We started the trip expecting to cross some significant mountain passes in both Washington and Montana. Neither of us had traveled beyond western Montana before, so we diligently studied topographic maps to plan for the swells in elevation. This is necessary because (a) our vehicles are aging, and (b) we were both hauling incredibly heavy loads. Sim, in fact, devised a plan to extend the sides of the little blue trailer upward so it could hold more stuff. By the time our mattress was loaded on top it actually sat a few inches taller than the van itself. Sim’s mom joked that all we needed was a rocking chair to look like the real Beverly Hillbillies. And not soon after, her neighbor Joe stepped out to admire the eye sore and referred to us as the Clampets. “That’s right, you anal retentive Volvo driving jerk – the Clampets ARE here!”
It was also during this stay with Sim’s mom, Donna (aka “The wonderful being of light in our lives”), that the dogs got ahold of another mole. Sim came to its rescue this time and pulled it from the jaws of death. He proudly burst in the kitchen, holding it by the tail, to show mom and I. Donna lit up and didn’t miss a beat – “Go put it in Joe’s yard” she said, her eyes gleaming. Ha ha ha – revenge for all his years of annoying anal rententiveness! Oh the lovely little nastygrams scribbled on Post It notes and left on the front door. “You left your dog outside for an hour this evening and it barked nonstop.” “Oh really, Joe? Go f*** yourself!” Sim crept around the front yard, well, as much as a 6’2” man can “creep” around in broad daylight, and went to the side of Joe’s perfectly manicured lawn. Upon release, the mole quickly hid itself under some foliage and began to dig away. Not soon after, we all came out of the house to find Joe diligently scrubbing the rims of his car, no doubt with some obnoxious apparatus like a toothbrush. As he smugly worked away I smiled, imagining the look on his face as mole holes begin to sprout up all over his perfect lawn. Sometimes you have to make your own karma.