Back from a trip to the UK, we were no further forward. To complicate our already fuzzy plans, Jimmy had come down with shingles. Nerve pain, numbness and weakness in his leg forced him to walk with a stick which seriously curtailed his activities.
Should we continue? Could we continue? Could I take over the heavy process of hitching and unhitching the trailer? Desperate not to give up on our grand plan of seeing the contiguous 48 states while looking for the perfect place to live but considering Jimmy’s infirmity, we did the obvious. Nothing.
Blessed with sunshine in May and June in Washington, a state of great beauty but often dubious weather, it was a perfect excuse, if we needed one, to do nothing. In late July the weather reverted to wet with grey skies and cool temperatures which forced our hand.
We considered moving one state south to Bend in Oregon and to dither there for a while. It was on the list of places we were considering as a home port so it would be a constructive move, even if not in the right direction as the plan had been to head east.
One benefit of staying put for several weeks had been the convenience of swimming regularly. It gave me the opportunity to boost my sluggish metabolism and to try to lose a few pounds.
“Your arms are looking good,” himself told me.
“How do you mean?”
“You’ve got muscles.”
“You mean I’ve got big arms?”
“No, you’ve got nice arms.”
“Just bulked up.”
“I’ve been swimming to try to lose some flab around my middle. Not only have I put on weight, I’ve gained shot putter’s thighs and now you tell me I’ve got weight lifter’s arms.”
“What I said was that they looked good.”
“I guess there are worse things,” I said, making my bicep twitch a little while trying to work up some pride in my new sturdy physique.
“Yes, there are worse things, like bingo wings.”
“Well anyway, (after a pause where he’s thinking I wish I’d never said anything) I think you’ve got lovely arms and thighs and this bit too,” he said, poking his fingers three knuckles deep into my stack of spare tires.
I sighed in defeat. “I’ll just have to eat less.”
“You eat like a bird as it is.”
“Birds don’t have three glasses of Chardonnay with their dinner followed by ice cream and then chocolate before bed.”
“True.” At this point and before I could respond, his attention was totally riveted on the TV with the lowered brows and jutting chin that says, Don’t talk to me. I’m trying to listen to this.
It was Sharon Osborne on America’s Got Talent. He can’t stand either.
I know your game mister but I’ll let you off. I hadn’t much cared for our conversation anyway.
“So,” I began on a new topic, “shall we stay or shall we go?” That got his attention away from Sharon.
Next installment – Bend and Crater Lake.