This weekend was the trip to one of my oldest friend Shannan's house in rural West Marin to celebrate her daughter, Xinia's first birthday. Shannan and I have been friends since the summer of 1980. I was fourteen and she was twelve. Even then, she was taller than me!
She left Oakland to live with a man who is the caretaker of a large ranch in Marshall, West Marin. They now live in a house built on the foundations of an old milking shed, behind a 19th century farmhouse, in the middle of hundreds of acres of some of the most beautiful country in Northern California.
When I found out I was pregnant, Shannan was the first person I called. Two weeks later, she called me to tell me the same news. We shared our pregnancies and this first year of our daughters' lives. Though we now live over an hour's driving distance from each other, we talk once a week to compare stories and milestones.
This visit would've been the first time we'd seen each other in a year.
Here is a photo of Shannan and I last July, when our daughters were new. This is in her greenhouse, filled with Venus Flytraps, Pitcher and other carnivorous plants.
Last year, I took Monkey Boi out to visit and he spent at least an hour gleefully hunting insects to feed the plants. He has been looking forward to this visit for the last week.
Yesterday afternoon, we made the trek from civilization out to the coast, driving through the redwoods while the kids dozed in the backseat. Mojo and I have been very companionable the last few days, and the ride was filled with talk and happy banter.
We exited Highway One and head up the side road that quickly became dirt. We had to stop twice to let wandering herds of cows cross the path or to wait for them to clear out of the road. Two miles of dirt road and a steep hill later, we arrived for the party.
Within 15 minutes, I was laid out on a bench in the kitchen with a inch deep gash just under my knee. We ended up going to the hospital in Petaluma (which just happens to be two miles away from my mother's house). Mom met us there and took Monkey Boi, while Arabis and Mojo stayed with me.
Gentle reader, I leave you with this, as I am in too much pain to continue writing and need to go and elevate my leg. I fell. I hit a rock in a bad way. I now boast 12 stitches in my right knee, nine on the surface and three about half an inch down to hold the tissue together. I cannot drive the Bit to her doctor's appointment tomorrow. I cannot baby wrangle. I cannot bend my knee. And tomorrow is the first day of Mojo's new job, so he cannot stay home with us.
Anyone want to come over and help the invalid tomorrow?