Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bumps in the Road

Well, we did it. We successfully moved 2 adults, 4 children, 2 dogs, and two turtles to a new home. We did it all three days after Christmas, too. I am not recommending moving over the holidays, mainly because packing and purging adds considerable stress to an already hectic time of year.  I do have to say, though, thanks to an army of amazing friends and family we were able pull it off and ten days later only a few boxes are left in the house.

I'm telling you, you learn a lot about yourself and your family when you endeavor to pack up a home in under 3 weeks AND start a new job. While everything happening in our lives is positive it still felt kind of like a crisis because this move had to be done before he started his job on January 1 - or it would have taken even longer to get done I, being practically perfect in every way, tend to always have a plan. Lee, being practically perfect in his special way, tends to go into denial and come up with strange plans. The children, being children, tend to want to sit around watching t.v., reading, or listen to their music.  Fortunately for our marriage Lee and I worked out how differently he and I handle a crisis about 13 years ago when our oldest child was just a few months old.

Lee and I went to visit some friends in Baltimore when Kiley was about 5 months old. It was our first family vacation.  We had a little Honda Accord and we packed that thing full. We brought the pack and play, bouncy seat, exasaucer, portable high chair, a small cooler, and our suitcases. I'm truly surprised that there was room for our baby.  It was ridiculous. And SO exciting! A road trip with our baby to see some dear friends.  We felt like grown ups. Lee packed the car and left room in the backseat so that I could sit with the baby if she got lonely.  Have I mentioned this was our first child?

We stopped to eat at a steak place somewhere in Viriginia.  As I was changing Kiley's diaper a strange woman came and picked her to show to her husband. I followed worriedly behind her ready to shout "Abduction!" at any moment. "Look what I found, honey," the women said as she shoved my baby under a grumpy old man's nose. The man looked annoyed and grumbled, "Huh. Where'd you get that? Who's baby is that?"  I don't think this was the first strange baby his wife had brought to him.

I took that as my cue.  "That's my baby. She got it from me in the bathroom."  I then took my baby back to the table and we quickly paid and left the restaurant. Lee asked why I let the weird woman have our baby - I told him that I didn't have a choice.

On the way to the car I thought Kiley felt hot. Lee agreed.  We could not determine why she would have a fever but headed to Wal-mart to get her first dose of acetaminophine for her very first fever. As we walked the aisles looking for a cure we determined that the large quantities of air conditioning received in the car and restaurant  had given our first-born her first fever. C-R-A-Z-Y first-time parents.  While checking out we chatted with the clerk and (stupidly) shared our opinion of said fever. The clerk (wisely) told us she thought it was probably her first teeth.  We left feeling sorry for her ineptness at diagnosing a problem.

Night had now fallen on the hills of West Virginia. Lee and I were listening to music, the baby was sleeping and we were feeling grown up again.  There was no one on the road with us so we were completely shocked when our car was jolted with such force that all of our 10,000 items came flying to the front of the car.  I screamed. Lee screamed and pulled the car off to the side of the road. I thought a semi had hit us. Lee thought we had hit a deer. Looking behind us, though, we saw the offender was actually a Jupiter-sized pothole. Examining the car revealed a very flat tire.

Here's where the learning came in. Lee's first inclination was to just drive to the nearest exit, which appeared to be nowhere near us.  His second idea - and this was a winner - was to get the stroller out and hoof it.  In the middle of Nowhere, West Virginia. At 9 o'clock at night. Riiight.

I explained that I had a plan. I decided it was best to reveal my plan in small doses so as not shock my young husband.  I told him we needed to turn on the emergency lights and empty the trunk. He liked this idea. I believe he suspected I was trying to lighten the load so that we could safely keep driving. After emptying out what looked like Babies-R-Us on the side of the road I showed him the spare tire and the jack.

"Are you going to change the tire?"  my sweet man innocently asked.

"Nope, you are."  I said with authority.

Then I got into the backseat with the baby while he changed the tire. I don't know how long it took, but I know that we made it to a hotel on that tire safe and sound.  I know that my husband's chest was puffed out a little more after that.  I know that Flatwoods, West Virginia might not mean much to many but,  for one young married couple, that town and its gaping hole in the highway will be remembered fondly.

Here's to bumps in the road, my friends!


  1. 3 days in my life i do not need to go back to!! but i did have fun!

  2. the way i remember it we hit a west virginia mountain lion that was about 793 pounds and as he limped to the car and pulled you out by his teeth I had to wrestle him and killed him with my trusty swiss army knife, toothpick then I had to rebuild the transmition with 3 paper clips a rubber band and a tube of toothpaste then since we couldn't find a hotel I built a shelter out of rocks and trees for us to sleep in while administering a wild-berry poultice to kiley's forehead for her fevor then with my harmonica I seranaded you all to sleep only to have you all awoken to fresh fish I had caught for breakfast in a near by stream with my shoelace and a stick for a fishing pole ....... I mean that's how I remember it all going down (:

  3. Kara! I have been forgetting to post because I read it on my phone! You house looks amazing and I can't wait to see it again once you are all settled. You have an amazing family and did a wonderful job with the moving process!

  4. Lee - that is exactly how it went down! I just forgot. Thanks for reminding me. :)

  5. Kara, I have a very clear memory of an instance when you said, "But, Kit-ty, I had a PL-A-A-AN!" (regarding a completely different subject.) So folks, she is not exercising literary license on this one!
    (Nice version, Lee!)