Whilst growing up in a brilliant yet dysfunctional family, we (as seventh child of eight total) recall that our mater had some wonderful Pennsylvania Dutch sayings. One in particular springs to mind:
The Hurrier I Go, The Behinder I Get.
Those eight words describe most aptly how we feel right now, Monday evening, 8:45 EST – with just tonight and Tuesday night to get ready to leave for Kentucky and the 2010 ALLTECH World Equestrian Games.
With the Virginia Thoroughbred Association’s special screening of Secretariat Wednesday evening, we decided that we could leave after the movie. um hmmm, yeah right – if, that is, we can find our way at night from Tyson’s Corner back to Warrenton and Rt 29 to Charlottesville. While it might seem madness, this afternoon we thought we wouldn’t be able to leave for Lexington (KY) until Thursday afternoon.
Now, we don’t know about you all, but if you ask us something about horses, we’re on familiar turf. When it comes to cars, we are out of our element – oh, we love to drive, and five-speed manual transmissions are IT, but today was like a punch in the solar plexus. Why? Because the need for new tires suddenly advanced from a vague – Oh, before winter sets in – to You need front tires NOW.
Oy very vey… thought we had this conversation in July over an oil change… Thought you all said by winter… Okay, two new tires – when? Order doesn’t come in until Thursday afternoon.
OMG – you’re kidding right? You’re not kidding, but but but we leave Wednesday night after the VTA’s reception and screening of the new Secretariat movie, which we’re covering with camera and pen – yada yada yada. THURSDAY?????? OMG – that means we won’t get to KY until sometime Friday… Panic sets in, big-time.
Do you know what “totally tizzed” means? Getting your knickers in an uproar is mild compared to being totally tizzed. Suddenly, we felt all our carefully gathered calm disintegrate. We still felt optimistic about all the items still on the “to do” list, such as: several weeks’ worth of laundry, then pack clothes and work-related items for more than two weeks on assignment, empty the car (in order to vacuum it), re-pack the now clean and pristine car, get stories done for the November focus on foxhunting issue, sneak a few minutes with our wonderful purebred Connemara Lord Peter (who happens to be happy as a clam with his best new buddy, Rappy, Miniature Horse, chez Catherine Mack, who stood Peter’s grandsire, Aladdin – more on all this after the Games…). Clean clothes AND work on stories… You get the picture.
Landgate Lord Peter & yours truly, Lauren G (hair NOT bursting into flames): sometimes we wish Lord Peter were going to WEG with the other representatives of this versatile Connemara breed, but we're going to be very busy and he's probably much happier staying on the farm... (Photo taken with our camera by Graham Alcock, equine dentist)
But the main stresser is now tires: how do we get new tread on the vehicle and still arrive in the BlueGrass state by Thursday???
We’re about to hit critical mass when we realize that at Jeff Evans’ Lenah Auto Service (with whom we have a long history of friendship and cars on the lift) nobody, especially Jeff, is paying much attention to our tizz…
Affirmative action: time to run east on Rt 50 to Chantilly and tackle the staff at Merchants. WHY ARE THE TIRES SO WORN? and WHY DID SOMEONE TELL US THAT THERE’S SOMETHING CAN’T BE FIXED THE LAST TIME WE GOT THE ALIGNMENT CHECKED? And so on and so forth…
We called Darlene Jacobson, because she is great at sighing sympathetically, who allowed us to get the angst out of our system. By the time we pulled up to Merchants, we no longer resembled a fire-breathing dragon. We had decided that, if we had to wait until Thursday for new tires, che sera sera and so be it. So, in a less maniacal frame of mind, we’re being helped by this one very pleasant fellow, who listens to our tale of tire woe.
When we tell him we’re courting a severe case of “agita” and he laughs out loud, well, that calms us down a few more clicks. Seems he’s very familiar with impending attacks of agita – special thanks to his wife who happens to warn him when he’s giving her “agita” which is Italian-American slang for existential heartburn, extreme aggravation, etc.
After that, we learned that our particular baby-subie (5-door AWD 5-speed Impreza) doesn’t have any way of correcting rear tire camber if it’s off a click: but it’s not a big deal.
We hare back to Jeff’s – printout of April alignment details in hand, trying to figure out where/if we got the alignment in May after the original equipment (OEM) front struts finally croaked – and learned that Trish (sp?) was fielding our calls between talking to the lads down in Martinsburg (did we just rename their hometown?) and because she raved about us – really good friend, on deadline, gotta get to KY by Thursday afternoon – AND we upped the order to FOUR tires, because the back ones were really worn, too, suddenly our luck changes. Trish announces that he promised to send the tires not on Wednesday, as she had finagled a half hour earlier while we were ‘agitating’ to the alignment guys, but on Tuesday – WOO HOO!!! So we’re set to get the tires mounted at 1:30, dash east immediately to get the alignment, and we’ll be good to go…
YES YES YES!!! We’re good to go to the first ever World Equestrian Games to be held outside of Europe, thanks to title sponsor ALLTECH & Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder, president & genuine visionary/entrepreneur !!!
Amen – Hallelujah – Thank you, fairies and angels!!!
Okay, so we still have a whole lot of stuff to accomplish, but here’s the deal: it’s all happening. The Alltech FEI Games are happening, and Kentucky Horse Park is going to be the stage on which the world’s best equestrians and horses perform.
So please send this link to your friends and subscribe to RSS feeds – we’ll be posting daily: pix, atmosphere, what’s happening, what’s cool, who’s leading what discipline – EIGHT, count ‘em, EIGHT FEI DISCIPLINES at one venue!!! It all kicks off with the opening ceremonies on Sept 25 and wraps up with the closing ceremonies on Oct. 10.
Special thanks to Jeff, Trish, James, Kelli, the tire guys (must find out their names), the lads at Merchant’s, and to the kindred spirits who put on their tin hats and duck when we get into one of our tizzes!
ps due to the inconvenience of not having any photos of yours truly with hair bursting into flames, we leave you to use your imagination…