10 August 2011

My Secret Love

So, we're moving.  Out of state.  In two days.

At the end of June, we cleared out our place of four+ years (a one-bedroom apartment in Evanston) and stuck all of our stuff into a 10' x 15' storage space.  We then took those few things that we would need over the summer (read: clothes) and moved in with my husband's family, in Rockford, Illinois.

The summer has gone surprisingly fast.  Granted, we've squeezed in quite a bit, mostly the usual summer fare:  camping trip, swimming pool visits, water play in the backyard, summer camps, and a trip with the entire fam (save two) to the amusement park.  We've made lemonade and ice cream sandwiches from scratch, and visited with far-flung friends.  The girls have run amok with their cousins, which is of course a requirement for a good summer, and I've managed to come down with a nasty flu-like virus, complete with a sore throat.  In the summer.

Well done.

That last bit has really sent me for a loop, and so, with our move looming on the horizon, yesterday I was sent scrambling over the internet to fit the last few logistics into place.  You know, things like when and where we will pick up our moving van, and arranging for the gas and electric to be turned on in our new place.  Being the daughter of a postal worker, I don't mess around when it comes to change of address forms, either.  All of those little things add up to a rather large inconvenience if someone doesn't do them.

Our most sticky bit of logistical work thus far has been figuring out how to tote the few things we have with us (which seem to have multiplied over the summer) to Evanston, where we will try to squeeze them into our 20' truck.  Granted, we have a wonderfully cavernous station wagon, but we were hoping to get a new mattress en route, and so we (read: I) have been looking into installing a hitch on our car so that we could tow a trailer, should the need arise.

The trouble is, we've got a very tricky car.  You wouldn't think to look at our grey station wagon, but it's got quite a few surprises up its tailpipe.  The first being that it's an 8-cylinder.  The second being that it has all-wheel-drive (which you can turn on and off).  Apparently, those two combined make it virtually impossible to find a trailer hitch that fits.  I've found hitches for my '02 VW Passat Wagon W8 (not 4motion) and for my '02 VW Passat Wagon 4motion (not W8), but nothing that meets all the criteria.  Even the dealer, that over-priced purveyor of everything Volkswagen, can't find anything to fit.

Well, you may think, if the hitch doesn't fit... it's probably time to downsize, no?

Your response to my answer will tell you foodies from the flock - it's all because of my tomatoes.

I will gladly leave my clothes here to pick up at another time, my bits and bobs, etc.  But over the summer, I picked up twelve heirloom tomato plants, which I've been coaxing into fruition in buckets in the backyard.  I picked them up at the local farmer's market here in Rockford - they were on sale for $.50 each, which is amazing - and they're organic, to boot.  I asked the tomato man what would grow in a pot, and so he and I had a wonderful seek-and-find time, looking through his beautifully-named jungle:

White Tomasol
Black Plum
Paul Robeson
Gold Medal
Woodle Orange
Green Zebra
Czech's Bush
Angelic Organics Learning Center Yellow
Cream Sausage

With such enticing names (especially that last one - two of my favorite things!), how could I resist?  They've met the challenge boldly, finally getting to the point where there are tiny fruits on most (I did buy them late in the season), and so I am loth to leave them here.  But the fact is, even with the capaciousness of our trunk, there is no way that six five-gallon paint buckets full of dirt and plants and cages are going to fit into our car.  At least, not if we intend to take the girls with us.

Which we do.

So I am feverishly searching (not the sore throat fever - this is a different one), for someplace that will stick a trailer hitch on the rear of our car.  I justify that this is an investment that we can use in the future - even now, we can carry any overflow from the storage unit with us to Bloomington.  In the future, we can put a bike rack on the back, or even haul a camper or a boat.  We'd have to buy a camper or a boat first, but still...

To those of you who are rolling your eyes at this, all I have to say is that you get it or you don't.  For me, there is unmeasured excitement and anticipation in watching a plant come to fruition - it mirrors my growth here in the physical world as well - starting from a tiny seed, enduring the elements of sweltering sun and gusty rain, growing strong from the winds of tests, and finally bearing fruit.  The excitement that a ripe tomato evokes must be rooted in my evolutionary heritage - fundamentally, this is the food that feeds us, and here I am: small, paltry me; and I helped it grow.

So wish me luck.  I have a few options lined up, but if you know of any place in the Chicagoland area that could install a hitch on my finicky car before Friday, let me know!

UPDATE:  We possibly found a match, the only drawback is - $500.  Oh, well.

I'll ask my in-laws to send me the seeds.

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