A week ago last Tuesday I began the frenzied preparations needed to go on a lengthy trip. The laundry was caught up and the house cleaned to a gleaming state. I only wish I had been around to enjoy the house the entire week it was clean, heh. 🙂 Food in the fridge was quickly devoured until we were eating fast food so as not to create left-overs that would turn into fuzzy green science projects while we were gone. The big trick was how to pack to fit our small space. We have a standard mini van, with out the extended back end and no luggage rack on top. Paul toyed with the idea of towing a trailer, but that didn’t work and we decided it wasn’t needed. I put my savvy packing skills to use and we ended up with ample room to spare. How did we manage that!?! We wondered, until we realized that the station wagon and other cars before did not have the under the seat storage space that we now enjoy.
The children typically do well on long drives, but I was not exactly looking forward to a 14 hour trip with four children ages 7 and under packed to the hilt in a small van. I would go all pale and queasy with the thought until my husband the genius hooked up the portable DVD player. Wahoo! Some times I am so grateful for technology and the modern world. With everything hooked up and loaded we were ready.
I whacked the snooze button for the umpteenth time Friday morning and groaned at my clock blinking 5:00 a.m. in neon red. My eyelids drifted off into slumber when the sensation of a jack hammer on the bed shook us from our reveries. My groggy eyes opened to find Dot bouncing around, “Is it time to go yet?” The clock read 5:40; it was past time to go. We bolted. Starting the dishwasher, feeding the dog and letting her outside, carrying out the last of the garbage, and packing the food cooler; we were on our way in half an hour zipping into the sunrise through Portland.
Jacob tolerated the car well and I am happy to report we arrived in Utah at Paul’s brother’s house that night in one piece, and vomit free! (We have a habit to include vomit on our trips, not necessarily from car sickness, just sickness in general.)
Saturday morning the plan was to go out to Dear Creek later that day with a borrowed boat and have some fun on the water. After a slow start we had kids ready and we were on our way, boat and all. The park was packed, kids were fussy and anxious, and parents were stretched tighter than a sling shot ready to fire. We had finally agreed to let the children play in the rock infested waters while the men tried to start the boat, hoping no one slipped and bashed their head in the process. Paul issued a silent prayer, “If we’re supposed to do this, let this boat start, please.” Frustration was prominent. The boat gave a lurching start and then nothing. Out from the gas tank Paul’s brother pulled a bottle of . . . . water?!? Well, we supposed that was our answer, no boating today. The boat owner’s kids had a bit too much fun over the non boating months, as it sat lonely in the back yard. Giving up on that idea we spent a fun afternoon playing in the water and avoiding razor sharp rocks. We even made it out of there with only one minor injury: poor Emmy had sliced her foot on a rock, or piece of glass, or something. Thank goodness it wasn’t deep and doctor mom was ready with the first aid kit.
We attended church with Paul’s brother on Sunday. You never expect to see anyone you know, so imagine our surprise when Paul received a tap on his shoulder and he turned to find some of our best friends from Oregon. They had told us about 3 weeks ago they were moving to Utah, and here they were: in his brother’s ward (congregation)! What a shocker for us. We laughed at the amazing coincidence and enjoyed catching up with each other.
Our trip was off to a fun and interesting start. We enjoyed the company of family that afternoon and on Monday things really started to heat up . . .