We had the best two and a half months on the road this summer. It all started according to our plan…
Wait. No it didn’t. Not even close.
Even though, we had every detail of the summer mapped out, it all changed each step of the way and those changes began ten days before the trip even started. But it was ok and even though we didn’t get to do some of the things we had planned, we did do most of them, just not according to our original itinerary. And we did get to do things we hadn’t discussed like The Great Smoky Mountains and discovered places we didn’t know existed like the Santee area of South Carolina and The Finger Lakes area of New York.
The truck issues and a few minor camper issues, heading to Arkansas and Oklahoma on business, and a root canal for Mom certainly were not on the itinerary but all those things kept an ever changing trip very eventful.
So we couldn’t really expect the final leg of the trip to be smooth sailing, could we?
It all started when Dad discovered one of our tires needed to be changed during one of his routine checks. The plan was to put on the spare and get it and another one replaced the next day because, of course, this all happened after the tire stores had closed up for the night. A few miles after putting the spare on, it blew. And I mean blew. He had no choice but to put the bad tire back on with the help of a few hundred fire ants and limp our way to the nearest Wal-Mart that of course didn’t have camper tires in stock. We were too far from a campground so we had no choice but to stay in the Wal-Mart parking lot for the night.
This is no big deal. We’ve done it before. But…we were in Georgia in August. Normally this would be a horrible thing to do but the unseasonably cool weather that followed us throughout most of the summer had followed us once again. It actually was cool. It was also miserably humid but it was cool. And it remained cool throughout the next day until Wal-Mart could get the right tires.
For some reason, high school boys with big, loud trucks hang out at this Wal-Mart. We were told they were safe but would be very noisy. Just when we gave up on the idea of sleep, a big, beautiful storm system came through and it went from crazy loud to silent in about 2 minutes.
By 3:30pm the next day, the new tires were finally on and we put “Home” into the GPS. Sigh of relief. And then… the smell of rubber burning. One of the new tires was rubbing against the frame. We pulled into a truck stop where Dad once again had to change a tire. The spare has the wrong wheel (causing it to rub), so he changed it out and we once again headed home.
By this time, the sun was out and Alabama was reminding us that our powers of bringing unseasonably cool weather with us don’t work here. It was at that moment that our air conditioner decided that after cooling our truck for nearly 300,000 miles, it was done. It wasn’t going to hang on for four more hours until we reached home.
But we did get home. Safely home. As we watched the weather ahead of our travels, we had been somewhat nervous about heading into the remnants of Hurricane Harvey. We are confident that all the above events definitely happened because God was keeping us safe. Looking at Alabama’s weather history for the last 24 hours, we definitely dodged the worst that was ahead of us and avoided the worst that was heading north.
During all the frustration, we were very aware that there are many Texans who would have switched places with us in a heartbeat. The events of those crazy 24 hours were just that…a frustration. This kept things in a very sobering perspective. We are now safely home. Excited to do laundry, take hot showers, and very happy to see our older daughters.
We are thankful.