For most of our married lives, we have lived some distance away from our families. We have been as close as 1 1/2 hours away and as far as 16 hours away. When our children were younger, we made trips "home" a priority. Our parents were young enough to make those long distance journeys to see us a couple of times a year as well. It wasn't ideal but we made the best of the situation.
As our children and parents have aged, those trips have become more difficult for everyone but some occasions call for a special effort. The first wedding in the family is such an occasion and so it was with great anticipation that we drove 12 hours for our nephew's wedding. On summer break and with a flexible work schedule, only College Boy could join us for the trip. It would be a scaled down version of previous family trips.
Since we were included in the Friday evening rehearsal, we gave ourselves some margin in the schedule and drove down on Thursday. Car rides are like a tranquilizer to me and most often I'm asleep 15 minutes into the drive. This day my hubby was fighting a migraine so I was called into active duty. With enough crunchy or chewy candy and some good tunes, I can stay awake while driving. My other weakness is that I'm directionally challenged. Fortunately, the GPS helps keeps me on the right route.
While I was busy staying awake and staying on track, I failed to check my fuel usage until I was 11 miles to empty. My theory is that this number is an estimate and that the manufacturer gives people like me a "grace period"--but I was not going to test out this theory on a particularly long and lonely stretch of interstate through Missouri. Uncertain of how close the next town or gas station would be and not wanting to wake my husband (both for my embarrassment and his mental health), I prayed hard and out loud. No sooner than I had said AMEN, there was a sign indicating an exit with fuel in the next mile. I was relieved! I took the exit only to find that the gas station was defunct! I could see another highway crossing the exit road about another mile down the way and thought that might be worth a try. Low and behold there was a Baptist church sitting next to some kind of petroleum business. It must be a sign! The station looked like the kind of place that farmers frequent for their diesel fuel but I was hoping they had something that would work in my car! The "store" was closed, but there were pumps (old timey ones) and some kind of card reader so I still had hope. To answer my prayers above and beyond what I asked, there was also a friendly man filling up his car. He kindly showed me how to work the pumps & card reader. A full tank later, I was back on the road again!
My mother in law had a light meal waiting for us when we arrived. How come turkey sandwiches taste so much better when someone else is making them for you? Top off the sandwiches and Rotel dip with homemade turtle brownies and we were revived from our long trip home.
On Friday morning, hubby got up early to take his dad for some medical tests at the hospital in the next town. MIL, College Boy and I met the men for breakfast after the tests then went on for a little wedding shopping for College Boy whose wardrobe is limited to t-shirts and hoodies.
Friday evening was the rehearsal followed by dinner at a quaint downtown Little Rock restaurant. It was a great evening celebrating these two young people who have spent as much time preparing themselves for their life together as they had the details of the wedding day. There were toasts and tears and lots of joy that night!
Saturday threatened rain showers but we arrived at the church on time and dry for family pictures. The ceremony was beautiful and officiated by both the bride and groom's youth pastors. They testified to their spiritual growth over the years and what strengths each of them bring to the marriage. Their were more tears and a few prayers. I do's were said and the party began!
The bride's family hosted a wonderful party at the Little Rock Country Club. Beautiful decorations, wonderful food and a rockin band kept the party going until late in the evening.
On Sunday, we drove another 1 1/2 hours to see my parents. My brother and his wife joined us for some yummy mexican food at one of our favorite restaurants and then an afternoon of catching up with each other in person.
Sunday night was back to the in laws house for a head start on the return trip on Monday.
Today hubby drove all the way in the rain for most of the trip...and I slept!
Happy Trails to you!