After a very eventful couple of days (including a flat tire complete with missing spare and broken jack, an undelivered backpack which was ordered before Christmas and an unexpected need to sell things we hadn’t planned to sell) we managed to get on the road and start our new adventure.
We had planned to leave at 10:00 a.m., but about 9:00 we realized that we had several things we had not cleaned out like our night stands and a closet. As we rushed around to complete these tasks, as well as the final touches on packing, the ministry arrived to pick up our furniture. Let’s just say it was a little chaotic. (We did make $700 from the sale of the other furniture the day before leaving, so we only need $1400 before Monday!)
In the midst of the chaos my husband was busy loading suitcases and backpacks into the borrowed car top carriers (yes, two of them) when he noticed the car’s roof had a huge indention. We realized that we were going to have to unpack EVERYTHING and get rid of about half of it. The school requires that we have towels, mattress covers, sheets and blankets for everybody, but there was no room. We quickly went to plan B: take some clothes out of the suitcases to make room for the mattress covers and sheets, and buy the towels and blankets when we get there.
This change was quite an adjustment to my stockpile way of thinking. I have tons of shampoo, shaving cream, deodorant and other toiletries that I was able to get for FREE or super cheap by couponing and shopping at CVS, so I planned on packing them to take with us. We very quickly went from “pack everything we need so we can save money later” to “eliminate everything that we can buy later” because we had to be able to fit the children into the car with all the luggage. (It doesn’t look good to leave them sitting on the front steps while we drive away for a five month stay.).
Four and a half hours later six very tired people climbed into the minivan (which was only about 3 inches from the ground at this point) and headed down the road. Once we reached 45 miles an hour we realized we had another problem: the air moving through the space between the carrier and the top of the car made a horrible noise like thousands of locusts descending upon us.
After about an hour we could no longer take the high-pitched whine, so we stopped at a rest area and my husband stuffed every available paper towel into the space. The quiet was amazing. He did have a minor fall on the way from the bathroom, so we prayed for protection again before we re-entered the van.
We enjoyed a quiet and argument-free five and a half hour drive which was a New Year’s Eve miracle. The kids even commented when we pulled into the parking lot that it was the best road trip ever. I’m just praying that the grace extends to the 8 hour drive we have to make on Sunday after attending my brother-in-law’s church.
Speaking of the church, they graciously allowed us to attend their New Year’s celebration a couple of hours late. We had planned on seeing my brother-in-law perform at a restaurant where he was singing and playing guitar but we arrived five minutes too late. We again went to plan B (there seems to be a theme here) and ate dinner at the church. We really enjoyed talking with everyone and then enjoyed some late night Dairy Queen and headed to the hotel.
After figuring out how to squeeze six people and all of our stuff into the medium sized room, everyone dispersed. A few minutes later my daughter ran in and said we had missed the New Years ball drop at Times Square. It was 11:00 p.m. our time, but midnight New York time. Oh well-another family tradition we missed this year.
I’m beginning to get the picture that things are going to be different.