Well, well, I must truly be a glutton for punishment. Ya see, I hate highway driving and I hate it even more when downpours are expected. No, make that absolutely dread the downpours. So what did I offer? Why to travel back to Intervale for a day trip on Saturday.
The initial weather forecast was for a sunny day with a chance of showers in the evening. This would be all right as I was planning on getting home before dark anyway. By the night before our departure the forecast had changed. Huge thunderstorms a possibility between 4 and 7 p.m. They would be moving in from the north northwest. Oh splendid. Now I need to get back home before all that. Or at least to familiar territory.
I didn't sleep well Friday night and was awake before the alarm went off at 5 a.m. We were leaving at 6 for the three hour drive. Yes, I was a wreck about the weather.
And just why were we making the trip? Remember that A sold his house in Intervale? He hurt his back last week and is trying to recuperate before his trip to Germany at the end of the month. He has ALL his stuff still in the Intervale house. We asked how he was arranging to get it back to Rockport. A didn't want to have to worry about it. He said that the new owners had told him he could just leave everything there if he wanted to. They'd take care of it, use it, whatever.
No way. These people got an extremely good deal on the house and now they offer to take his stuff "off his hands". This means the paintings, furniture, china, silver, tools, grand piano, and more.
Sooooooo, I offered to make the trip, load as much of his personal belongings as possible and get them back to Rockport. Mostly the paintings (his, his deceased wife's, his father's, grandfather's, and his wife's father's) and a bit of small furnishings, tools, the silver, china, some linens, personal papers and photos, and a gorgeous ship model.
A was thrilled that we would do this and told us to bring back anything that we wanted for ourselves! Well, that would be impossible as we would need to add on to our house to have enough space for all the things we admired!
We left at 6 a.m. and made a pit stop in Newburyport 45 minutes later. Coffee from Dunkin' Donuts! Then it was on the road north with me keeping an eye on the sky. Things were looking good. Very little traffic and only patchy high clouds and some blue sky. Until we got to the Tamworth area and the sun went away. I noticed that the clouds were getting a bit of cumulus build-up. Oh yuck. It stayed cloudy all the way to Intervale (we take West Side Road to avoid traffic near the outlet shops). This map shows a big X where A's house is located. You can also find other interesting places including "Scarecrows" where we ate dinner last time and "Glen Junction" our favorite breakfast and lunch spot. Click on the maps to enlarge them. Amanda requested lunch at the Junction, this trip, so we called it her Choo Choo Chow.
We arrived at A's just before 9 a.m. and immediately got to work. We started upstairs before the day got too hot. Temperature's were supposed to be in the 90'sF. I hauled most of the paintings down the stairs and a rocker and two old footstools while my mother and Amanda packed up some linens, clothing, books, and glassware. We started stacking everything in the middle of the living room floor. Next we walked around downstairs selecting the best of the artwork from those rooms and packed up the ship model, china, silver, and more linens. I found an accordion A had mentioned and a recorder. He had also mentioned bringing back two small tables. Amanda and I climbed the steep stairs to the studio loft and found art portfolios and a nice oak straight chair. We had quite a "pile" and decided that it was the end of the "first choices". Time to load everything in the van and see if we had any room for "second choices".
First I loaded the furniture. The rocker, the straight chair, two stools and two little tables. On table is a very small gate-leg, the other a drop leaf. Then came the boxes with linens, the accordion, and the china. After the big and heavy things were loaded, I started standing the art work, one after the other across the back end of the van. On top of the heavy boxes I stacked a carton of smaller paintings and the carton with personal photos and the ship model. There was only a bit of room left. Just enough for a few hand tools, a couple more paintings, and a hall mirror that I really liked. We decided to check the cellar to see if there were any more tools to bring to A. Nothing much was left down there other than an enormous table saw. Impossible for us to transport!
We were loaded up and ready to roll! It was only 11:30 a.m.
Off to Glen Junction for Choo Choo Chow!
We were done with our lunch around 12:15 and hit the road for home. It felt good to be heading back. Still no rain in sight but I had this feeling that it wasn't far away. The sky had THAT look and the leaves on the trees were blowing showing their silvery undersides. I said that we would drive until we reached Newburyport and then we could get out to stretch legs and straighten aching backs. I could handle driving the back roads from Newburyport to home in the rain. The van could probably do the trip without me steering....yep, it's made it many, many times.
Then we changed plans. Instead of continuing on Rte 16/Spaulding Turnpike we decided to get off on Rte 125 in Rochester, NH. It made for a more interesting drive. It was so much nicer being on a two lane road rather than highway. The downside was that it added an extra half hour to the already long trip. Then we couldn't agree on a suitable"stretch stop". Since I was doing all the driving, I made the choice of NO STOPPING.
A very poor choice.
My butt really hurt. I'd been stuck in the same position for 3.5 hours in a van seat that is too deep for my legs. By the last half hour every bump in the road hurt.
We pulled in the driveway at about 4 p.m. I could barely straighten up when I got out of the van. We walked around for a bit and decided that we needed dinner, so guess what? Back in the van to drive to Friendly's. By the time we finished eating, it had started to sprinkle. By the time we got back in the house it was pouring, thundering and lightening. I was very glad to be home.
footnote: A was thrilled that we had manged to bring back so much of his stuff. Along with the furniture and other stuff, we brought over 50 paintings, numerous unframed watercolors, and several sketchbooks. From that Mom chose the rocker and a footstool and four paintings (two by A, two by A's father-in-law), Amanda wanted the "gothic"style straight backed chair, and I chose the gate-legged table, the hall mirror, and 3 paintings (by A's father-in-law, A's wife, and A's grandfather) and a signed lithograph. And we all ready own several of A's and his wife's paintings.
A kept wanting us to take more.