Road Trip- Part 3
February 16, 2022
Editor’s note: Part 3 of 3 First dates published: 1/19 and 2/2
You will think that nearing the end of this terrible journey, I was in the clear of trauma. How wrong you are! We arrived in Regina, driving up to the storage center where I had booked a unit. I had family and friends waiting. This had to be a fast unload as JC had to return the truck to Great Falls, boarding a plane the next morning. Organized mayhem. Another friend, whose name also happens to be Shirley, was there with her family. I will call her the “ good” Shirley as she calls herself. The good Shirley offered to hold the leash of two dogs. They had been cramped up for three days and were keen to walk. I should have known better, but I was taken up with getting things unloaded and in my unit. All went swimmingly till Shirley walked behind the truck with Koda. Someone dropped a box very close to Koda’s hind end. Koda leaped and bit. Unfortunately, he bit into Shirley’s butt. She was wearing white pants! Need I say more? Terrible, just terrible. It was bad enough for stitches. The good Shirley was very brave, and I, of course, felt awful. The law in Saskatchewan is that dog bites must be reported. The good Shirley tried to avoid this, to no avail. Later, I got a call from a protection worker saying Koda was getting a second chance, but if another biting occurred-----I needed this added stress like a second head. However, I was changing my number shortly to a new carrier and would be out of town at the first Shirley’s. So, getting hold of me again would be pretty difficult. Onward ever onward.
The unit got filled, I bid a farewell to JC with thanks. The first Shirley and I headed out the 45 miles to her cottage. There was tension in the car as we drove along, and I knew that staying with her for the summer was no longer a possibility. The next day I would start hunting in earnest for a rental. Two days went by when I would load the dogs up and head out to look for a place. I soon discovered that, like Big Sandy, rentals were few and far between, especially in the area I had hoped to settle. On the second day, I returned in the pouring rain to be met by a stern-faced Shirley at the door. My dogs could not enter her house. Being wet, they had to stay outside. Now, there was no shelter, and I had dogs who were not used to rain and never mind any other reasons, my dogs were not staying out in the damn rain. I tried to reason. I offered to wipe each little foot, making 20 wipings. A generous gesture, I thought. However, there was no reasoning. I think she felt that I would have to give way in the rain, 45 miles from the city at nine at night. What do you think? If you guessed I would not leave my dogs in the rain, you guessed correctly. I loaded them back up with a few choice words and set off for Regina.
When leaving my storage area, I had noticed a motel that said pet-friendly. This had stuck in my mind. Once there, I took stock of my situation. I had no house, no job, and five dogs. I started the next day and found a house to possibly rent just 20 miles away from where I wanted to be. I was to go and see it the next day. Well, that didn’t happen. The following day, I went to my storage unit to get something before driving out where this rental house was. I pulled up to the storage gate’s touchpad for the entrance. I did not put the car in park.! One dog jumped down directly onto the gas pedal just as the gates came open. In all the commotion, we sped through the gates, up a ramp that was directly opposite and whom! The car rolled over. All glass broke, and dogs leaped out, except for the culprit stuck under the dash, and me, now hanging upside down. It wasn’t long before fire trucks converged on me. A concerned fireman stuck his head in and introduced himself. I said, “never mind who I am, get my dogs; there’s four out there.” The head disappeared. More heads appeared, and I had to be cut out. I scrambled out unscathed and raced around, trying to find where my dogs were. Fortunately, all had been found, and none of them were hurt. A minor miracle! The police asked who they could call as my car was a done deal. Very reluctantly, I called my daughter. Roles were reversed as she lamented, “ what have you done, mother?” I was taken back to the motel. I had no house, job, or car, but I was rich in dogs. My long-suffering friends dropped food off as I considered my next move. I didn’t dare walk to a restaurant without the dogs, and going with all five was not a good idea. Fortunately, I had brought along a good book and had dog food, so there was no need to panic.
My daughter suggested I go to her place, but the dogs would need to stay in the garage. To think I raised such a child! However, not looking a gift horse in the mouth, we relocated to her house. In the meantime, an old friend was visiting Regina and heard of my plight. He offered to drive me around to find a new car. Being a journeyman mechanic, this was an excellent offer. I eventually found a new vehicle, a car that lasted many years. It was a good buy! I applied at the local teacher’s central office and got registered there. I drove out to the rental house and though it wasn’t great, decided beggars can’t be choosers.
My youngest son, Patrick, and I loaded up a truck from the storage unit; they were getting their ramp fixed and glad to likely see the tail end of me because I was out to the new place and then moving in for the next two days. Poor Patrick. However, his job was not done. I had been there a few days and was noticing breathing issues. My third oldest, Tim, happened to be working in the area. He is a foreman for an environmental company. He stopped by, and after looking all around, he said, with much concern,” do you realize this place is full of mold?” Nooooooo. Say it isn’t so, but it was. There was no way I could stay there all winter. My worst allergy is mold. No wonder I was having breathing problems. My god, what did I do in a previous life to deserve this?
There was nothing to rent other than this despicable house, so what now? I had to buy. A friend came out to my despicable abode and took me to the Chinese restaurant in the little town. As I walked through the entrance, I saw a house for sale up on the bulletin board. I called and made an appointment to see it the next day. Back in the fall, I wrote about finding this house. I loved it at first sight, and a month after moving into the despicable house, long-suffering Patrick and I were moving yet again into my little house in Sintaluta. The dogs and I now had a house and a car. We were rolling in clover. I am still friends with the good Shirley and the other Shirley for those wondering.
So now you know that it is true that it will if something can go wrong. However, my experience also shows how great it is to have family and friends who will help when you’re down. I learned some friends would do anything for you and others would do some things. Know the difference. I also think it shows that there is a God, and he, along with my worn-out guardian angel, was looking over me every mile and were with me through every seemingly insurmountable situation. I also believe it is true that you should never give up. You never know what may be just around the corner! Maybe mold or car accidents but maybe not!