Not Dead Yet (#229)

Much like the Monty Python plague victim…

Yeah, I know I haven’t posted in a while. Thank you for your patience while I’m off having adventures in the Northeast, which is green and quiet and soothing and far away from the Chinese mother-in-law telling me that I should be eating celery to lose weight while also insisting that I should go to dim sum daily. (No, celery is not a dish served at dim sum. You see my issue.)

The rural Northeast is also soothing because cell service and WiFi are questionable, at best. More than once I’ve hiked 2 miles to get a decent signal for a phone call.

This makes it hard to check my blog or post anything. Lack of internet also means that I can’t check Twitter daily and learn just how much Trump fucked over our country that particular morning. Pretty sure my blood pressure is down. At least as far as politics goes, because my vacation isn’t exactly going like I planned.

One of my many sisters got bitten by a potentially rabid dog in Africa. She’s okay, but I had to wait for her to finish her rabies shots before she could fly back into the U.S. (Also, how bizarre is it that I just said, “Oh, yeah, I had to wait for MY SISTER to get her final rabies shot?!”)

The Finger Lakes, as seen in a narrow kayak built for short legs.

While I was waiting for her to arrive at the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, I stocked the ‘fridge, glowered at the rain, and tested a racing kayak with a small, narrow cockpit.

Kayaking went…poorly. I do not recommend cockpits with narrow openings for long-legged persons. No matter how much yoga you do, there are limitations on leg bendiness.

I detailed most of my (mis)adventures on Twitter.

Once my no-longer-potentially rabid sister arrived, I spent a day of our vacation driving her to a University’s Infectious Disease clinic, where she horrified American doctors with stories of overzealous overseas doctors who swear by amputation. The brand new resident, who had yet to master her medical poker face, actually blurted out, “I’m from India and that’s some insane shit right there!”

We got one semi-sunny day together with another sister and then I was off to New Hampshire. In more rain.

Amidst sprinkles, Ex-Stepmother and yet another sister went with me to check out a tour of historic homes in Sandwich, New Hampshire.

Historic Wentworth House, built in the Greek Temple Revival style in 1855.

I’d been dying to see the view from the Wentworth House for years. It did not disappoint.

The Sandwich Range in the distance. The militia used to practice in the foreground.

After I cleaned the spiders out of my trusty old kayak, I took it out on the one sunny morning and stayed gloriously dry while I quietly looked for loons and their chicks.

The only surviving loon chick on the lake with a parent. The other seventeen chicks died while in the shell due to toxic runoff, probably from old, buried barrels of pesticides.

The rest of the family — especially First Nephew — prefers noisy power boats to kayaks. First Nephew loves to go tubing. We took Ex-Stepmother’s power boat out…only to have it sputter and die in the middle of a large lake. We waited an hour to drift into cell service and then another hour for the tow boat to arrive.

Ex-Stepmother was distraught, saying, “I have never had this happen! I’ve never run out of gas, I’ve never needed a tow!”

I patted her arm and told her not to worry. “It’s just because the Californian Mistress of Minor Disasters showed up.”

And rain,” said Ex-Stepmother. “Looks like more clouds are blowing in.”

Later we discovered the ignition fuse had blown. The mechanic had no idea why and of course it would take a lot of money for him to explore and diagnose the problem. He told us to stay close to shore for now. Like real close. Docked, even.

Brilliant Blonde Lawyer Sister texted me when she heard about the dead boat. “So…no offense, but I think I wouldn’t want to sit next to you on the plane back to L.A. Also, when are you flying home? I want to know when it will stop raining on the East Coast.”

And now you all know why, even though I haven’t posted in weeks, I’m not dead yet.

Just awfully wet.


Published by

Autumn Ashbough

WF writing about the humorous perils of life with Chinese-American significant other.

18 thoughts on “Not Dead Yet (#229)”

  1. Are you still on the east coast? I swear we had 87 inches of rain last night and I need someone to blame. At least your trip gave you blog fodder and I’m sure there is more to come.

    1. Why yes, I am still on the East Coast. And my sister would like my flight to leave ASAP, but I am determined to make sure the groundwater supplies are replenished. Apparently it was very dry earlier this summer. The locals were bitching mightily about all the dust kicked up by people speeding on dirt roads. You know, until I showed up.

      1. Please leave soon. I’m begging here. We’ll deal with the lack of groundwater. The rain leaking through the roof has already destroyed enough library books in the library of which I am the director. I won’t name names but we’re the only one like it in New Hampshire.

  2. I’m glad you’re not dead yet. It sounds like you had a fun trip despite the rain and the ignition fuse. We’re praying for rain to get rid of this forest fire smoke.

    This weekend I survived a trip in the smoke and a zip-lining adventure. I forgot to change into my tennis shoes and showed up for zip lining in slippery sandals. I had to take them off and go barefoot on the swinging bouncy bridge that had more empty space than wooden slats.

  3. Glad to see you’re still alive! I’ve never visited the Northeast other than college tours, but hope to at some point with the wife.

  4. At least you got bad cell service in a rural area, in Germany it can happen anywhere (just outside of our building there is a huge area without any service ;D )
    Finland had 99% coverage by the end of the 90s and that means that I have crazy good connection (way faster than anything possible in Germany) even in the middle of nowhere when hiking or for example at my parents cottage.
    Dont you just love it when the boat engine stops working? Had it once many years ago on a river, ended up that two of us jumped in and pulled the boat back which took around 1 1/2 of swimming

  5. Been following some of your adventures on IG and well, it all looks good – very pretty views. But it sounds like bad luck likes to be right on your heels…or not since you are not dead yet. Sitting on that busted boat must have been the most boring thing in the world. Good to hear you didn’t drift too far off and had it been stormy you might have a different story to tell.

    1. Sitting on the boat was actually not too terrible. It was so pretty — green trees, blue skies, and puffy white clouds are very soothing. Also not the usual fare in Los Angeles.

      Less soothing were the nephews/ friends shoving each other off the boat and splashing. 🙂

  6. Love that view from the historic home! Sucks that it rained so much though. Your photos on IG (and on the blog background) make the northeast look wonderful–green and beautiful!. Was it nice to get an LA break for a while?

    And wow, your sister was bit by a rabid dog in Africa!? I’d say that’s worse than a broken-down boat… lol.

    Despite the rain, I hope you had a good trip!

    1. Oh, yeah, the dog bite was the worst. Libertarians in the US who bitch about “over regulation” really should try living in a country without an animal control division and mandatory rabies vaccinations.

      It was lovely to leave LA for a bit. Every morning I woke up in New Hampshire, I was sure I had earplugs in. It was that quiet.

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