Three consecutive weekends of estate sales, with four days to set up each intervening week (given that each sale ran Friday through Sunday, we had to start at a sprint each Monday). Somehow, we got it done. We have an amazing team. One week (when I spent two nights sleeping in the guest room of my bosses house with my Brazilian coworker—Bob texted me “Do you still live here?” after even the evidence of my passage through my apartment in the form of a daily empty glass in the sink failed to appear) I racked up 70 hours of paid time. And I still managed to make it (with Bob) to a girlfriend’s house party one evening the weekend of the final sale. But there was no other socializing, and no exercise, and spiritual comfort was minimal, as I rushed from the early service each Sunday to the location of that week’s sale, to manage the table of valuables (including a pair of $10,000 Chopard watches, which I regret to say did not sell, though a lot of other nice baubles did).
My AC in my car quit working on Wednesday, the hottest, stuffiest day of the year so far in DC. Of course that was the day that I was moving fourteen boxes of books from Potomac, MD, to an auction house in VA.
Blind exhaustion, or more properly, dizzy exhaustion, hit this Thursday, the day I was supposed to drive down to GA (stewing in my own juices, thanks to the kaput AC) to give myself time to do my laundry and still get to the site in Dallas, GA, where my cousin’s wedding rehearsal dinner was being held on Friday. I simply couldn’t focus my eyes, and had difficulty walking around my apartment. I knew I had no business operating a motor vehicle. So I went back to bed. And slept for almost 36 hours straight (except for a total of 45 minutes for rehydration after a couple of bathroom breaks). I felt rather refreshed Friday at noon, but knew short of teleportation I couldn’t get to the rehearsal dinner that evening. As it was, it took two hours to get twenty miles out of DC that afternoon—I didn’t get to my mother’s house until 3 AM.I pulled up to the old plantation house where the wedding and reception were being held an hour and a half before the Saturday evening event. I’d sweated all the way there, and my t-shirt was soaked through in large sweat-patches. I hadn’t even bothered to put on makeup, as I knew it would have just run off in the three and a half hours it took from Augusta to Dallas (before this wedding, I had no idea a Dallas, GA, even existed), and so I looked like some crazy bag lady as I hopped out of my car among the exquisitely-attired wedding guests and trudged inside to freshen up and change. It’s wonderful what new linen, a layer of foundation and powder and a little lipstick will do.
The wedding was in the apple orchard behind the house. Though by 6.30 it had cooled down somewhat, it was still hot as Hades out there, and within minutes, everyone, beautiful clothes or not, was as sweaty and sticky as I had been before my quick-change earlier in the ladies’. Occasionally, one of the hard little green apples would fall off onto one of the guests, to general amusement. It was beautiful, though. The bride was lovely, the groom handsome, the service short, and the photographer surreptitious. There was some brief heat exhaustion among auxiliary members of the bridal party during the post-ceremony picture-taking, but fortunately the house was air-conditioned, and there was cold water and lemonade easy to hand. Grandmommy, Mums and I sat together at the reception, but we left early (9?) because the music was loud, we were tired, and Grandmommy had forgotten the remote control for her hearing aid and so couldn’t adjust for the background noise. And none of us are as young as we used to be! I would have loved to have seen the send-off of the new couple, though—I was told everyone lit sparklers and waved them to the antique car in which they drove away into the dark. I had had my own view of “sparklers” on the way back to the bed and breakfast where we groom’s family members were staying: hundreds of fireflies, whose little fluorescent flashes made the night woods look like they were twinkling magically.
I made arrangements to visit my other cousins in Colorado come September. They promise they’ll try to have a batch of foster kittens for me to play with while I’m there.Sunday, having absconded with Mum’s Toyota Highlander, I drove Grandmommy to my aunt’s house in Macon, while my long-suffering mother ferried my car back to Augusta for repair. She said the AC worked fine for her the whole way back. I told her it was a blessed (and temporary) respite.
Grandmommy and I went with my aunt and uncle to their church Sunday night. Their music minister was giving a farewell concert, as he and his family have been called to a church in Alaska. We all got to sing along with the choir and the band. It was so loud my heartstrings vibrated. I love to sing! Just as I had thought of Granddaddy throughout the wedding festivities, I thought of Daddy throughout the church service—their absence was acutely felt, as Granddaddy was the primary father-figure for my cousin for much of his youth, and they were very close, and Daddy loved worship music, and would have had a ball at the service. I spent most of the evening afterward talking to my aunt and uncle, which was refreshing--they are true encouragers.This morning, after I’d accepted traveling-packages of my aunt’s blueberry muffins and Grandmommy’s tea cakes, I started for Florida. What should have been a seven-hour trip took ten as tropical storms were moving across the state and I stopped twice to wait out torrential rain at antique malls (hardly onerous spots to stop). I now have several more lamps and lamp parts for re-wiring and selling up in DC.
Tonight I’m staying with Susan’s aunt and uncle in Vero Beach, FL. They are only a block from the Atlantic’s sandy shore, but I arrived too late for a stroll. Perhaps tomorrow, before I drive to Fort Lauderdale to pick up Susan and another friend of ours, I will get the opportunity to see the sea. And then it’s on to Key West, and the Hemingway cats… Now, if I could just magically lose 20 lbs before I have to put on my bathing suit!