21 Hours

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.

fishy kisses

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.

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11 thoughts on “21 Hours

  1. Pingback: And One More Thing « the domestic fringe

  2. ladyofthemanse

    Enjoyed your story. Reminds me of when we were kids and my parents used to do deputation (resource development I think it is called now), with three of four of us crammed in the back seat and the other one stuck between Mom and Dad in the front. And the car so full of us and luggage we scraped bottom over the cow gate thingy at my Aunt and Uncle’s place.

    Nowadays I always have M and M’s when I’m driving. One by one…the rest of the family can eat them in handfuls!

    Reply
  3. Lisa

    You poor, poor child. I’ve done an 18 hour trip that is usually done in 26 several times. I feel your pain baby.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Vlogging: Shoe Love « the domestic fringe

  5. Sara

    Oh my goodness! What a trip (both literally and figuratively)!! Had you thrown in a suicidal relative for the sewing machine you could have had your own “Little Miss Sunshine” moment! 🙂 Reading this brought back some childhood memories of my own. We always took driving vacations. One trip my parents drove straight through from D.C. to St. Louis because my dad decided we didn’t need any motel reservations. It was definitely an adventure!! 🙂 You guys will treasure this time.

    Reply
  6. julee

    “I wished we were flying.” – ha ha!

    I agree with Amber above – David Sedaris would be nowhere without being able to laugh at his crazy dysfunction. 🙂

    Reply
  7. AmberPamper

    Oh you will cherish these memories and all the dysfunction that comes with them! For me we’ve always been so poor growing up that our stories were so outlandish. You know normal families drive in normal cars with normal functions. Stop at hotels and sleep to rest. Stop at restaurants to eat. Refresh. Not my family. We drove straight through with dad peeing in a large jug to “optimize travel time.” Oh yes friend I can relate to long trips where everything seems so abnormal. 🙂

    Reply
  8. Judy Brodie

    I enjoyed reading your experiences!! So glad you had a safe trip! I hope you get alot of joy from your sewing machine…I will be looking forward to stories and pictures from your projects 🙂

    Reply

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