True to her nature, as Austin put her mind to finding a claw foot for her outside deck, there was no stopping her. Cruising cow pastures for old tubs, knocking on doors, then finally the tip from a friend which led to “a great tub, in great condition, and we need to go get it now”.
As we pulled up to the address my inner alert clicked on high. There were things strewn around the yard. A truck piled high with stuff, nothing to describe, just junk, everywhere. Toothless, hyper, and way too eager, a man greeted us saying the tub is right in here, come and look.
My reluctance out weighed by my friend’s enthusiasm, she pulled me into the house. Yes, I can see, it is in great shape, but who was selling it? Why is it still hooked up in a full functioning bathroom? Why are there little kid bath toys strewn around still wet? “This is a BAD scene. And, No Mister, I won’t help you unhook the plumbing”. “We will be back in an hour and if you don’t have it ready to go, with help to put it on the truck, then no deal” I firmly stated. Austin gesturing a tilt of her head, as in a question “Why are you blowing my deal, Teal?”
In town, over tea, the excitement about the great find was hard for me to accept. I explained to her that this is a drug scene and please don’t hold onto ANY expectation because if the tub is not on the lawn when we drive back, I have no intention of stopping at that place again! O.K. Austin agreed, trying to be strong, but I could see she was fixed on getting that tub.
When we returned, the tub was out on the lawn, the original woman who Austin had previously talked to on phone about the deal was there, as were three big guys to help load it. While they hefted it up to the back of the truck, they asked if we had help on the other side. I quickly said “yes” simultaneously kicking Austin as she was saying “no”. These were the last people in the world I would want knowing where this tub was landing! As we drove off I was relieved, though it didn’t feel like the most honorable deal I’ve ever been involved in.
Now we had the tub, the next step was to find help to unload. Austin was worried about this. I assured her someone will show up. We will find someone.
So thinking quick, we stopped at a festival at Jackson Wellsprings and the guys pictured here showed up to help us unload. Yes, that is Austin in the tub with the strapping permaculturer.
Tonight, true to her nature, there is no stopping her, as Austin’s body and soul conjure the energy to head out off of this physical plane. Those of us who know and love her are fortunate to have all the beautiful gifts she so generously leaves with us~ Love, laughter, and the truest modeling of joie de vivre~ Ciao Austin!
There are 3 previous posts that I have written about my friend Austin:
And Victor Lodato’s beautiful story: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/24/style/modern-love-when-your-greatest-romance-is-friendship.html?_r=0
The last pear