I was feeling possibly precocious and maybe even a little unprepared for the journey that lay ahead. It was 3:30 am and my husband had just said "I can't sleep anyway. Lets just get up and get started." It had been a long night. The kids and I had decided to stay up so we could sleep in the car on the way there. Since Super Catman had fallen asleep, in an underhanded way, mind you, we decided to watch the movies too scary to put on when he was awake. The first one was a suspenseful, action packed movie. The next was a creepy thriller. Finally, Sock Fashion Expert and I were the only ones still interested in movies and we watched a romantic chick flick. By then, Moonbeam had decided she wasn't interested in sleep anymore and I had to try and keep her quiet. The boys, feeling slightly jilted from the possibility of their PlayStation, took off on a middle of the night hike. Perhaps it was just for the sake of worrying me (as guilty culprit in keeping the television), but more likely the realism that we'd be driving for 24 hours straight in just a few passing hours.
By 5:30 am on my birthday, we embarked on our journey. My hope to sleep worked for the first 6 hours, as did all the other kids and my husband was left to man the captain's chair alone. I don't think he minded the silence at all. The next 6 hours, I lost myself in reading my first ever Louis L'Amour novel "The Broken Gun". It was a suggested reading by Sock Fashion Expert. Once I picked it up, I no longer wanted to put it down and I was transported to another place and another time. It seemed an appropriate novel to read, riding through untold miles of wheat fields, stretched across the plains of Montana. Traces of the stalks could be seen, still golden, bending low under the cover of white. The snow on the flat farm country reminded me of blank pages in a novel, yet to be etched upon, and the highway on we were driving was that which bound its pages.
Sock Fashion Expert had brought along a large cardboard roll containing large "Pillar - On Tour Now" posters. It was her intent to pepper Montana and North Dakota with the advertisements. She takes her responsibility as an "Underground Army" fan to heart. She also helped with Moonbeam a lot. Moonbeam actually did quite well considering that she was strapped in a car seat for 20 some hours. She slept a lot. She sang along with the songs resonating from the Suburbans old tape deck. She really was a trooper.
The Archer and Artdog took up the rear seats in the Suburban. They were pretty quiet other than to complain about having to listen to 80's type Dallas Holm. Archer wanted to hear White Cross, but by the time I played it, he had fallen asleep. They, too, brought along some Louis L'Amour as did The Sock Fashion Expert. Ever since rediscovering Louis L'Amour writings, all too often, on any given winter evening, you can find my husband or one of my children snuggled up on the living room floor captivated by his story telling. Archer had also brought "Swiss Family Robinson". He and Sock Fashion Expert had just recently watched the newest spin off of it on Satellite.
Super Catman exhausted his share of cookies and crackers and watched some Veggie Tales on the DVD player that his grandma had wisely purchased. Moonbeam, sitting next to him liked that too. Though I tried to convince them to watch the 15 fun filled hours of "Rin Tin Tin" that I purchased, none of them seemed all that excited about the prospect and poo pooed the pup. Well, fooey on them. I'll watch it myself.
Much of the trip was uneventful with the exception of my imagination. I drove for about 8 hours across the plains of North Dakota, mostly. My husband was supposed to sleep, but wasn't all that successful. He claimed that I needed "instruction" and deemed it his duty to remind me to "slow down". I kidded about blogging on man back seat drivers. Then he instructed me to stop at McDonalds. This threw me into a tizzy because I do not like eating at McDonalds. Especially the dollar menu, I don't relish, and that's always what we end up eating from. If I had a dollar for every McChicken my family has consumed, I could probably own a small island off the coast of Guam. The idea of eating a McChicken on my birthday was too much and I pouted profusely. He didn't know where anything else was in that city and as you know, men don't like to ask for directions. I suppose if eating at McDonald's was my biggest complaint for the trip, I do not have allot to be complaining about, hence I should silence myself before you deduce my juvenile side that I try so desperately to keep veiled.
When we finally reached the City my sister lives in, everyone, especially Moonbeam was ready to escape the confines of our old Suburban. A pile of cracker crumbs had collected on the bottom of Moonbeam's new car seat and left a trail through the vehicle as they unstuck themselves from her bottom. Silent concern passed among the passengers as we remembered last winter at my Sister, Heathers. She lives in a spacious, tidy basement apartment with her husband and two adorable little girls. Her sewage system backed up, creating a gruesome tale to spin. Those were "Terrible Toilet Troubles" indeed. Anyhoo, we arrived here safely and I'm sure that I'll have ample blogging material to entertain you all for some time to come.
Above : My two neices excited to awaken Artdog, My two neices singing "Happy Birthday" to me.