Pears are the basis of our vodka and aquavit. We purchase Washington State pears from a company in Vancouver, Washington. They are packed as concentrate in 5-gallon pails, which weigh nearly 60 pounds each.
For each batch of pears, I drive our truck to Vancouver and bring the pails back to the distillery. The most recent trip was few days ago. I bought 24 pails.
Sadly, this time the packers had not secured the pails of pear concentrate to the pallet. The pails were stacked two pails high, and as I entered the on-ramp to I-5, the top row of pails slid to the side of the truck, and tottered at the side edge of the back of the truck. They were ready to topple onto I-5.
The next exit was a mile away. I drove very slowly in the right lane, constantly checking my rear-view mirror and the sight of the white buckets, bent against the side of the truck.
As I reached the exit, I looked for someone to help me. I am not strong enough to move the 60-pound pails. There was a small shopping center. I knew that there would be no one to help me at the small shops. Then, I spied a charity donation center.
When I parked, several people told me that the pails were ready to fall out of the truck. I thanked them for the information.
Two young men were at work at the donation drop-off. I offered them $20 to straighten the pails. They agreed, but said no one could see them accepting the money.
After the pails were straightened, the $20 was passed via a handshake. I was back on I-5, and on my way to making vodka and aquavit.