We were scheduled to leave on our vacation early on Thursday afternoon, with John hurrying back from work. I was supposed to have everything packed and ready to be put in the car, with the final arrangements of light timers, raising the air conditioners thermostat, etc. The plan was to hit the road by 4:00 p.m., guaranteeing that we would leave the great state of Florida by midnight.
All wonderful plans. And of course, Murphy's Law knows no bounds...
The realtor handling my mother's condo rental called twice, the last time telling me that I had to come and sign papers. Fine. Hauled tail, signed papers, hauled back. Met a friend for lunch, but forgot her daughter's birthday card and a piece of red velvet cake for her. A tropical storm was looming and heading our way...
But the clincher was the front door.
Our lock has been acting funny for a few months. The key for the double lock would need some coaxing to get it out, re-turning to get it unlocked or locked. It decided to get jammed. As I was getting ready to leave it at my neighbor's house, in case of an emergency. Four hours before we were to depart. After I had told the realtor I was on my way. Before lunch with my friend.
This would not have been a real issue if not for some major points. First, I have a glass sidelight. Second, and most importantly, my door in the garage that leads into the house has not permitted a key within its sacred lock in well over seven years. A born again virgin, if you will.
So, it was crunch time. Delay the trip to fix the lock. Wait until getting back and hope we can get in.
I called a locksmith, on the way to lunch. Before meeting with the realtor. Forgetting the card and cake.
The locksmith came. He did not have a brass lock. Off he goes to his supply store to get one. He returns. He installs. He rekeys. He repeats for the second door. Lock still sticks. He uninstalls and reinstalls.
Hubby comes home and starts hauling loose items from the back yard into the garage, just in case the tropical storm gets frisky while we are gone. He goes out the back door and gets right to work.
Four hours later, we try my key: success. We try my husband's key: FAIL. He uninstalls and rekeys and reinstalls. Key fails. Epically.
I want to be clear that I did not change locks on my husband. There have been times I may have toyed with the thought, but decided that I needed strength in numbers with dealing with my children.
Regardless, his key did not work. I promised to get him a new key upon arrival AFTER the trip I was now thinking may not be such a great idea. 'Cause the start was not going too smoothly, you know?
In the meantime, while the installing/uninstalling/rekeying/whatever was going on in my living room, I was a woman possessed. I ran laundry, folded and put away, I packed and paced. For all five of us. I had children bathe and get dressed. I had a spouse who bathed and got dressed. I got bathed and dressed.
So when the locksmith left at 6:00 p.m., we started packing the car. We set timers in the house, double check the mental list, we load the children in the car, armed with DVD's for the ride. We're off...
Except we don't. Because we can't find the third, hundred dollar, wireless headphone for the van. We unload. We search. We panic. We take the keys out of the car to unlock the door to find a wired replacement headphone. We're off...
Except we don't. Because I can't remember if we locked the back door. Turn around and come home. To find it unlocked. We take the keys out of the car to lock the garage door for the second time.
And this time we are off...to meet Grandma and Granddaddy, an hour and a half later, to pick up a tripod to be delivered in the second leg of our trip...notes given, souvenir money distributed. We're off!
And about halfway out of the state, I remember that I didn't pack my bathing suit. That I need. That I desperately would turn around and get, just thinking about having to go into a fitting room on vacation, to find a replacement...okay, made peace with it.
Stop and get dinner. Get a taste of what Joshua will be like on our twelve day trip. Apparently, food is optional. Being loud about it isn't.
As the kids ate, John and I exchanged conspiring looks.
Tonight, we drive.
D.C. or bust!
To be continued...