We are in Louisiana and don’t have any internet access. But I do have the laptop. So I’ve decided to go ahead and blog and then post them when I can get the internet again. Right now, I’m sitting in Earl’s old bedroom, the one we have stayed in every time we’ve come “home”. The floor is strewn with duffel bags, school bags, shoes, dirty clothes, toiletries, books, back packs, groceries, etc. etc. The kids are out front with Earl and his mom watching a movie. The clothes for church in the morning have all been ironed and I’m taking a quick break to have some alone time. It has been a whirlwind past few days. But I want to journal our trip, and I know I most likely won’t have the time when we get home. So, I’m writing now . . .
We got the news Saturday morning that Earl’s father had passed away and we needed to get back to Louisiana as soon as we could. We looked into flying, hoping to use some of our free tickets that we’ve earned. But without giving them 3 weeks notice, we could only get 2 tickets. But Earl wanted all of us to be there so the decision was made to leave Monday morning and drive out there in two days.
We hurried through our Saturday (Molly had her 10th birthday party!) and Sunday morning, then came home to do laundry and pack. As I had my quiet time Sunday morning, I confessed to the Lord of being a little apprehensive about how we could afford to go back to LA at this time. It seemed more wise to just send Earl, but I knew that he really wanted all of us to be there with him. We’ve never been in debt and have always lived within our means. I knew that we had plenty of credit available to use and so was praying for peace to trust my husband’s decision and to trust the Lord to provide as He saw fit. After church that morning, two couples put cash in my hand for gas and expenses. I drove home humbled before the Lord and confessing my lack of faith. Then, another couple called and specifically asked about our finances. We told them we were trusting the Lord to provide. They wired us money. The door bell rang and a friend from church came by to drop off a card and a monetary donation for our trip – a sacrificial gift which again humbled me. Again, the door bell rang and another friend from church came and dropped off snacks for the road that his wife had put together as well as some “emergency cash”. My mom also gave us cash to help with expenses. The kindness of the Lord just completely overwhelmed me and I had to confess my lack of faith. He always takes care of those who are His! (Two days on the road cost us about $660 including one hotel stay, gas and food. And all has been provided for.)
Earl had the oil changed in the van and gassed it up and we left about 5:20 Monday morning. The kids did great in the car and we drove for several hours before needing to stop. While driving through the CA desert we played the ABC game . . .you know, the one where you have to look out the window and name things you see that start with A . . . B . . . C . . . . Here is the list we came up with:
A – Ant (I claimed to have seen an antelope, but since no one else saw it, we couldn’t count it)
B – bush
C – cloud
D – dirt (lots of it!)
E – electrical wires
F – flowers
G – grass (the deserty type)
H – highway
I – Interstate (I-10)
J – jet
K – “konstruction Kones” (We were really stumped on this one and Jonathan kept yelling out “Cones!”, so we gave it to him.)
L – land, line, lane
M – mountains
N – nettles
O – overpass
P – poles
Q – quail . . . well, we actually didn’t see one, but we were sure they were out there somewhere.
R – rocks
S – sky . . . lots of it!
T – trucks
U – UFO, universe, unicycle . . . ok, we were getting a little desperate and punchy at this point.
V – vans
W – wheels
X – “poison” bottles littering the highway
Y – hitchhiking yoddler (no comment)
Z – zebra . . . . really, there he goes, did you see him? Right back there. Look really hard. Oh, he’s gone. Too bad.
(We played this game again after entering Louisiana and our answers were quite different. It was interesting.)
We crossed into AZ about 9 AM and stopped at Chic-fil-A for lunch about noon. We all needed to desperately get out of the van for an extended time. The kids were doing great though! We crossed into NM about 4 PM and then lost an hour due to the time change. We crossed the Continental Divide about 6 PM and stopped at our traditional Cracker Barrel for dinner about an hour later in Las Cruces. We crossed over into TX about 9 PM and stopped for the night in Van Horn about 12:45 (we had lost another hour so it was 10:45 CA time . . . a 17 hour day!). We turned out the lights about 1:30 AM . . .only to turn them on again 3 hours later. (We slept in our clothes and just got up to brush teeth and hair and put on make-up so as not to terrify the poor other passengers on the highway.)
Tuesday morning found us heading out onto the interstate again about 5:30 after filling up with gas and getting some good strong coffee. It took awhile for the sun to rise, but it was glorious. The kids slept and Earl and I talked quietly. Seemed like forever since we had spent a quiet morning talking like that. We both really enjoyed it. After everyone was fully awake, we stopped for gas and for some homemade muffins we had brought. We had some lunch in San Antonio (fast food) and I weasled a much-needed-hair-cut-run out of Earl. (I actually got my hair cut while the rest of them ate lunch. Ah . .. so needed!) We stopped about 6:30 just passed Houston for one more quick and small meal (drive-thru fast food) and then crossed over into Louisiana about 7 PM!! Oh the cheering! As the sun set, we could see a thunderstorm off in the distance ahead of us and the National Weather Service came over the radio and issued a “severe thunderstorm warning” along with a “tornado watch” as we headed into Baton Rouge. We got a few sprinkles that day, but nothing to sneeze at, and we drove up to Earl’s mom’s home about 9:45 PM. It was good to be home!
We got the kids bathed and bedded down. I put together a slide show for Earl’s dad’s service the next day, and once all was in order, Earl and I turned out the light about 12:30, in the room where he grew up. (Twice we were awakened by huge thunder and lightning shows directly over the house. But we were grateful to be off the road and in a warm bed.)
Next up . . . our days here in Denham Springs . . . baby birds, a locked store room, mosquitoes, puppies, oil leaks . . .