"So have you gotten a lot of responses from people saying they'll be at the vineyard on Saturday?" I asked, hoping very much that the answer was yes. Of course it wasn't, so I admitted that we were available; the only problems we had were that we'd need a ride, and we reeeeeeally didn't want to go. Elder's Quorum president did what any leader would do in that kind of situation and said, "So you'll go if I can get you a ride." We said yes, he found us a ride, and so we found ourselves waking up early yesterday morning to go to the vineyard.
It actually was maybe a little nice. Because it's winter, we didn't have to get up ridiculously early, just a little early. When we got there, the bishop was in the middle of a demonstration on how to properly prune a grapevine, but Elder's Quorum president saw the new arrivals and said, "Hey, thanks for coming! Have a donut!" So instead of watching the rest of the demonstration, we went and got some donuts. That was poor planning on our part. But it's okay, because pruning wasn't the only job, and besides, there weren't enough shears for us to prune with anyway. Instead, we tied the newly pruned vines to the wires, so that they'd grow in the right place (while we were there I thought it might be nice to have pictures of each of the steps, but of course by then I couldn't get my camera). And fortunately, when we said, "We don't know how to tie the vines!" there was someone right there to show us! (We like to know what we're doing, and we hadn't ever pruned grapes before, so we were really worried that we'd end up standing around, confused.)
And so we spent a few hours tying grapevines to wires with twist ties. There were plenty of people there, so we almost finished our whole assignment! (In past years, the people who actually went to the pruning had to go back several times to get the job done. This year, we had three rows instead of five, which helped.) Then we each got another donut and went home, where we watched two hours of anime! Woohoo! (Including our new favorite, Cuticle Detective Inaba!)
By then it was about five o'clock, and we decided we'd been working too hard to skip snack time (like we had the day before). So we sat down and opened a box of Italian Four Cheese Cheez-Its, and that's when I got a text message. It was the sister I visit teach, who I think has been codenamed Jennifer, so we'll stick with that. She had done all the paperwork to move into a new apartment when she started having some health problems and was sentenced to lots of bed rest while the doctors figured out the best way to deal with them. In the meantime, she had a whole apartment to move, and (after getting the Elder's Quorum to come help move the big stuff) her boyfriend had been doing most of the work all by himself. But the deadline for her to be out of the apartment is tomorrow! And since we all believe in honoring the Sabbath, that meant it had to be moved yesterday. Also, the cleaning had to be done.
While we hate moving with a mad, unbridled passion, we were happy to have the opportunity to help, and so I agreed immediately! We finished our snack, and then it was off to her old apartment to start scrubbing stuff! She was still restricted to bed rest, so we were joined by her boyfriend and her home teacher. We were recruited mostly to clean, because Jennifer didn't trust the boys to do it right, but I really think that once we got everything out of the apartment, they were better at making sure all the floors were swept and vacuumed properly. We totally fail as domestic divas.
Anyway, I want to say it wasn't so bad, but it kind of was. Most of the packing was done...except for the kitchen. It was terrifying, because she had like a million different sets of matching cups and plates and bowls...and they were all breakable. We let her boyfriend handle it by himself for a while, while we scrubbed the bathrooms, and then we were done with that, and there were still dishes to be carefully wrapped and packed. Once Home Teacher showed up, we had to take a break to retrieve more boxes as well as sustenance. We weren't really up for fast food, because the Pizza Hut Express we used to always go to is no longer, and the boys wanted Taco Bell and we didn't want to force them to go anywhere else because they're both vegetarian and because we have trauma from past experience of people asking us where we want to eat and giving the wrong answer. So we said, "That's okay; you boys just go to Taco Bell, and we'll feed ourselves when we get home."
The boxes turned out to be harder to get than planned, because somehow the idea of going into the store and purchasing boxes wasn't really on the table. Well, maybe it would have been, but after the boys looked around behind a couple of stores to see if there were any abandoned boxes by their dumpsters, we suggested using the boxes we've had lying around our apartment (originally meant for help in organizing; never used). We only just barely had enough, so it was almost like Tetris or a Professor Layton puzzle, trying to get the most space out of each box (which was not only to save on boxes, but also to prevent the breakable dishes from moving around and hitting (thus breaking) each other). We didn't finish until almost two in the morning.
So by then we were very tired and very hungry, and I was exhausted because I was scrubbing showers, and we were both tired from carrying Boxes of Stuff, and we needed to get home and wash our hair, so we convinced the boys to take us home while they took the last load of stuff to Jennifer's new apartment. Each of the boys had a car loaded with so much stuff that there was room for a driver and a passenger (who would also be carrying stuff). So I got in the car with Home Teacher and we took off while Athena waited for Boyfriend to finish some last minute cleaning. While that was going on, Jennifer called him, and after a few minutes he told Athena he'd meet her in the car. She went to the car and that's when she remembered that I didn't have a key.
Meanwhile, I made it home safely and I figured Athena would be close behind. Page heard me at the door and started meowing, which made me want to be inside even more. I waited and waited, and she didn't come. I waited some more. I kept checking the time, and when fifteen minutes passed, I decided to give it five more minutes and call Home Teacher to see if Athena was at Jennifer's apartment (Athena hadn't brought her phone). But I got impatient and called him two minutes later. He told me that Boyfriend had called (or maybe texted? Athena says probably texted, but I don't remember what Home Teacher said) and told him what Athena told me in more detail when she finally showed up. They had been pulled over.
So they waited a while for the police officer to get to the window, of the car, and when he finally did, he informed Boyfriend that his license plate light was out. (Once the cop was out of earshot, Boyfriend informed Athena that his (fancy Swedish) car had no license plate light.) Then the cop discovered the car's tinted front windows. I had no idea those were illegal, but I'm kinda glad they are, because I hate tinted windows. So then the officer went to write Boyfriend up, and he and Athena both decided it would be a bad idea for her to get out and walk home, despite the fact that the cop took, according to Athena, approximately three thousand years to write the ticket. In the meantime, Boyfriend's car is about to run out of gas, and his phone is dying. But the ticket was finally written, and Athena showed up at home, and we both made it inside where it was nice and warm. But it was way too late to eat dinner, so we both showered and we finally made it to bed at almost four.
And that's our long story of our long day. Whew, I get tired thinking about it. Oh wait, that's just me already being tired.
Today I'm thankful for opportunities to serve others, finally finishing all the packing, not falling asleep at the organ as Home Teacher thought I might, having a day of rest, and everyone making it home safely last night.