Sunday, February 7, 2016

that was a long drive.

When I got married I didn't hit the lottery with regards to in-laws and frankly that is an understatement. But the unhusband didn't have much to do with his family so it was OK. After a couple of years my mother in law would come every year and stay for 2-3 months ( yes she really would and I would consider moving to Mars) but that was all I saw of her. The unhusband had no family here with the exception of an aunt, this lady was as nutty as a fruit cake and great fun. Her and I hit it off and we started to spend lots of time with her and always spent the holidays with her and her hubby.

15 years ago they moved to Georgia and we only saw them a few times after that. Whenever we got the chance I would make sure we visited them and we stayed in touch. Her hubby was a little mad at me when I said I was getting divorced cos you don't do that when you have kids. I thought that would be the end of our friendship but thankfully it wasn't.

I received a call on Monday morning at 6.45 to say she had died. He's always been an early bird. I asked if he wanted me to tell the unhusband, he said if I didn't mind. It was his aunt after all. He told me he would call me back when he had made the arrangements. I honestly didn't think I would go, school, school, school, work, etc.. He called back and said Jacob wasn't going to go the service but that it was on this date at this time. I realised right then, they had no one. No kids, no one. If he hadn't wanted me there he would not have called. I quickly made plans. I told the unhusband I was going, with the girls.

I woke up on Tuesday morning to a text from the unhusband, would it be OK if I come with you? I picked the kids up from school on Tuesday in a huge rented car and we drove all night to Georgia. We were starting to look for a hotel but in that area of Georgia the hotels are a bit gross so we would exit and see what was offered and get right back on the highway. We stopped for gas and a young girl cautiously approached the car and asked for directions to I95 south. I told her we would be getting onto I10 and west she needed to get on to I10 east. I would point where she should go. We got to the ramp and I point then we turn to go west when the unhusband says, she is following us. so he stops and yells, do a U-turn and go the other way. She says OK and we leave and he says oh sh*t she is still following us. She had a jalopy of a car so it wasn't a concern cos she couldn't have caught us if she tried  and with that we took off and he could see her hauling arse behind us for miles. We couldn't stop laughing it must have been lack of sleep cos we were hysterical.

Finally at around 1.45 in the morning we had to pull over for a couple of hours of sleep. We woke up at 6am on Rosies birthday, also the day of the funeral, gave her her pressies sang happy birthday ate breakfast and started driving again. have I ever mentioned I LOVE driving? I do, I always have. I drove the entire round trip minus 3.5 hours. They live in a very small town, I won't say what I call it, but it is small and very very old fashioned, it is 20 miles from Montgomery Alabama if that gives you an idea!!!!!!!

We were finally 44 minutes from our destination and we were about 1.5 hours ahead of the funeral when we stopped. DEAD.STOPPED.ON.THE.HIGHWAY. An 18 wheeler had crossed over median from the other side and crashed. WHAT??? I have not driven this freaking far to be turned around on some willy nilly detour so that I can miss this service. But there we stayed for ages with all these massive recovery vehicles and it was them that were blocking the road. Georgia has had so much rain that the median strip was a river so that wasn't an option for getting by. Finally we crawled passed.

We made it. The service was different than anything I have ever been to. A southern event for sure in a small town. They were married for 62 years and he is gutted. He is lost right now and I hope he will be OK. Once it was over we hit the ground running. We had no choice.  The uncle, told us where to get Rosie a birthday cake, so we did. I asked if by chance we could light a candle and sing to her right there and they said, of course, (wouldn't have happened here they would have checked with fire Marshall first) so that is where she had her cake. IN the middle of a grocery store in GA. She didn't care. The grocery store had a restaurant area so we grabbed a late lunch and then we were ready to roll.

The GPS said 10 hours and some minutes...groan. Hadn't we just done that? The weather forecast was terrible but so far so good. No rain in sight. We drove home via Fort Benning. I knew that sounded like a military base and I didn't know why I had heard of it but all of a sudden we were were greeted by the most spectacular view. I begged for the other passenger to snap a photo but I am still waiting to receive it.

It didn't take long for the weather  to change and for hours and hours I drove through some of the worst rain I have ever driven in. At one point I said to the unhusband, I am not a nervous driver nor a cautious one but this rain is starting to take it's toll. My knuckles were white and my shoulders so tight. The lightening was ferocious and lit up the sky for miles.I couldn't see my hand in front of my nose and at one point I looked at the speedo and I was doing 40mph. It was going to be a long night, for sure. I just kept saying that it couldn't last forever. It didn't and once it cleared and traffic lights were no longer level with my head it was plain sailing all the way home.

We were 90 minutes from home and I couldn't go any further. My eyes were starting to close. I hopped into the passenger seat and the unhusband took the last leg. I have never been so happy to see my bed. I was nearly 3am when I crawled in. I set my alarm for 6.30 and that was that.

As soon as I got up I called the Uncle, his voice broke when he heard my voice and said, Vada, I was damn worried about you and the girls, there were tornadoes all over southern Ga last night. Well that explains the weather and the fact that my cellphone had no service! We're home, I said. The weather was a bit wet, and I left it at that.

Happy unconventional birthday Pickle
That looks like fun
Just another delay, the worlds longest train and we had to wait whilst it went this way and that
It had the strangest carriages 
It was a rainy day on the way to the funeral to but just drizzly stuff
happy birthday. See I wasn't joking about the tacky clebration in the shop
The child was as happy as a clam
This is a stock photo from Google images of Ft Benning GA but it was JUST like this as we drove through except we were on the overpass.

It was a shame the trip had to be fleeting. To drive nearly 2000 miles and not even get some decent photos is sad. There were so many places I would have loved to have stopped at but I am not one to drive across country, it doesn't appeal to me at all. Fly, rent a car, see what you can see and move on. We made the trip fun even with the unhusband in the car. The girls were amazing. Lily read 2.5 books and rosie watched 5 movies. They grazed non stop as I took a big cooler. I didn't have much time to prepare but I managed to think of everything.


  1. Dawn, you are amazing! Not just to take that kind of trip but with the u husband in the car????? You have such compassion for people & will be a terrific nurse. Rosie will always remember her 9th birthday!

  2. Wow! What a trip. What a generous act of love for your former in-laws.

  3. Man, what an adventure. I am so glad you made it there and back in one piece! I am so very sorry for your loss. 62 years - that is heartbreaking.