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Today started late, or early for me, depending on how you count. I was counting plumbing parts like sheep last night, not sleeping. We needed a bathtub immediately. At 2:11 am I found a bathtub I could live with online at Lowes for $229, almost $100 less than anywhere else I could find one in stock or not. I was elated. But, one catch. No free delivery; $79 for delivery. Could we possibly get a bathtub in a Subaru?

Bathtub purchased but no solution for delivery settled, I went to bed about the time everyone else was getting up. I noticed it was snowing hard. When I woke up a after my nap, I came bolt upright from a dream in which my spouse had bought an old, rusted yellow Jeep Cherokee truck for $79. There was a bathtub in it and it was at the house. A friend from 20 years ago suddenly was living right next door. He was standing on the hill at the edge of his yard, looking down at me with a stern look and said, “I don’t like anything about this at all!” I wilted and bristled at the same time, “What don’t you like about this?” “Well everything.” I was walking around the truck in snow and surveying the rust, rolling around in my mind that the truck for $79 had solved the delivery problem. I was concerned about the neighbor but the truck had most of my attention.

Everything is budget fraught these days. A $79 vehicle solution would truly catch my attention. We really need a new car but we really cannot figure that out with the house too. It is all too much.

Our trusty red 1996 Subaru that died in the fire was succeeded by a not-so-trusty white 2002 Subaru. It is not the car’s fault but it has 160,000 miles on it and I think the first 150,000 someone did not love it as much as we love our Subarus. I have a love, distrust relationship with the car. It keeps trying to soldier on but the head gaskets already had to be replaced. It has new tires, new brakes and now it needs a clutch. Oh, and the radio broke. With the winter in Montana being a serious affair we are worried about the vehicle suddenly “being out of service.”

Consequently, when I awoke and realized the plumbers were at the house, the bathtub was at Lowes and we did not have a $79 Jeep Pickup truck, my mind was reeling. Could we get a bathtub in a Subaru? Could we even get to the neighboring town where Lowes was in this snow?

I called Lowes and asked for the dimensions on the box. I took the dimensions, my tape measure and my sleepy self out into the snow and opened the Subaru hatch to take the measure of the car. Whack! The lift on the hatch door does not stay open unless the car is parked on a slight downhill slope. I knew that. I forgot that it was parked on a slight uphill slope. I shoved the hatch up again, got my head in the back of the car and down it came again. I was still as mentally gray as the day was so I just left it there and kept measuring. I hope no one saw it. It would have looked like the Subaru had half a women in a bathrobe in its mouth, feet hanging out like Jaws. Poor Subaru, it would never do that to me.

I called the plumber and our contractor and said we were going to get the tub as quickly as the snow would allow. I told my spouse who was driving that I thought there was a 99% probably a bathtub would fit in a Subaru and hoped he would not be too upset if we got there and you could not put a bathtub in a Subaru. He mmm’d and off we went. Sophie, who had the whole back seat to herself, was sitting in her seat belt as usual looking out the window as the world went by.

We made our way though the snow to Lowes. We got the bathtub in the car with ease, just not with a dog and two people. We tugged and pushed a bit and found a spot for Sophie. Back she went, sitting on top of the folded down seat sharing the back with a bathtub.

It was then off to our warehouse in the other neighboring town to pick up the rough-in valve for the bathtub. The photo with this blog is one I snapped with my cell phone. I came around to the back and just cracked. She just sat there looking like it was the most normal thing in the world to sit in the Subaru with a bathtub, and now with a rough-in valve too.

We made it slowly but not slipper-ly back to our town and up the mountain road to our house. Getting the Subaru with the bathtub all the way up the driveway to the house in the snow with the ice underneath that came from the thaw last week, dodging rocks, giant holes, construction trucks and a couple of pieces of excavation equipment was a little bit of a challenge. Kudos to my spouse who not only missed the hole, the rocks, and the excavator, he also missed the truck with the OSB plywood sheets hanging out the back.

The tub was a success and the house is great. Plumbing pipes are reassuring and heartwarming at this point. Down the mountain with the empty Subaru. Over to the UPS Store to pick up a huge load of building supplies and a few pieces of furniture for the house. Thankfully two chests of drawers were shipped flat in boxes or we could never have gotten a console chest, two linguine chests, two small side tables, an 11 foot vintage silk Chinese scroll painting (which rolled up really tiny), a magazine basket, two people and a dog. The last box would not fit. Bummer. Ran out of room.

Since keep running out of room in the Subaru, I suggested we get a second Subaru. We could back them up to each other and put the cargo in the hatches of both. I would drive one and my spouse would back the other and we would go down the road like a push-me-pull-you.

Even though the Subaru dealership is between the UPS Store and the condo where we are living, we decided to drop off some stuff at the condo rather than drop off at the Subaru store for a second Subaru. At the condo I  consolidated two boxes into one and we took out the “some assembly required” chests. Back to the UPS Store to see if we could get the other package in so we did not have to make yet another trip to the warehouse in the snow. By now poor Sophie’s head is spinning since we kept moving her this way and that as we crammed packages in. The bathtub had just been a preamble to how packed the Subaru was now. Off through the snow to the warehouse. When we got to the warehouse, now five hours after we set out for the bathtub, Sophie started wiggling around (as best she could in such cramped quarters) and barking happily, “The warehouse! My warehouse!” We both decided she figured she could wrest control of the back seat with the help of the warehouse. And, in fact she did.

The commercial says Subaru is about love. Today, with everyone working together, our Subaru was about love. That, and driving around in the snow with a bathtub.

open hatch of a subaru with a bathtub box and a dog inside