We planned on going in to Quadra today. It was ‘iffy’ but, if it didn’t snow last night, we had plans to stock up on a few necessities. Sal got out the keys and asked, “You comin’? I can go alone, you know. I’ll take Fid for company.”
“Nah, I’ll come, too. I can get a few things at the hardware store, maybe find a ‘space’ movie. I really need a good sci-fi movie with creatures and everything, you know? It’s weird. I might even watch Battlestar Galactica and it sucks!”
“Why rent it then?”
“Cause I’ve seen the others. And I just really need some spaceships in my life. It may be a male thing. Hard to explain.”
But then the phone rang. It was a ‘client’. One of those non-paying, pro bono clients that need as much if not more energy than the paying ones. Well, I think that, anyway. I haven’t had many paying ones for a long time.
Strange fact of life: a paying customer limits themselves because they think the more they need, the more it will cost them. Which, by the way, is not so since people/cases/disputes/legal issues requires what it requires and there is never any ‘padding’ when I do something. Paid or for free, the service is the same. But pro bono work is often like an open-ended invitation to do everything from the resolution of the problem to business advice and relationship matters. It is harder to get away from a free job than it is from a paying one. Weird.
It looked like I was going to be tied up for awhile so Sal waited and then, after about twenty minutes, quietly bundled up, gathered her stuff (packs, totes, coolers, list, keys, radios, life jacket, etc.) and kissed me goodbye. She decided to go on her own.
As the conversation endured, I would frequently look up and out the window to see her go by. Fifteen minutes after our ‘peck’ goodbye, I saw her little boat heading west over the channel. It is blowing about 20 and the temperature is, with the wind-chill, about 10-15 degrees F. Her 11 foot long boat is open and has only about 6 to 8 inches of freeboard. It is a ‘wet’ ride in bad weather and this was a little ‘testy’ to be sure. Whitecaps, spray, two-foot waves. All of it coming on her nose.
Well, better put: all of it on Fid’s nose. He was with her and standing at the bow like some live, furry figurehead at least 20% the size of the boat, it seemed. Ears flying back, face being sprayed, boat bucking and jumping (especially at the bow) he was in his element.
I was still in my housecoat.
And so the phone conversation continued until I could see Sal arrive safely at the community dock through the binoculars. I am not 100% sure I was completely ‘with’ the person on the other end of the phone the whole time. Sometimes the great plumes of white breaking over the boat in the distance would distract me. But, she made it.
And the conversation ended soon thereafter.
Sal will drive 20 miles down a partly paved, partly graveled logging road and do a bit of shopping at the store on the next island. She’ll stop in at the movie rental place and look for a space movie for me and, while there, pick up a few chick flicks that literally suck the will to live from me.
But I will watch them. They are all the same, really; 90 minutes of watching misery suffered slowly by a woman who is otherwise fabulous and ending in somebody’s death, usually hers and her protagonist. Sometimes it is the story of angst and fear and courage that ends poorly and the children, dog or gay person dies. Sometimes it is with sub-titles.
And people think Bruce Willis movies are predictable.
I much prefer the great big ugly bad guys dying in a hail of gunfire as their car and all the cars in the neighbourhood blow up. And our lone hero, with his jeans and t-shirt torn, walks through the smoke to pick up the ‘fabulous woman, child, dog and gay person’ and take them to safety.
It’s nicer, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, Sally will then turn homeward, drive back and drag all the stuff down the long frozen dirt covered hill at the end of the road, pack the boat, get Fid in and come home.
As she nears the house, she’ll turn on her walkie-talky. “Hey, sweetie! I’m home. Wanna come down and get the groceries?”
I’ll meet her at the wave strewn beach and she’ll pass coolers and packages while the boat tosses and bangs against the rocks. I’ll take them up and she’ll take the boat back to where we tie it up. I’ll put on some tea and greet her with it when she gets in.
“So, I am glad you took your walkie-talky. Glad you took the radio (VHF) too. Comforting, I’m sure. You know, it would be a good idea to turn them on while you are out there. You know, like for safety sake?”
“Oh, don’t start. You know I hate them. I only want them to call you to come down and get the groceries. Otherwise it is just a pain.”
And that, my dear readers, is how we (Sally) use the safety-first VHF radio and the stay-in-touch walkie-talky. Basically to ‘ring for the servant’.