A Funny Thing Happen on Our Way to the Falls
This past August, hubby and I visited Buttermilk Falls in the tiny town of Ludlow, Vermont. A charming village surrounded by throngs of mountains, babbling brooks and trees with robust color showcasing the last hoorah before the onset of winter.
Vermont holds a special place in our hearts—we honeymooned in Pittsfield. But more importantly, Vermont is a wonderful place to visit, where the air is clean and free of toxins, and the water is pure—so pure, you can see all the way to the bottom of the babbling brooks and the memories you create remain forever. The smell of wood burning stoves permeates the crisp air reminding you of its quaintness, family unity and neighbors who share camaraderie far beyond the norm.
This particular morning, the air was chilly, but we were prepared with warm coats. We’d allowed ourselves enough time to stop for breakfast and a visit to the Buttermilk Falls. On our way out of the restaurant, we picked up some homemade goodies. There’s something very therapeutic about purchasing homemade items when you’re on vacation. It’s a reminder of a wonderful vacation that extends far beyond the empty containers.
Excited to see what the locals all rave about, we pulled into the crowded parking lot and found a space. Since it had warmed up, we decided to remove our coats, and I handed Bob my purse to hide because I didn’t want to lug it around. Everything neatly tucked away, we’re on our jaunt back toward the path, but midway I’m having second thoughts about bringing my cellphone—the phone that’s in my purse hidden in a safe place. You never know when you’re going to need it. Right? But Bob thinks we need to hurry down the path, so I don’t say anything—that is until he goes to take a picture of me with his heavy dinosaur camera that won’t work because he’s forgotten to charge the batteries. Bob’s not into the cellphone pictures yet. Actually, I’m glad he’s forgotten to charge the batteries, because now I have an excuse to get my phone.
He hands me the keys and warns me to hurry or we won’t have time to see the Falls. I gallop back to the car and realize the back door is unlocked. Suddenly nervous about not locking the door, I put Bob’s camera on the floor and unconsciously lock the door promising not to tell Bob I’d forgotten to lock it, only I suddenly remember I wanted my phone. I click on the fob but the locks aren’t moving. I try it several times, but it’s not working. Bob sees me having trouble and comes back to the car.
“What’s wrong,” he says.
“The fob won’t work.”
He takes it from my hand and starts clicking, you know, just in case I didn’t click it the right way. You all know how that works, don’t you?
Well, it didn’t work for him either. I’m feeling slightly smug that he can’t get it to work either, but I decided it was in my best interest to keep the mouth shut. That is, until I suddenly realize our coats are missing. And if our coats are missing . . . that means so is my purse. Now, I’m beginning to panic. I can’t believe someone stole our stuff. I can’t believe they’ve ruined our vacation, I’m picturing us sitting in the police station filling out a report, and Bob and I both missing very important meetings the next day because we’ve missed our flight home. Flights are limited in that part of the woods. I mean, it’s a lovely place but it’s not like living in a Metropolitan area with everything close by. I was sure they had AAA, but with my phone in my purse that’s now been stolen, how was I going to call for help?
As I stood watching my husband continually press the remote, my anxiety escalated until it suddenly occurred to me that whoever stole our coats, has also stolen our purchased goodies because they weren’t on the backseat either, just the camera bag. Surprised because we hadn’t walked that far into the woods before I’d turned around to retrieve my phone, I couldn’t believe anyone from Vermont, our special place, could have stolen our treasures from our rental car, or that our last day of vacation had been sabotaged by some mean-spirited thief.
I began to pace back and forth the crunching of the gravel beneath my feet. Glancing at Bob I can see he’s frustrated and the noise I was making with my pacing wasn’t helping. I decided to give him a break and since I’m a mystery writer, I’m going to do my own investigating by checking each car in the lot to see if it was someone in the parking lot who’d pilfered our stuff while hubby fiddled with the key fob.
Fortunately, other than the parked cars, no one else was around to see me snooping in the windows. As I approached car after car, I finally found what I was looking for—the thief’s car. I shook my head in bafflement. What kind of schmuck would steal our stuff and leave it on the backseat in plain view. I called out to Bob who was several car lengths away and came rushing over. Bob leaned up against the window and shielded the light so he could see inside. Sure enough, it was our stuff.
My Jersey girl came out as I watched him peek and out of my mouth shot, “Can you believe someone would be so blatant as to leave the stolen goods right on the back seat?”
Bob took a couple of steps back and gave me an odd look. “Hon, didn’t you throw the wrapper from the cookie you had earlier on the floor?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I was waiting to throw it out in a trash can. Why?”
Bob pulled the fob from his pocket and clicked twice. All the locks popped simultaneously. Ha! So now, it suddenly occurs to us that I’ve locked our camera bag in someone else’s car—a car the same color, make and model as our rental car.
Neither one of us could stop laughing at our stupidity. Especially me, because I’d gotten myself so worked up thinking someone ruined our trip to Vermont. So we waited, and waited, and waited by the car that had our camera bag, that was now locked inside, whose owners were probably having a great time seeing the falls that I was not going to be seeing since our flight was in a few hours.
Ninety minutes later, the owners come strolling toward the car. Since I was the one to make the mistake, brave soul that I am, I approached the driver whose face was formed into a scowl wondering why I was standing by his car.
“Can I help you,” he said.
“Ah, yeah. Well . . . you’re not going to believe this, but . . . well, you see, we thought your car was our car, and well, your doors were unlocked, and we thought we forgot to lock our doors, so we put our camera bag in the back seat of your car and locked the doors.”
The three other passengers, one being his wife, are now laughing hysterically along with me, but the driver with the scornful expression on his face—nah, he wasn’t too happy. He immediately began to chastise his wife for not locking the doors, and reluctantly gave us the bag.
As Bob and I walked toward our car with our tails between our legs, we picked up our pace for the last bit to get into our car before we busted our guts laughing. Needless to say, this trip to Vermont will have many years of entertaining memories. Have I told you that I love Vermont?
Stay tuned for more Butterscotch Martini Girls!