Unhinged Alaska: Shake, rattle and go

What a long strange week it has been.

Sunday and Monday were near normal except for a mild frenzy associated with my wife’s departure on Tuesday evening.

She was headed back for a visit with her clan in Ohio including the wedding of one of her horde of nephews, nieces and cousins. I’m not sure which because even she looked a bit mystified when the invitation arrived.

I swear that she is related to nearly everyone in the state. Having eleven brothers and sisters who took the “Be fruitful and multiply” quote seriously I was somewhat stunned that they haven’t declared themselves a sovereign state and formed a football team to try and kick Wolverine butt along with the Buckeyes. 

Nowadays we couldn’t possibly host her family reunion unless it was held in something akin to AT&T Dallas Cowboys football stadium and I’m still not sure if there would be enough restrooms, but that’s another story.

After I was patiently given refresher training in flower garden maintenance and proper veggie harvest during her absence, she felt confident that I’d be able to muddle through the next week without causing too much havoc around the cabin and back forty.

When late Tuesday afternoon rolled around I winched a suitcase the size of an outbuilding into the rear of the Toyota along with a stash of Bear Creek Winery quaffable gifts and her carry-on stuffed with batch of our smoked salmon. The mutts were relegated to the back seat even though they had eagerly volunteered to ride shotgun over the salmon in the truck bed.

They were somewhat chagrined and pouted about the seating arrangements until their mistress gave them a death stare usually reserved for husbands who forget to water the plants. There wasn’t another sound out of them on the way to the airport, or me, come to think of it.

By the time we reached the staging area our dim bulb dog, Howard the Huge, had figured out something out of ordinary was up and actually sat up to look around. That was major exercise for the creaky old boy and sent his little rescue dog buddy, Princess the Vain, zipping around the rear seat like a deflating balloon.

Another stare and they went into their pillars of salt routine although the diminutive mass of fur was quivering like a dropped tuning fork.  

Fortunately, we were to first to arrive and quickly checked her stash through to her old stomping grounds without a code three hernia on my part.

We had just returned to the pick-up and had started to review her final pre-liftoff checklist when my rig started bouncing around like a Brahma bull goosed by a demented rodeo clown.

The bucking was over in a few seconds but things kept moving enough that I wondered if there was something really nasty coming next. Nada; but the tremor had been enough that we figured I should jet back to see if the house logs were still facing the same direction and the plumbing hadn’t morphed into giant Jacuzzi.

As the queen of our private kingdom disappeared into the airport’s waiting room, the dogs shot me a look inferring that they’d much prefer that their mistress take them home to check things out while I took a one way trip to the Mojave. 

I wasn’t intimidated. I now had total control over the Yummie Chummy cache and they would sell their furry souls for a crack at them. I was the leader in the game of thrones for at least a week.

Once home I gave the casa, loft, and basement some serious scrutiny but found nothing askew either inside or out so I figured it was time to chill out with a pipe, book, and a brew.

That anticipated scenario didn’t make it 45 minutes until I received a call informing me that her Homer departure had been delayed. The plane had to return to the gate because a passenger suddenly decided that he/she didn’t want to fly. I was going to say that I was shocked that they issued boarding passes to loons because they are perfectly capable of getting airborne on their own but thought better of it when I detected a slight growl of frustration toward the end of our conversation.

Her situation improved after touchdown in A City and the rest of her trip was routine until she reached her destination only to discover her colossal suitcase hadn’t followed suit.

After all those travel and transfer hours lacking in quality snooze time I thought that she was taking it rather well so I opted not to tell her that we had a new addition to our eclectic menagerie inside our bungalow.

While she was on her leg to Seattle, the curs and I were awakened by what sounded like a ruckus on the roof. There was a scrabbling thud then something skidded across the metal sheets followed by a fluttering of wings.

A few minutes later a bird took a header into our flat screen then rocketed off into the rafters. I haven’t seen it since but the dogs and I remain on the hunt and I still don’t have a clue how it ended up inside.

I’m keeping the feathered kamikaze episode under wraps until my bride returns or I rectify the frequent flyer problem.

The last thing I want (the dogs vehemently agree) is to have my exhausted spouse start to unpack and have a winged creature explode out of the woodwork.

When she’s really tired her sense of humor gets a bit skewed and if I don’t warn her it’ll be my turn.

I’m looking forward to returning to our customary state of subtle pandemonium.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t prowling his cabin with a net and a two spineless mutts peeking around his legs.

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