I have always been a little bit... crazy. Impulsive, spontaneous, a sense of adventure and enjoy the wild side. Or I used to anyway. I'm beginning to think that I have changed.
Friday, Jeremy's mom (hi Mommy!) called and asked us to come for a visit... right away. As in, make it in time for lunch on Sunday. She's in Colorado Springs. We're in Houston. "You're spontaneous, right?!" She says on the voice mail. Spontaneous? Of course we are! Look at us, we're bohemians at heart, artists, go-with-the-flow types, of course we're spontaneous! But this wasn't just about us being spontaneous people, Grandma (Great-Grandma to the girls) is near the end and we wanted to see her before she passes. Jeremy's two sisters were already there for that very reason and it would be the first time in 10 years that all the siblings would be together. So we say yes, because we want to see Grandma and family. And we want to be spontaneous. Being practiced in spontaneity, we figure why not. We often jump on bikes for a spur of the moment trip to the grocery store for sushi, I've been known to head out to the park with only 5 minutes notice, rotting bananas have suddenly been pulled from the counter and thrown into batter for banana bread with no warning, obviously, we're spontaneous. In our lives, every day is spontaneous, I don't plan much of anything. It's only a 16 hour trip according to yahoo maps, no big deal! We live on spontaneity. Just throw everything you can find and all the kids in the van and we're off. After an oil change and new tires. Jeremy's mom called around noon on Friday, we were recovering from a late night at the theatre (HITs is putting on their production of Beauty and the Beast at Miller Outdoor Theater, Houstonians, if you didn't catch it last week you simply HAVE to go this weekend!) doing school work and working in the garden when we got her message. In the spirit of spontaneity we were on the road less than 12 hours later.
Four hours later I was reconsidering the value of spontaneity and Jeremy pointed out that impulsive people often have to be resqued. It looked like we were no exception. Something had happened with the oil change and 350 miles from home at 4:30am the oil light had come on, a strange knocking sound was coming from under the hood and it smelled like my oven in a way that is not good at all. Did I mention we were 350 miles north of Houston? Do you know what is 350 miles north of Houston? Nothing. And, wouldn't you know it, everyone had to pee. I'll spare you the details but of 6 people in the van only one was wearing a diaper and could actually pee in her pants and she was whining for different reasons. It seemed like it was a very long time before the tow truck pulled up. In the interest of keeping a very long story from getting ridiculously long, we made it into Wichita Falls, met quite possibly the nicest people on the planet there, had a complete strange buy our breakfast at Denny's for our entire family of 6, were told that nothing could be found wrong with the van and headed back on our way north. We only made it 250 miles before we had to stop again, this time we called the mechanic back in Wichita Falls so he could hear the sound the van was making at which point he said we needed to keep the van hot and get it to a mechanic ASAP. If there was nothing 350 miles north of Houston, there was zilch 600 miles. Small town after small town offered us but fleeting hope, most didn't have a mechanic and the ones that did had mechanics that didn't believe in working on Saturdays. Eventually a nice manager of a local grocery store called a friend in a slightly larger town further north of where we were and he offered to stay open to help us out. When we got there he listened and suggested we go see someone else further north still. Who sent us to someone else. Finally we were advised to get another oil change and see if that would fix the problem and hard to believe as this is, it worked! Oil change completed we were on our way. The only obstacles remaining were: fatigue, ice, fatigue, snow, fatigue, rain, fatigue, heavy fog, fatigue, grumpy kids, fatigue, potty breaks, fatigue, fatigue, fatigue. Close to 23 hours later we rolled into Colorado Springs almost too tired to move.
It was an amazing weekend. Jeremy and I got sick but were able to function, sorta. We had a wonderful time with family catching up, telling stories and making new memories. Grandma got to meet Evangeline, her youngest Great-Grandchild, Evangeline mastered stairs, it snowed Easter morning so after lunch there were snowball fights and sledding, Easter was celebrated as a family with everyone gathered around Grandma's hospital bed singing Easter hymns in four part harmony (punctuated with coughs from Jeremy and I), and days were extended into late nights talking. I struggled to relax having left an expecting client due any day back in Houston but eventually I was able to take a deep breath of the dry, thin Colorado air and let it go just a little while on a walk with the family. We had to high tail it back to Houston early Tuesday morning making our trip much too short but having to return to responsibilities back home. For now, spontaneity is pretty limited to how many diapers I can fit into a diaper bag and bike trips for ice cream but this trip was worth it. We will all remember the Easter where we sang Easter hymns in 4 part harmony around Great-Grandma and had snowball fights. I must find more ways for such precious memories.