As I drove into Bethany's apartment complex, she stepped out onto the balcony to wave to me and let me know which apartment was hers...but the "charley bar" thingy dropped into place, effectively locking her out.
Catrin showed up with an extra key, but Bethany had latched the dead bolt. Dadgummit! (A mother should not have to drive FOUR HOURS to see her daughter...and then not be able to hug her or touch her...but instead have to talk to her through balcony bars twelve feet in the air!)
BJ, the apartment manager and a former Marine, showed up, too. She was a HUGE help and radioed the maintenance guy.
Bethany got her housewarming card and gift passed to her through the bars while we waited for the Maintenance guy...
...but since he was off-site, BJ encouraged Bethany to try climbing down the trellis...
...and coached her down...
...and sure enough, the trellis held Bessie Lou's weight, no problem. BJ (who called herself "half squirrel") has had to use the trellis before...and once spent four hours locked out on a balcony after a charley bar fell! In the winter!
After a trip to Chuy's & Hancock Fabrics, we covered an entire wall of Bethany's apartment in cloth! Tyler was a HUGE help, and it looked terrific when we were finished. (Tyler describes the fabric color as "menudo," but Bethany and I prefer to call it "chocolate!")
Max lent moral support and tried meowing his encouragement. (Although, ever since his surgery, it's not quite a meow...more like "meh" and "munh"--and "ack" and "blech," for you fellow Bloom County fans.)
My McCain bumper sticker was awfully lonely in Austin...in fact, Bethany was unusually eager to take her car. Always. For every trip. (She preferred to take her car to avoid being seen in my Straight Talk Express.)
Before we went running at Town Lake, Tyler led us in yoga stretches.
We had so much fun! Kayakers, walkers, joggers, rowing teams, runners, bicyclists, babies, grandparents, serious runners, people wearing crazy clothes, people wearing hardly any clothes ("not enough to pad a crutch," as Nanny would say), turtles, swans, dogs splashing in the shallow areas, gardeners...and it was so FUN!
Tyler helped us with our running form. (Oh, and when I got lost, I accepted a ride from strangers--kind, wonderful strangers--who dropped me off back at the car. If I ever buy another Ford, it will be from the manager of the LeifJohnson Ford! He and his wife had just finished their run and returned me to civilization...the softball fields behind Chuy's...where I cheered on several baseball teams of strangers as I waited for the kids. Go, Cedar Park!)
Max came home after running away for a few hours. Whew! What a relief. He even kissed me goodbye...with his snaggletooth kisser.
And just when I thought my Austin visit couldn't get any better, Aunt Sue and Uncle James bought me dinner at Souper Salad! on my way back to Abilene. They are so funny, and I love them, and they're like a tonic to my spirit!
And then, after getting back to Abilene at nearly 11 p.m. (two hours after librarians usually head to bed with good books and cups of hot tea), my car died in the driveway.
Justin and his dad came and picked up the Straight Talk Express and towed it to Procter Automotive...or "Doctor Procter," as Karen and I prefer to call them.
Off into the sunset...
UPDATE: The car lives. Doctor Procter took a post-dated check so the Straight Talk Express is back in business!