You know the old Tale of Two Cities cliche, “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times”?
That’s my last three days.
Friday was great. Aubrey’s ear appointment went well. She was an angel in the doctor’s office, even though we were there for a hungry, tired two hours. Dr. Mickey and the nurses couldn’t believe how still she sat and how well she did what she was told. One tube was already gone, and the other was lying in the canal, so Dr. Mickey scooped it out and also tweezed out some debris that had attached to her eardrum. She passed her hearing test with flying colors and does not have to have new tubes.
Finally! Some good ear-related news!
I did some contract cleaning work Friday evening for a little extra money and enjoyed it. The feeling of adding to my family’s finances while doing something so simple and rewarding made the ensuing backache and tired legs totally worth it.
Cut to Saturday, and the wave of awesome crashed mercilessly.
We were headed to Crossett for a family get-together to celebrate the first anniversary of Randall’s adoption of Sarah. We got the day-making news that the Pine Bluff family was going to be there and were so excited. The morning went pretty well, and we made it out the door at exactly the time we had planned (which never happens).
Everything was loaded in the Suburban, and suddenly something went wrong with the power liftgate. When we pressed the button to open it, it went up about two feet and immediately came back down. Somehow between the time I had gotten groceries out that morning and when we got ready to leave, the door became askew and wouldn’t open or close correctly.
Everyone piled out of the car and moved everything to the Altima. Off we went once more. When we stopped for gas, the brake light was on. Since the parking brake wasn’t up, we consulted the manual and realized the same warning light comes on when the brake fluid is low. As we were about to stop to check that, the battery light came on.
Was it the less-than-a-year-old battery going out or was it the alternator? If we stopped the car, we might not get it started again, but if we continued on our trip, we might be stranded on the side of the road with two little princesses in 100-degree weather.
What to do…
The car had taken away our choice. We were stranded, but at least we were at the gas station. We called a wonderfully understanding and helpful friend (who also happened to have a car that could carry all four of us at once) to come get us, and despite the fact that she felt like hammered poo, she came to our rescue.
Back to the house we went.
All the stuff was transferred back into the Suburban, and Randall secured the liftgate with a strap. We stopped once again for gas and met Dad at the spot where we had left the car. As soon as we called to say we were going to be late for our own party, he had gotten in his truck and headed our way so we didn’t have to abandon the car in a less-than-optimal part of town. Dad and Randall loaded the car onto the trailer, and we went back to our house again to drop it off.
I felt like we were wearing a groove in the road we had been down this path so many times.
The girls and I left the guys at the house and took off for Crossett. We had left the house without having showers because we were trying to make sure we left on time, and we knew we could shower when we arrived. We were supposed to make potatoes and do several other things when we got to my parents’ house, but at this point, we just wanted to get cleaned up and actually make it to the party.
Of course, no sooner were we about to head out of town than I heard, “Need teetee” followed by, “Me, too!” Oh, the joys of a potty training, nearly-two-year-old and a four-year-old who waits until the last minute and never needs to go when she has a convenient chance to do so.
We stopped at the gas station at Finks Hideaway and Hwy. 165. Teetee, wash hands, load everyone up, phone rings. It’s Dad wanting to know where we are. We had spent so much time with our teetee break that the guys had somehow gotten ahead of us. I assured him that, despite how it looked, we were making progress and would soon be on the road.
Two seconds after we pulled out of the gas station…
Sarah: “I’m hungry.”
Me: Deep sigh.
I whipped into Sonic, and the phone rang again. Dad and Randall had pulled over to wait on us so we could travel together. At this point, I was half tempted to turn around and go home, but we got our food, got back on the road, connected with the guys and made it to Crossett. Everyone got cleaned up, changed clothes and piled back into the car to go to the church where the get-together was being held.
Despite our day that had been handcrafted in Hades, we made it to the party and were only 45 minutes late. There were plenty of times I had questioned whether we would even make it, but we arrived, and somehow the day ended with more blessings to count than frustrations.
1. On one of our trips back to the house, I got the mail. There was a letter from Randall’s employer stating that beginning in the fall, he will get a fairly decent and unexpected raise.
2. The Pine Bluff Mixons made it to the party, and, even though we were late, we got to enjoy a visit with them, which doesn’t happen nearly often enough.
3. We have no way of knowing what might’ve happened if we had been able to leave when we expected. What if all these seemingly awful things were Divine Intervention’s way of removing us from something potentially devastating that would’ve crossed our path if we had travelled earlier in the day?
4. We got pictures with four generations of Mixons and Warrens – Randall’s grandparents (he blessedly still has all four), Randall’s parents, Randall, our girls, his brother Michael and his boys. What a wonderful opportunity!
5. The food was wonderful, and my inlaws outdid themselves on adding special touches to make the day perfect. The cake was yellow with chocolate icing, which is both Randall and Sarah’s favorite. Even though the main meal was grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage, potato salad and baked beans, my father-in-law had made gumbo and rice because he knows how much Sarah likes a bowl of just the juice and rice. Behind the food line was a laptop that was set to constantly loop the video from when we were in Judge Marchman’s chambers signing the papers. My mother-in-law had gone in the church nursery and pulled out some of the toys and ride-ons for the grandkids, and they were absolutely loving it. Everything was spot-on perfect!
6. We got to visit for two or three uninterrupted hours with Randall’s parents, which rarely happens. Even though that meant we didn’t get home until after 11, it was so worth it, and I can’t wait to get that chance again.
7. My mother-in-law got to rock Aubrey to sleep, and you could see that both of them were quite pleased to be wrapped up in each other.
8. We got to see our nephews, and Grant actually wanted me to pick him up and didn’t want to get in the car when I walked him out there. Usually, Ethan comes to me, and Grant avoids me, but on this particular day, they were both showing the love, and I was eating it up.
Our “well poo!” day ended well after all. We were and are continuously blessed by the people in our lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who showed so much patience and understanding and made the day so great. Every time we turned and found frustration waiting for us, someone was waiting around the corner to wash it away with blessings.
We are blessed, loved and thankful!