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The Long And Winding Road That Led To Home

April 11, 2013

I think I left Birmingham last Saturday under a cloud of suspicion, due to the interesting timing of my garage accident right on the heels Charlie’s broken leg last time we were supposed to leave Birmingham. Looking out the window right now at the mounds of snow left by winter storm Walda (WALDA?) I think I should have tried something more drastic to prevent our return. But return we did.

We left right on time, pulling out of Nini and Papaw’s driveway at 12:01 p.m. The van was loaded, the black door was closed, and off we went, spirits high…for about 40 miles.  We got only as far as Cullman, Alabama before slowing to a stop in what would turn out to be a two and a half hour traffic jam.  This is not the end of the world, but when you are facing a sixteen hour drive, that additional two and a half hours is most disheartening.

After a long time of sitting, we finally rolled down the windows, unbuckled everybody and let the kids play “sweet and sour”, waving at drivers to see who would wave back.  Even Annie was waving frantically.  They pretty much played with the same four drivers, one of whom held a bubble wand out the window and let the wind blow big bubbles.  Another driver held his cell phone out the window so the kids could skype with his wife.  A lady hollored to me, “You have made an otherwise unbearable day of driving better!”

And I like to think we did make people feel better that day, as they reminded themselves, “It could be worse: I could be trapped in the stink-van with the Clown-Arounds.”

Dan was determined to drive straight through the night and arrive home in time for church, because he was supposed to make an announcement about a Bible study that starts this week. So drive we did, from noon Saturday to 7:30 a.m. Sunday.   The lesson here: if you need someone to make an announcement at your Sunday service, Dan is your man.  He takes announcements very seriously.

The 2.5 hour traffic jam was not the only downer.  Miss P and I suffered upset stomachs.  Miss P went through quite a few diapers between Cullman and Jasper which we then had to share the air with for the duration of the traffic jam. That was disappointing.

Also disappointing was having to bang on the door of a closed gas station at 4 a.m. and explain that I, having eaten too much candy and drunk too much Coke, needed access to the bathroom.  The gas station bathroom was pristine and someone had stenciled an attractive floral border around the wall. The attendant, a  Q-tip (as Kettie so fondly refers to the wearers of white hair), was just making the coffee and getting ready to open shop.  Oh, how I wanted to stay and drink coffee with her in the gas station.  It was all I could do to walk back to the  candy-wagon and face four little pairs of eyes which were now open (and would remain so) thanks to my ill-timed bathroom stop.

But we made it home, and it is good to be back.  Except for Walda.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Susanna permalink
    April 11, 2013 5:49 pm

    I can’t believe you didn’t share one of Mary George’s diapers. I can see you walking back to the candy wagon wishing something- anything would make it okay to stay for coffee at the Chevron.

  2. Grammie permalink
    April 11, 2013 7:17 pm

    Ahhh!! The Clown Arounds. What a great family! One hyphenated word: porta-potty.

  3. Vicki Schwab permalink
    April 13, 2013 10:59 am

    I’m still laughing about your previous post. I realize now I should have used your technique several times in the past. For example: The kids and I are ok, but there seems to be a suspicious dent in the back of the new suburban. The kids and I are ok, but your coffee pot broke yesterday and you won’t be able to have coffee this morning. Ha Ha I will have to remember to use this in the future! Vicki (Lori’s sister)

    • Vicki Schwab permalink
      April 13, 2013 11:10 am

      Oh, can’t forget this important one: The kids and I are ok, but your favorite sweatshirt shrunk and now it fits me! (He still is upset about that.)

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