Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Move: Drive Day 1

I told you a little bit about our camping out Thursday and Friday nights, so let's fast-forward to Friday night. CAM and I were camping out in the living room and at some point, I clicked off the tv and rolled over.  The alarm was set for 6:15.  The plan was for Mick and me to quietly get up and finish whatever packing needed to be done, grab quick showers, and then wake the kids and head out as close to 8 as possible.  (We like to let the kids travel the first leg of any road trip still in their "jammies."  I think I explained this in the past, but if not, the short version is that it is our best defense against car sickness if we just let the kids go from bed to carseat without so much as brushing their teeth.  Sounds gross, but trust me, folks, it works.  And there is very little in this world that is less fun than cleaning kid puke out of the nooks and crannies at a roadside gas station with two sad, crying children and no place to put anything and no way to wash anything.)

About 4, I woke up with a headache and simultaneously that realized I hadn't heard anything from upstairs. Not a peep.  In the middle-of-the-night-with-not-enough-sleep mode that I was in, I immediately thought something must be dreadfully wrong.  Mick wasn't snoring and I couldn't hear WHM stirring.  So, I got up and tiptoed upstairs to check on them in the sweltering 10,000-degree upstairs.  Plus, I had that headache and needed to get something to knock it out, and in a hurry.

I had to tiptoe because both boys in the family are easily waken, and once awake, they can be pretty difficult to get back to sleep.  I couldn't risk that Mick would wake up at 4 and be up for the day.  I checked on WHM and he was fine, but then he stirred!  Stirred!  I froze like a statue in the shadow between his door and our bedroom door,  not wanting my movement to wake him, not wanting to block (or not block) the light that was already in there and have THAT wake him, and not wanting his potential cries to wake Mick.  I felt like the main character in the Tell Tale Heart, hand on the doorknob, turning it so slowly you'd never know it moved, my heart pounding so loudly you'd think the beats alone would wake Mick and WHM, except in my case my heart was pounding through my head and I was afraid I was going to pass out and my crash would wake them!

Finally, after a small eternity (there are degrees of infinity, so why not degrees of eternity, right?!) I tiptoed into my room.  I had to get across the room without waking Mick, because my Excedrin was on my bedside table (conveniently left there from the headache I'd had two days earlier).  Normally I would have sucked it up 'til a decent hour, but I needed to take the Excedrin and get back to sleep as soon as possible so that I could function on the day's drive.  (I was still very much panicked about my ability to stay awake, because the last time I followed Mick -- and then it was only to NH -- I struggled so much we had to stop and let me nap multiple times.  It was awful, and stressful, and I was petrified it was going to happen again.) 

Anyway.  No sooner did I get the Excedrin and get back downstairs and snuggled in, than I heard WHM's cough and realized he was not in bed; he was standing at the top of the stairs wondering why I'd promised him he could camp out and yet he woke up in the middle of the night in his own bed.

But I told y'all that part of the story already.

Fast forward again.  Mick let me rest while he packed some (my headache was kicking my tail and I had already been sick twice).  I started feeling better close to 7:30.  Now we've loaded up the car/truck/trailer, we've adjusted the AC and lights, and we've gotten the kids in their seats.  We're heading out and it's 8:05 by my clock ...

Bye, house!

We stopped at a McDonald's to pick up biscuits and something to drink (more caffeine, please!) and by 8:30, we were headed up 85 North.

Good tunes.  CAM was with me, WHM was with Mick, and we were on our way!

Goal:  get to Winchester, Virginia.

We even had a special princess riding shotgun -- taking "Bea's" bed had been a last-minute thought and I grabbed it, Merida and all, and put it on the passenger seat.

And we were doing GREAT!  Great time, staying awake, singing songs, stopped for a nice brunch-ish meal at Cracker Barrel, and even had talked about calling my friend Jill (who lives in Winchester, and who is clearly my not-quite-twin, and who I see roughly once every three years) to meet for dinner because we were doing so well on time.  Really.  And then ...

This happened.

Here is my Facebook post:

 "Jesus, take the wheel!"  Well, as usual our bad luck is draped in good clothes: it's daylight, it's Saturday and not Sunday (so places are open), and we pulled into a gas station where another gentleman with a trailer happened to be there. He was able to help Mick a bit and told us where there is a Tractor Supply, which turned out to be only 15 miles away. And thankfully, we DO have both cars. So, TS is where we are now. I will keep you posted!

Seriously.  We were so lucky that -- if this was going to happen anyway -- that it happened the way it did.  There's a lot of sh-t in my life right now, and I am trying so hard to always be positive.  (Even when I positively want to just despair.)  I really did believe that we'd managed to find a silver lining of breakdowns.  And thank goodness we'd had both cars!  It worked out quite well, all things considered!

The field next to the gas station where we pulled over.

The kids.  This is CAM's new pose of choice, apparently!
The Tractor Supply that we got to visit not once, but twice.  Oh, yes.  The first time we went and picked up tires we'd called to have them hold, they were the wrong size.  So, there, back, and there again ...

A hopeful Mick -- this was only on Round One, though.  He wasn't so smiley on Round Two.

And we were back on the road.  It was a three-hour delay, though.  

So much for dinner with Jill, or taking the kids swimming at the hotel pool.  We got in close to 10, ordered take-out, showered, and called it a night.

All told, we were safe, neither Mick nor I was so tired that we were in danger, and the drive and weather were both beautiful.  And in the scope of things, the three-hour delay wasn't so bad.

We set the alarm for 6:15 and slept like babies...



  1. (a) Yay for making it to Maine safely and double yaay for getting the heck out of the ATL. I know you're shocked to hear that it's not one of my top 5 favorite places ever...

    (b) CAM's pose is fierce. LOVE.

    (c) When did you start saying "y'all?"

    1. Hah! I say y'all periodically ... I never really had occasion to use it in law school, since I was so antisocial and all.