I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Recently I was in a deep black pit of despair, when I got a call from one of my favorite people, Captain Morgan. “I’m coming for a visit,” she said. “You clearly need help.” She was right, of course. I did need help. For weeks, Dave and I had been living in Chateau Moteaux with three cats, a dog and all of our stuff in disarray. The Chateau was leaking, the fridge inside had broken, we had no way to cook, no hot water or indoor plumbing, the toilet was 300 feet away, in the house and the electricity for the whole motor home was running off of one single extension cord. I was living like I was in the Eastern Oklahoma meth culture. All I wanted was a damn bathtub and some lights. If someone had told me 10 years ago that I was going to be living like this, I would never have believed it.

Speaking of 10 years ago, that’s about the time I met Captain Morgan. She was not a Captain then. She was Toni, (also not her real name but none the less, it’s the name she went by) a willy, Army Private and I hated her the very moment I met her. I was 19 and the base Commander had recently called me the “Most Powerful PFC in the Army,” a title I felt I had earned. I saw another powerful young woman as a threat to my crown. There was only room for one queen in the castle and I was sure she was there to usurp me. My cohort Dan (remember Dan?) insisted that we should all hang out. I bristled. I avoided. I whined. Eventually, Dan got his way. He is immune to feminine whining. Eventually, the three of us were inseparable and unstoppable. Almost 15 years later, we are still friends.

Toni was excited about coming out to help with the house though I don’t know why. It’s not like she needed something to do. She has her own money pi, which she spends her time remodeling but I was happy for her help and even happier for the company. The girl knows her way around a tool shed and from the second she arrived she was working. She spent two days hauling wheelbarrows full of wood chips to line the garden paths. She planted seeds with me. She would wake up early so she could break the mortar off of our old pile of bricks:

She broke the mortar off of this entire pile:

The woman is a machine.

One day she decided she was done looking at the weeds in the front yard. She marched into the tool shed to get a weed whacker, where she was informed by Dave that of the seven he has, none of them work. With military efficiency, she got in the car and off we went to the Home Depot, where she bought our housewarming gift: a rechargeable Black & Decker weed whacker. Dave loves it.

Toni was there when I decided to fire the drywall guy (more on that at a later date) and convinced me that if we fired him, we could do it ourselves. Thankfully, we didn’t have to fire him on the spot but it was touch and go for a while. Then she helped me paint the girls’ room a most gorgeous shade of purple. Here the lovely Toni models the first coat, which doesn’t do the color justice:

I think we got more done in the week that she was here, than we had in the three weeks since we had been living in the house.

The most important thing that Toni’s visit did was remind me that this whole house mess can be fun. We got a chance to use the fire pit, we got the Garden of Good and Evil all spruced up for summer and we got the house move-in ready.* She also has earned the esteemed title of first house guest. I tried to convince her to go AWOL and stay on the compound. I think she considered it but I guess doing jail time would really cramp her ability to finish her own house. It’s been two months since she was here and I’m ready for her to come back. Or maybe I should go visit her. I probably owe her a power tool.

*Move-in ready is a highly subjective term. In this case it means hot and cold running water and one bedroom with walls.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Julie Lawrie on June 22, 2012 at 14:54

    That is a true friend!! Your writing always inspires me and makes me laugh!!


  2. Posted by Bonbon on June 23, 2012 at 08:12

    Glad you are getting back to blogging, great post! Great person you have on your team there. I thought for sure this was gonna be a post about booze!!


  3. Wow! I wish I had a friend like that! Glad I got to meet Captain Morgan, while she was here.


  4. Posted by Amethyst on July 29, 2012 at 02:39

    Catching’ up on the blog. That is one awesome friend!


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