The Brother Who Can’t

Dear Grace,

Your past several posts have just made me cry. I am going to miss your shaggy dog, and I wish I was there so we could bake cookies to make ourselves feel better. Because that is how we handle emotions around here.

In the absence of me and cookies, maybe this brief anecdote will make you feel slightly better.

A couple of weeks ago, Jake and Cara asked to come stay at Dutchman House for a night as they passed through on their way to wherever they were actually trying to get to. Abe and I were so excited for them to come, even if for a night.

I am not sure if I have ever mentioned how difficult Dutchman House is to locate. One can go one of two ways: First route: through a nonsensical maze that twists and turns about the subdivision to the very last street that borders the desert. It takes five full minutes to get from our house to the main road. And yes, I have timed it. Second route: through the desert on the world’s least maintained dirt road that Google claims is the fastest way to find our house. Although the dirt road is faster (distance-wise), it is much less comfortable as one must dodge abandoned furniture and giant dips and ditches in the “road”.

As Abe and I sat calmly awaiting their arrival (i.e. scurrying about the house trying to clean), I got a call from Jake. Good news: They were mere minutes away. Bad news: They were stuck in a giant mud puddle mere minutes away on the abandoned dirt road. Abe and I had recently sold Abe’s clunker Jeep, so we only had our Chevy Cruz to attempt to get their car out of the mud. I put on my muddy times outfit: knee-length leggings and mid-calf cowboy boots which is quite the ensemble. Surprisingly, our Chevy was not at all helpful in getting the car out of the mud, so we all waited together in the desert chill for a tow-truck while three-year-old Chloe serenaded us with songs from Moana. It was quite the evening, and I think we will be making fun of Jake forever in his persistence that he could in fact drive through the puddle.

Turns out “can’t” runs in the family.

Love Always,


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