiations.  I'm plain belligerent and refuse to even walk out onto the lot and look at a car until the figures are agreeable.  Garrett and I wore him down.
I wanted to trade for a used vehicle, color wasn't an issue, and it don't impress us if it has back up cameras.  The most affordable one was the only one test driven, and we drove it off the lot.  
Garrett is mighty pleased with his new wheels.
Mild mannered back seat driver:
Hyundai Santa Fe seated 7, until I attacked it with my wrench set this evening.  
The fruit of a couple of hours of labor:
My conversion is far superior to factory; seats 2 humans and up to 5 dogs.  Seats, cargo bins, stripped down to the carpet and cushion bedding put in.
Later in the evening, Cole's oncologist called with his staging results:  liver and spleen cancer growth slowed down.  Looks like The Kid has been granted 2 more months of good life.  
On next week's day off, we're putting our best jackets on and taking a day trip to Massee Camellia Gardens in Georgia.
Life, it's the only game in town.