I was home for a breath before we hit the road again.
There was one night kiss my lover, one night at my grandparent's in Port Hope, where I got to spend time with my brother (more handsome and mature than ever), and then my mom and I were in my grandfather's Cadillac driving to Vermont for my cousin's wedding in style.
After four hours of driving we cheered as we crossed the border and drove our way into New York State. We drove through farm country before a light in the car started flashing: BATTERY LOW. Shit. We kept driving. BATTERY LOW. STABILITY REDUCED.
We needed a garage quickly but all we could see were farms, fields and a few cows here and there.
And then "STOP! Garage!" My mother pulled a quick u-turn into a garage along the road.
That's when we met Sue and Lee.
Lee, a gentle looking mechanic, lifted up our hood and told us our alternator wasn't working. We shrugged. He told us it would take a while to fix. We sighed. We explained about the wedding, and before we knew it he was calling the closest car rental shop and sorting out our problems.
Sue and Lee saved us. They also opened up to us. We soon knew all about Sue's struggle with leukemia, Lee's strength throughout it all, about their pets, friends and family.
Starving, I took off down the road to a broke down looking deli. I stepped into another world, with dusty shelves piled with canned goods, sunglasses so old you couldn't see through them, and a humble kitchen at the front. I asked the woman for a tuna sub, and she looked at me with big eyes and asked if I'd like "all the fixins." I, of course, said yes.
Around an hour later we were back on the road in a rental car. Driving along, I looked at my mom and smiled, "Is it wrong that I'm having fun?"
The drive was beautiful. The sun was setting, in a field I saw a young girl reach for her fathers hand beside a tractor, overalls hanging to dry on clotheslines, and families selling corn by the road.
Eventually we made it to Vermont, heavy headed, at Betsy's quaint bed and breakfast, where we fell asleep on fluffy floral pillows and slept through the night.
In the morning Betsy made us eggs, oatmeal, bread pudding, and everything our hungry stomachs could wish for. When the sun lit up the quaint streets of Montpelier, we explored the town, its bookstores, and I spent all my money at the farmers market on luscious local produce.
The next night we made our way up a dirt road to see my cousin married on his bride's family horse ranch. My cousin Ayah from California sat like a 50's pin-up girl in the white plastic chairs, horses stood behind us wearing blue bow ties, and wildflowers lined the path to the arch where my cousin would be wed.
My eyes turned to water when the bride walked down a hill in the distance, white dress flowing, her father and my cousin's angelic daughter side by side.
They exchanged vows, my cousin cried, we wiped a few tears ourselves, and then we headed down to the horse ranch for a beautiful potluck dinner and dancing.
It was another adventure. I learnt to never be disappointed, to trust in the good of people, to love and laugh in every situation.
My mother and I get a lot out of life, and we give back as well. We drove hours to support my cousin, who wanted a few close family members to match his bride's large number family and friends. We came for him, to celebrate love and his new found happiness.
And on the way home, we stopped off at Sue and Lee's garage, dropped off a box of Vermont chocolates, and thanked them once more.
Because of two kind strangers we made it to the wedding, and because two people fell in love, I got to experience Vermont first hand on a horse ranch. Life is full of the unexpected, and I think that's what keeps me going.