Monday, November 17, 2008

And Take Along a Sense of Humor

Have you ever noticed that the best laid traveling plans rarely reach fruition? You may spend hours contemplating the best route, days pouring over maps and researching historical sites only to see your carefully constructed itinerary go down in a blaze of glory. This is why one of the most important items to pack is a healthy sense of humor. ;)

Recently, we've endured a few adventures while traveling around. Two weekends ago, we jaunted up north for the blessing of our cute new granddaughter. All went pretty much according to plan until the grand day arrived. Our oldest son was traveling from Logan, Utah for this event. He made it as far as Pocatello, Idaho. Then his car decided it needed more attention and it blew oil all over the engine. We didn't know it at the time, but an important seal had erupted. (I can't remember its name. We'll call it Ralph for now.) If my son had continued driving, Ralph would have locked up that engine tighter than Great-Grandma's mattress safe.
Luckily, this son had a cell phone with him and he called for backup support. Since we weren't certain we could hurry down, pick him up, and return in time for the blessing of said baby, my sister and I bravely volunteered for rescue duty. That way the manly types were not in danger of missing this important ordination.

It all turned out just fine. My husband's sister and her spouse who live in nearby Chubbuck, hastened to help while my sister and I were driving down. They were able to move my son's car to their abode until we could make arrangements for repair work to happen. Then my sister and I picked up my son and headed back to the blessing adventure. We made it in record time---we arrived ten minutes before the meeting started. The only thing we missed was the dinner beforehand, but we had survived on the snacks my sister's car contained, so all was well.

This past weekend, the adventure continued. It took the nice repairman nearly a week to fix our son's car. My husband and I drove to Pocatello to pick it up on Friday. Then we made arrangements to deliver this car to our son. We decided to bring it down last night, since I have a doctor's appointment today here in sunny Ogden, Utah.

Our son had borrowed his paternal grandmother's car while his car was being repaired. A plan had fallen into place, since this same grandmother had to be in Logan, Utah yesterday to attend the missionary farewell of yet another grandson. (Her new husband's descendant.)

Things seemed to be working out quite well. This grandmother would pick up her car about an hour before we arrived with our son's newly fixed car. Our son would only be stranded for a brief time. Then life happened. As my mother-in-law was walking back out to the road where her car awaited, she tripped and face-planted it big time onto the fresh asphalt. Not only did she bruise her face in a horrible fashion, but she encountered a rock that sliced a jagged gash in her forehead. Our son called us in a panic. "We're taking Grandma to ER. She needs stitches!"

All plans changed. My husband and I continued driving down from Bear Lake to Logan. I was in the lead car obediently going the speed limit. True, there were a couple of trucks in front of me who prompted this behavior, but I normally go the speed limit, so I wasn't overly concerned.

My husband was bringing up the rear with our son's car, and he had managed to get stuck behind what my family lovingly calls, "A Sunday driver." When he finally got around this individual who was traveling at the breakneck speed of about 40 miles an hour in a 55 mile per hour speed zone, my husband decided to make up for lost time. After all, it was his mother bleeding in the nice ER of Logan Regional Hospital.

As you may have guessed, an Idaho State Trooper decided to pass by about then. He had passed my entourage earlier, but since we were all going the speed limit, there was no need to stop any of us. Instead, this officer turned his pretty flashing lights on for my husband's benefit. ;) I would have called Kennon to warn him to behave with regard to speed related items, but we were almost to the canyon and there is no cell phone service available in that area. It is a dreaded, "dead zone."
In way of good news, my husband didn't get a ticket. First Kennon had to explain why he was driving our son's car. Then he had to find the registration and proof of insurance, which I gather took some doing since he had no idea where our son had stashed these important documents. Finally, my husband found both items, and explained that we were hurrying to Utah since his mother had been injured and was being treated at a hospital in Logan.

The kind-hearted officer must have realized that we had already endured quite a bit compliments of this car adventure, and after advising my husband to slow down, he let him continue on his way with nothing more than a warning. Whew!

When we had cell phone service again, my husband called to tell me what he had endured. I stifled a laugh, since I figured that wouldn't help things, and I tried to be sympathetic. Then I called to alert him to potential road hazards during the remainder of our trip to Logan.

"Kennon, there are wayward cattle on the road outside of Franklin. Don't have a holey the cow moment."

"Thanks, dear."

"Kennon, I just spotted another police car on the side of the road by mile-marker 83."

"Ha, ha, ha."

"Kennon, there's another Sunday driver on the right hand side of this four lane highway."

"You're so funny."

And so on. ;) We finally arrived at the Logan hospital about the time his mother was ready to head home. It had taken 15 stitches to seal the gash. By then, that side of her face was an interesting purple color. We all felt terrible about her injury. However, earlier when I called our son to find out how things were going, I shared what had happened to Kennon. My husband's moment of humiliation had turned into comic relief, providing the healing sound of laughter for all involved.

After much laughter and a little teasing when we met up in the parking lot of the hospital, we regrouped, and formulated a new plan. We were all in agreement that Kennon's mother was in no kind of shape to be driving. So we left her car at our son's residence. She rode home with her husband, followed by his son and his son's spouse. (This all gets very complicated when large families are united through marriage. Kind of like the Brady Bunch scenario, but I digress.)

We left our son's car with our son, then we continued on in our own car to the Ogden area where some of my family resides. (We were planning on spending the night with them.) Later today, after I survive meeting with my diabetic specialist (joy, rapture, bliss) we will head back through Logan and pick up my husband's mother's car. Kennon will carefully drive it to Bear Lake, while I drive our own car home. I plan to dutifully alert my husband to any roadside hazards along the way. I'm sure he'll appreciate this effort. =D The important thing is we're all still laughing. I'm convinced that is the key to surviving when the best-laid plans go awry.

Return to the Neighborhood


Cindy Beck said...

We've had many trips go just like that ... and you have to laugh or else you'd cry!

Thanks for a fun blog!

Cheri J. Crane said...

Thanks for stopping by, Cindy. =) And yes, there are times when you must laugh to avoid tears. I do it all the time. ;) I suspect you do, too.