Let’s talk about my trip for a moment, shall we? I hate to admit this, but I don’t think I can move on until I tell you about being trapped in a car for twenty-one hours. It will be riveting. Or not. Either way, I’m going to recount it in tremendous detail. Please accept my apology in advance.
We left Georgia at eight o’clock at night. Originally we had no intention of leaving until the next day, but we were officially exhausted and driving through the night suddenly seemed like a good idea. You see our car doesn’t like heat. It’s a winter car, hence no air-conditioning.
I’m not sure we should cater to our car, because I don’t like cold and yet everyone expects me to go out in it. Our car receives all the special treatment and I get a new pair of gloves. Sometimes life is so not fair.
We packed up nearly four weeks of belongings, mostly dirty clothes, and my son sat on the trunk while my husband pushed it closed. Then we loaded the giant black bag on top of our car. (Mom, I promise it was not a trash bag.) My husband complains that I came home with more than I brought down, but it was just a sewing machine for crying out loud. One sewing machine! It took up less space than either of our children and I could not leave it behind. My aunt never uses it and I will. End of story.
We hit the road with a two ton car, children reading new books, and a set of brakes that kinda-sorta worked, but could not be trusted to stop our heavy load on a dime or even on a silver dollar. We drove slowly and left lots of space between us and the vehicles around us. We stopped only for caffeine – not for me, for FringeMan. I drank half of a bottle of Pepsi that spent the last year locked in a thousand degree outhouse. It was enough caffeine for my un-addicted soul.
I’m not making up the outhouse thing either. It’s not my fault I can’t even drink a Pepsi without it having a ridiculous story behind it. And because someone will ask…Yes, it tasted wonky, but I drank it anyway. You know the saying, desperate times call for desperate measures. There is nothing more desperate than being locked in a vehicle for twenty-one hours with your family.
FringeMan drank a total of fifteen shots of espresso, and he wonders why he still feels a little edgy.
I saw three shooting stars that night and I wished upon every one of them. I wished we were flying.
Meteor showers were predicted, and I don’t know if three shooting stars count as a meteor shower, but I like to think I was part of an astronomical event. Allow me to remain disillusioned. Please and thank you.
Now I must confess my indulgence to you. I bought a bag of m&m’s on the first leg of this three-hour tour. It had 2 1/2 servings in it and I ate them all, one little m&m at a time. I like to think it gave me the will
to live to drive on. We lasted until four o’clock in the morning before stopping for a nap. I credit the m&m’s.
Ironically, I didn’t sleep. I fidgeted in my car seat and listed to everyone else snore until I could take it no more. Then I paced the rest area and gave the maintenance guy funny looks. For two hours. He was a stoic – wouldn’t crack a smile, wave, scowl, nothing. I’m pretty sure he was a mass-murderer. Either that or he grew up in a house in England and his father was a guard at the queen’s castle. I really don’t know, because he wouldn’t speak so I couldn’t judge his accent. All I know for sure is that he drove a rattier car than mine, but his seemed to have air-conditioning and it stopped when he pressed the brake pedal. Go figure.
By mid-afternoon the next day, I felt like throwing myself from the moving car, but my ankles were so swollen I couldn’t lift myself out the window and my door handle almost never works. The odds were against me.
When we pulled in our driveway, I cried and laughed at the same time. Maybe it was my hormones, but I think it was the fact that I could finally use a toilet without squatting. Either way, there’s no place like home after twenty-one hours in the car.