Day 31. I think that the last few days have been the universe making up for the week preceding them. Not only has the solar been on a winning streak and opted to work roughly 90% of the time, we’ve just had a really fun couple of days. All of my parcels arrived at the post office in a timely fashion, and I met some really lovely people. Day 29 took us up to Marquette, MI for the evening, since the Gwinn area’s BW hosts were non-responsive to requests. There weren’t any hosts in Marquette, but I knew that at the very least we could rough it in the Walmart parking lot. I did have a game plan, which was that we went to a local brewery and I just ask the bartender if they minded if we stayed in the side lot. Basically, I volunteered them to be a Harvest Host for the evening, and Beam & Barrel was into it. They also had a lovely patio where Gatsby was welcome, and had good beer and some really delish whitefish pate. YUM. There we were, e̶a̶v̶e̶s̶d̶r̶o̶p̶p̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶e̶x̶t̶ ̶t̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶o̶v̶e̶r̶ minding our business, catching up on some photo editing, when one of the guys asked if we’d like to join their group. I mean, you know how terribly social I am, and how much I enjoy interacting with others, so I was overcome with joy at the invite. I have to say that as much as I inwardly (and occasionally outwardly) cringe at interaction with people, I have really, REALLY enjoyed all of the chance encounters I’ve had on this trip. Okay, I’ve enjoyed 96% of them. And I definitely loved this particular group. So Gatsby and I joined the table of Bob & Cheryl (Sheryl? Idk, but in my head, it’s spelled with a C, so I apologize if I’m getting that wrong, Sheryl!), and Bob & James. The Bobs were split into Good Bob (of Bob & James), and Bad Bob (of Bob & Cheryl/Sheryl). It’s amazing how your people manage to find you, and we quickly bonded over idiocracy, not procreating, and shitting-your-pants stories. Bad Bob had some really nice ones. We had a couple of lovely hours together before Gatsby’s bad behavior indicated it was time for us to abscond to Hecate (one couple came in with two other dogs, and they, very understanding of what it's like to have a dick dog, awayed to the second patio; another woman coming in made it very clear that she thought I was a total piece-of-shit dog-mom (you know, because I totally encourage his bad behavior and let him chow down on other dogs), which is when we decided to call it. You can’t win ‘em all).
We had a very pleasant sleep in the side lot, and I had the wherewithal when I spied a spigot on the side of the building to try it before making any rash decisions. It proved to be a wise move (every once in a while I do like to use my head for more than a hat rack), because it was not operable. Oh, my Water Bandit did arrive to general delivery, but I haven’t had occasion to use it, so can’t yet vouch for its efficacy, but stay tuned.
We stopped at the Forsyth Township Public Library on Day 30 to make sure I was well stocked with e-books and downloads of All American, and continued on our journey toward Garden, MI. I will say, I do feel a little bad for anyone who has to drive behind me on a certain stretch of Hwy 2, because it’s a two-lane road and the speed limit gets up to 65MPH. We all know I don’t go 65. I cap it at 60 in my wheeled sailboat, no matter how much better I’m getting at driving her. 50-55MPH is preferable, but I can white knuckle it at 60 when absolutely necessary. But I’m not going faster than that. Gotta draw the line somewhere. I am kind enough to stay over as far right as possible so that cars behind me can see past Hecate’s giant ass to oncoming traffic, giving them more opportunity to pass, and when we hit Passing Areas, I legit slow down so that absolutely everyone who has been held up by me can get by before we’re back to two lanes. But still, I know I am everyone under 70 years-old’s nightmare.
Garden, MI is home to the aptly named Garden Golf Club. Once again, my golf club overnight didn’t disappoint. I had a great time from the second I walked in. It was cool enough that G could be comfortable in the van, and the pro-shop guy, Jack, and I became fast friends. He got to enjoy (and I may be using a very flexible version of enjoy, you’ll have to ask him) being introduced to one of my favorite musicians, Willie DeVille, AND also JEM and the Holograms. More accurately, he got to watch/listen to me perform my interpretation of the Misfit’s (the nemesis of JEM and the Holograms) song Misfits in Hawaii, and then follow that up with the real version on YouTube. Apparently, I reminded Jack of his grandma not only because of how slow I drive, but also because I refer to myself as a real treat. And go to bed by 8:30 whenever possible. If I can’t be compared to Chelsea Handler and/or Bill Bryson, clearly being thought of as someone’s grandma is the next best thing. If only I could crochet.
I met a few of the golf club regulars, and Franny insisted I come down later to a waterfront bar called The Dock. I was a G&T or t̶h̶r̶e̶e̶ two into the day at that point, so I agreed that this sounded like fun. On a quick aside, I had someone email me scolding me for still drinking after writing about taking Naltrexone and trying to cut back. First and lastly, fuck off. When I want your opinion on my drinking habits, I’ll go ahead and let you know. Secondly, I do imbibe WAY LESS than I used to, so I don’t particularly care if you think I still drink too much. Progress, not perfection. The whole reason I take Naltrexone instead of, say, Anatbuse, is because I still do want to be able to drink! I just don’t want it to rule my life like it used to. Nobody likes a teetotaling twat.
Garden Golf didn’t have a driving range, but Jack took me on a little joyride during the slow times to hit a few balls. Between the combo of playing by my own particular set of golf rules (I’ll tell you, I cheat like a mother when golfing. My basic rules are that I’ll tee up wherever I feel like it, and if when we’re on the green the ball hasn’t stopped rolling and I keep hitting it, it counts as one stroke. It’s really fun to play with people who take golf very seriously. They love me.), and Jack’s fine pointers, such as, “You don’t have to hit the ball with full force every single time,” I managed a birdie. Probably.
At some point, we (and by we, I mean I took pointers from Gatsby and supervised) closed up shop and jaunted off to The Dock where I danced and filled both my social and extrovert quotas for the next several years. I had so much fun, I stayed up until ALMOST MIDNIGHT!. I know…. Who AM I?! This morning, although I was feeling the effects of my debaucherous night, I managed to choke down some coffee, had a d̶e̶c̶e̶n̶t̶ workout, and remembered to turn on the water pump BEFORE I got into the shower! Of course, I’d forgotten to turn on the water heater, but let’s celebrate the small wins, yes?
I will say, the hour and a half drive today was about an hour too long, but it led me back to my first golf course love affair, North Shore, where Kurt greeted me with some extra bottled water (he’s been keeping up with the blog, so he knows my woes). I hit a few balls on the range, watched Gatsby charm many patrons, and I got to meet Jenna, who was not on the schedule last time I was here, but an absolutely delightful bonus to my day/life. Although I’d love to revisit walking the course this evening (12 & 13 were my JAM), I’m going to go ahead and say between the time change (we’re back into CST territory) and last night's amount of fun will have me in bed before the sun even glances at the horizon line.
I feel hopeful that things van-wise will be resolved soon, and I have to say, just having the mother forking roof brackets in my possession now is a real boon. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be able to open any cabinet, drawer or fridge all the way, but I very much look forward to having my memory jogged. For now, I’m just going to bask in having had a few days that weren’t wrought with stress. Until next time.