August 2019

Friday 2: While working today, I was stopped at the bottom end of an apartment block, and since it was for lunch, decided to stay for a while. I sent this to Julie and April.

As it happens, there is a shopping centre just 100 metres thataway.

Monday 2: As we prepare to spend next week in Spokane assisting with and attending Steve’s memorial, some of the suitcases got pulled out. Guess who claimed them!

Thursday 8: I was in the highlands above Juanita beach for part of my route today. I’ve been there before and today was no less scary. At one point, there’s a narrow driveway that shoots off the road, straight up the hill. Just aim and gun it! Lovely people, and there’s always someone at home to help turn the van around at the top if there are vehicles parked there.

For a while, I was giving April and Julie a running commentary via text messages. “The van & I have officially become mountain goats. Can you see the water down there? We were just down there & we still have to get out of here!”

“I drew the line on this ‘driveway’. I’d get down but no bloody way I’d get up again.”

Coming down again. Turn left here. As I recall, on the way up, I went forward and turned around in a driveway before attempting this one.

Even more scary was hearing some of the guys back at the station, talking about doing all of this in snow and ice.

Saturday 10: Julie had a “fun” day today. A few days earlier, she had found a guy with his car parked in the driveway, facing the wrong way, who was now attempting to climb over the balcony. In conformance with the “Keep the cat in” mantra around here, the door was open and the screen door closed.

“Can I help you?”
“I’ve come to buy suitcases.”
“We have no suitcases for sale.”
“Oh, maybe I should be on the third floor. Can I park here?”
“No, you park on the street, walk up the centre path and go up the stairs.”
He did.
Yup. You can’t fix stupid.

Back to today’s story. There were guys doing garden maintenance outside. Julie heard Buddy meow. When she looked up, she could see where small wood chips had been hitting the window. Returning to her game, she heard a crash (yes, her hearing aids are working!). She went out to the balcony, leaving the sliding door ajar, trying to attract the attention of the guy with his hearing protection on.

“What?”
She pointed at the window and said, “You broke my window!”
“I did?”

She grilled him for his name and company, and came back inside, leaving the door ajar, and called the building manager, the maintenance guy (Don) and then me. Apparently, I was the only one to answer. Meanwhile, the worker had called Don and he answered that call. She took a picture and sent it to me, then realised that the door had been open for a while and she couldn’t see Buddy, but after she called me again, we figured that with all the noise, he was probably hiding. Fortunately, I had remembered to take my earpiece that day, so I could keep working while we talked.

I’ve never seen glass shatter like that. Maybe it was the water that was in the space between the panes was still holding it together.

Shortly afterwards, she heard another noise, turned around and saw glass falling out onto the balcony. Don arrived, then went around to the balcony and climbed in over it. “Please don’t call the cops.”, he said. She took this picture of him extracting as much as possible of the broken glass, then he swept up the shattered glass pieces and vacuumed the balcony.

I guess that’s one way to get the glass fixed, which is a job that has been “pending” ever since we moved in down here.

Before he left, “Oh, crap, where’s Buddy!”. Some time later, after April arrived for a visit, she managed to locate him, under the desk in the spare room, where I had previously suggested he would be, surrounded by extra chairs and the wheelchair. All up, he’d probably been in there for about 3 hours.

We have spent nearly a week in Spokane, supporting Jan through Steve’s memorial. April offered to visit the apartment every day to check in on Buddy and do the usual feeding and weeding. As part of that process, so that she could re-assure us that he was OK, and also to prove to her Corrections Officer that she had in fact been here as scheduled, she took a selfie with Buddy each day.

Monday 12.

Tuesday 13.

Wednesday 14.

Thursday 14.

Friday 15.

Now back to the regular narrative.

Wednesday 14: Waiting for the memorial to start.

Friday 16: On the way home, we stopped at a rest area. and bought some snacks from a stall that supports local veterans. Right above it was a bird’s nest. It took a while for me to notice that the parent bird was arriving and departing regularly.

Saturday 17: No rest for the wicked. Back at work today. This was taken from a street corner, looking out over Lake Washington towards Kirkland.

Almost the end of the day. All of the empty containers are packed up and the final deliveries are laid out in house number order. It is a very satisfying feeling!

It seems that the Amazon system has figured out that I can manage 120 stops in a day and has now pushed me to 140, which is do-able if my leg doesn’t flare up and slow me down. Fortunately, Dispatch can see that happening and will send me a rescue of about 20 stops if necessary.

Tuesday 20: A really strange shape for the route today.