how Gretchen spent much of last night
Wednesday, January 16 2019
As I lay sleeping last night, Gretchen was having a miserable time waiting in the cold on the side of River Road in Dutchess County. She'd taken the Amtrak from Rhinecliff into the City for whatever it was she was doing there (it was some kind of jazz performance by a band that includes as one its members the publisher of her next book). But on the drive back from that train station, the passenger-side rear tire on her car had failed spectacularly. She'd actually heard an unusual noise coming from it for a few miles, but it wasn't clear the problem was a tire until it failed and she could feel a huge change in the way the car was driving. At this point it's important to note something I take for granted: I know how to remove and install tires on a car and have done it many times on many cars. Gretchen, on the other hand, has never done it and has no idea how it is done. Evidently this is not a skill that people feel a need to have. So Gretchen called some shop nearby (one evidently credentialed through our automotive insurance company) and was told that someone would be coming out. At the time, it was around 1:00am. By the time the guy whom she called actually came to replace her tire (and all they did was install the donut), it was 3:00am. It's reasons like this that makes being able to replace a car tire an important life skill.
This evening after Gretchen told me the story, I went out to the car and had a look at the damaged tire. Both sides of the tire had multiple tears all the way through the material, nearly separating the tread from the rest of the tire. I'd wondered if perhaps the tire had been vandalized (perhaps by someone incensed by the bumperstickers advocating veganism and animal rights), but it looked it it had failed due to manufacturing defects.
In preparation for Gretchen's birthday, this evening I painted a painting of Neville and Ramona snuggling on one of our chairs. It's based on a photo that shows Neville actually resting on top of Ramona, which is not uncommon in our household.
As part of our new high-income lifestyle, tomorrow Gretchen would be having a lady come over to clean our house (something Bathtubgirl also used to do when she and I had a relatively high household income). In preparation for that, though, it seemed prudent to do some initial cleaning (if only to avoid embarrassment). We didn't have to do much to the kitchen, which is mostly brand new, but the living room was a disaster zone from burning so much salvaged firewood. Such wood tends to shed bark and rotten material, and when we haven't swept and/or vacuumed in awhile (because we haven't entertained in awhile), that stuff accumulates. So this evening Gretchen and I both swept and vacuumed until our house looked moderately clean, at least on the first floor.
By the time I went to bed, it was nearly 1:00am, which wasn't ideal, since my alarm would be going off in only six and a half hours.
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