The morning that we left to visit my parents, I really had it together this year. The car was packed the night before except for jammies and toothbrushes. All presents were wrapped and tucked away under the luggage. The kids got up and ready without too much complaining. I sent the boys in the car with D. (he had a meeting he had to be at on the way home so we had to take two cars) because I was madder than a wet hen at W. who had found and eaten all of the candy I intended to put into kids' stockings and lied to me about it just the day before. I had less than zero desire to be cooped up in a car with him for 4 hours given the state of my temper. I took R. and the dogs with me and we all headed out. We were only about 30 miles from home when we stopped to get gas and lunch. I shoved a pill down Gatsby's throat since she had started salivating horribly (a precursor to puking) and R. walked her around outside for the entire stop in hopes of calming her stomach. No dice. As soon as I pulled onto the highway, with the smell of Wendy's heavy in the car, she deposited the entire contents of her stomach (including anti-nausea drug) in my cup holder, down the side of my soda, into the crack between the console and the passenger seat, and all over the handles of my purse. She only accidentally hit, and really only in a very small area, the queen sized sheet spread out in case of vomit. Obviously I did a piddling poor job of spreading the sheet in the right places.
I called D. and told him we were getting back off to clean up the mess and he and the boys should go on, we'd see them there. This turned out to be the most providential puke in the storied history of our traveling. It took a very long time to get all the cracks and crevices as clean as possible. I had to go into the truck stop and buy more napkins plus I found Febreeze auto. Did you know they make a car/truck version of Febreeze? I didn't either. But they do. Just in case you need it. Like I definitely did. Finally scraped free of all vomit and with another pill pushed past Gatsby's tonsils, we got back on the road. We passed a traffic alert thingie that told us to expect congestion and D. called a couple of minutes later to tell me that they were sitting in stand-still traffic only 25 miles ahead of us. Thinking fast, I got off the highway and R. and I found some small, back roads routes to get us to the next highway some 30 miles away. Who knew what interesting sights await you if you get off the main roads through rural SC?! Just as I was getting on the highway again, I got another call from D. to tell me that they were finally moving again. But thanks to our off the map adventures, he and the boys were now a good 45 minutes behind us. We made it to Savannah with one other short traffic snafu but the boys got trapped for an hour on the bridge into the city because of yet another accident. Guess it wasn't so bad drawing the short straw and having to take the barfing dog in my car after all!
Once in Savannah, we spent time each day visiting my 92 year old grandmother, who is very, very frail now. W. had to keep his distance from her a bit because he was still recovering from the nasty bug that had kept him out of school for the week before break. When my sister and her crew arrived, they had to keep their distance too since they were carrying even better bugs. Christmas itself was low key as we attempted to turn my parents' house into a bigger, better version of a pharmacy. Tamiflu, Emergen-C, Mucinex, and a Z-pack. We had it all. My parents have dubbed the kids the biological terrorists thanks to the hacking, coughing, sniffling, and whimpering holiday. Tinsel and snot: festive, yo. And because we are caring kids, we all bugged out to go home rather soon after the holiday was over instead of staying for more infected quality family time. T. had another soccer game to head back to so we sprayed our germs everywhere, I made mom and dad some turkey pot pies so they didn't have to face a mound of leftover turkey all on their own, and we headed home.
No vomiting on the way home so that was a highlight. Dropped the dogs and the older kids at home (D. had stopped halfway home for his meeting), unpacked while T. got into his game gear, and immediately headed to the soccer game. Then came back home and collapsed. I'm basically still sitting where I collapsed a week ago but I am going to have to get up soon. For starters, I need to redo my bookshelves to accomodate the 7 new books and 3 new cookbooks I scored for Christmas. Oh, and I need to put my things into a new purse. Apparently the acid from dog vomit will eat the faux finish right off of a cheap purse's handles. Science 101.
While I've been sick and mopey, I have at least gotten to go on some wonderful reading adventures. I helped a single mom write ad copy for a cooking star's new library-themed bakery and find happiness in her new life in the process. I watched as a mom learned to let go of her exceptional, different son and let him live the life for which he so desperately yearned. I saw something I shouldn't have and then spied on the goings on in a snake-handler church with a friend and will be forever marked by the fall-out from both events. I listened to a riff on a terrible pet. I helped uncover a new novel written by Jane Austen and lost lo these many years. I rowed up the Thames with some hilariously incompetent and lazy men. And finally, I traipsed all over the world enticing wealthy men while staying just one step ahead of a persistent Pinkerton detective. I am still happily immersed in the Eocene Period and the fossil from then that set the scientific community on its ear as well as charting the progress of maps in our world.
What have you been reading this week?