Early last Monday morning, awakening not too late considering the pizza birthday party the evening before, we all tumbled out of bed, prepared to ready ourselves to hit the road. While Donnie took Lizzie to the airport so that she could head back to South Carolina, Doah, Noelle, and I packed up and checked out of the hotel. There we were in the lobby, suitcases all lined up and ready for stuffing into the van when he returned.
Since there were no real deadlines to meet on the return other than for me to be at work on Thursday morning, we moved fairly easily and comfortably from state to state -- and we did go through a lot of them, Oklahoma being one of them. We had decided for reasons of finance and time not to stop overnight but for Donnie and me to take turns driving, stopping only to gas up and eat -- and perhaps an occasional sight. As a result, we had a number of "roadside meals," with some of our seating arrangements giving literal meaning to that expression.
All was fine until we reached the Mohave Desert. We stopped briefly for lunch. As we enjoyed our meal, we looked across the way at two workers. What were they doing? They were mowing that desert! Donnie said that gives literal meaning to purgatory!
It was then that the phone rang. It was my boss, asking where I was. "In the Mohave Desert." Where else would I be?
"I need you on a plane tonight to Washington. You have a meeting there tomorrow."
Oh, really? Donnie allowed as to how we could "hurry home" if my boss was willing to pay the speeding fines. However, we were able to work out a slightly different plan, one that had Donnie dropping me at home first, then taking Noelle and Doah to their homes.
All's well that ends well, as the story line goes. I made it back just in time to catch a redeye plane to Washington. (It helped that I did not have to pass since I would catch a return redeye the next day.) The kids got distributed. The van got returned on time. And Donnie got some sleep -- the next day. Ah, life continues as usual...