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Monday, December 15

Homeward Bound (Simon & Garfunkel)

Some of you will remember seeing this post on our Road-Schooling Gypsies fan page a few weeks ago...

Words of advice :
1) Twenty-nine hours in the car is too long - even for a saint.
2) 88% Dark Chocolate bars are a good substitute for coffee.
3) Rumble strips save lives. Whoever thought of those was a genius!
4) Singing along to rock music with your kids for several hours in the wee hours of the morning is one of those bonding experiences you will never forget.

Have you ever had the feeling that something needed to be done?  You couldn't say why, but you had the intuition that it was time to act?  That's how I felt about getting home.  Something inside said that we needed to make tracks from Virginia to Oklahoma as quickly as possible.  And so we said our good-byes and left way before sun-up...
Somewhere near Knoxville, TN, we hit a snag.  Traffic was backed up along I-40 for several hours, due to a rockslide and overturned semi-truck.  Also, road construction as involved.  If you're ever stuck in traffic in Tennessee, call 511 to find out the scoop on what's going on and an approximate wait time.  We used this little opportunity to stretch our legs (because it was a parking lot) and start a new audiobook, The Bronze Bow.

We skirted around Nashville later in the day, and got hung up in a storm and road construction near Memphis.  Honestly, Tennessee is now one of my least favorite places.  It ranks right up there with Illinois and Indiana for places NOT to drive through...
The sun had long set, and the skies were opening up with torrents of rain, but we pushed through.  Around 1AM, somewhere in west Arkansas, I knew we could go no further.  When I say that we had an angel riding with us, that's not a platitude.  I had started to doze off - the kids were long asleep in the backseat (one with a spiked fever) - and nearly ran head first into one of the metal bars along the side of the highway.  It seemed as though someone shouted my name at the last second...thankfully.

The thing about driving through Arkansas is that hotel exits are few and far between, with the exception of the Little Rock area, along I-40.  Combined with the pitch dark, road construction, and torrential thunderstorm, I couldn't manage to find one until very late.  We stopped for a couple of  hours and then pushed on.

Little did I know that we were driving through flash flooding and tornadoes....  The angels stayed with us, though, and the kids were little troopers.  They sang along to the radio and stayed quiet when they sensed it was necessary, and we made it home safely.  I have never been so happy to see a muddy gravel road in my entire life!!!
Today's lesson : 
Remember as you travel this season - if you're tired, please stop.  It's better to arrive safely and late than not at all!
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