Sunday morning it was time to head back to Halifax. We corralled our stuff (somehow it had rather spread out after four days at the cabin) and cleaned up the kitchen (making grill soup in the dark being a surprisingly messy endeavor). But before we could leave, we had a small situation to deal with. Or, more precisely, a large situation. The true size of the stick had finally sunk in. Plans to mail it had been abandoned. We would have needed to construct a serious box and have a long conversation with the post office staff. Things were closed Saturday for the storm, the post office is always closed on Sunday, and Monday was a post holiday. It just didn’t work out. Plan B involved a saw. Alas, everywhere that might possibly sell such a device was closed on Sunday morning. Undaunted (or only slightly daunted), we knocked on the door of the cabin’s owner and asked if we could borrow a saw. I’m clinging to the hope that people who rent accommodations are used to all sorts of odd requests. This one involved no illegal activities and no lapses in personal hygiene, so with luck it wasn’t the worst thing they’d been asked. A saw was obtained, the stick underwent a bit of impromptu surgery, and we were on our way.
The drive was…well…kind of long and boring. All the things we wanted to stop and see on the way were closed (either due to the holiday weekend or power outages caused by the storm), and we couldn’t find a decent place to get lunch. We eventually made it to Halifax, found some much needed dinner, and headed to the hotel. The hotel powers that be had smiled on us, and we had been upgraded to a super duper deluxe suite (it was bigger than our first apartment). Since we were in fairly early, I spent some time working my suitcase packing voodoo:
- step 1 – dump it all out on the floor, stare at the pile, stare at the suitcases, asses the relative volumes of each, feel a moment of despair, get a manic glint in your eye as you warm to the challenge
- step 2 – locate those items that need special care, in this case 8 bottles of adult beverages, 4 skeins of yarn, 1 large board game, 1 jar of hot sauce, 1 jar of honey, 2 fist-sized rocks, 1 rock the size of a small loaf of bread, and 1 still surprisingly large stick
- step 3 – construct outer padding layer around edges of suitcase with sturdy clothes
- step 4 – bag and pad all breakable, dirty, or potentially sticky special items and coax them into suitcases
- step 5 – tuck, wedge, wiggle, squeeze, and otherwise force all the other stuff between special items and edges of suitcase, abandoning underwear and pajamas as necessary
- step 6 – stand back and marvel as the suitcases all close
- step 6b (to be performed at the airport) – gloat shamelessly when the bags come in 4 pounds under the weight limit despite containing massive rocks and great quantities of booze
- step 6c (to be performed at home) – do a completely embarrassing victory dance when you open the suitcases to find all inside exactly as you left it
The next day we wandered around Halifax. Almost everything, including both yarn shops, was closed for labor day (or is that labour day in Canada). We did manage a sunset stomp around the Citadel complete with random guy playing bagpipes in the distance. While there, the current sock (he needs a name) proved that he is indeed a Hammersen sock.
How you ask?
Why he posed for a picture with a cannon of course. It’s a long family tradition. There may just possibly be a photo or two of me on a cannon in my wedding dress. It’s a force that cannot be explained or denied. It’s best to just give in gracefully. After that it was a long walk down the hill to dinner and then a long walk back up the (really dreadfully steep) hill to get some rest before venturing out to the airport at an ungodly hour the next morning.