Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Avalanche

Okay, so I have a word of advice:  Never, ever, ever blog about not sweating the small stuff.  Why?  Because you might have a flood of small stuff pop up just to test your theory.  After all, one snowflake is no big deal but millions of them make an avalanche, and avalanches bury people.

Here are a few of the small things that made up last week:

First of all, I was sick.  I ran a fever all week long.  Apparently, the dog bite I got a few weeks ago wasn't just going to go away quietly.  Antibiotics seem to be clearing that up now, but the fever and chills, and pain in my leg (and everywhere else) made for a tough backdrop to everything else.

We put our house on the market and had all the fun of getting the house ready for showings, plus leaving it perfect (that's a relative term) every time we go somewhere.  And there's always something that comes up with that.  "Who spilled the glass of orange juice in the pantry?  Never mind, just bring me the mop..." right as we're headed out the door, and so on.

I drove the van off the edge of a steep driveway and damaged something underneath.  It's making a terrible grinding sound and I'm going to have to take it in to get it repaired this week.

 We waited for just over an hour to vote on Friday.  The election judge and everyone in line was kind enough to let me wait off to the side with the kids and then just jump in when my turn came.  (I think they were terrified when they saw me walk in with seven energetic little people.)  All the kids were really good and patient, though they did threaten to start chanting, "Mitt!  Mitt!  Mitt!"  (They've seen the rallies on TV and had been longing to go to one just so that they can chant along.  Maybe in 2016.)

And, then, there was our trip to Houston.  Megan competed in the South State Championships this weekend!  (That deserves its own post.)  The five older boys stayed with friends and Megan and Austin and I headed to Houston.

It is very challenging to get all of us ready to go anywhere.  It's even more challenging to get all of us going in opposite directions.  The boys had to have their church clothes and AWANA stuff; Megan had to have stuff for her meet; Austin needed stuff; and we all needed just our normal stuff.  It was a lot of stuff to keep track of.  Plus, we had people coming to see the house Sunday while we were gone, so it had to be show ready before we left. 

All packing and cleaning done, we headed over to our friends' house.  As I was getting the boys settled, Megan and a friend entertained Austin in the car.  Then we punched in our hotel's address into the Garmin, and we set off- about three hours later than I had hoped.

Austin was happy, so we pressed ahead as far as we could.  We were about ninety miles outside of Houston when we stopped for dinner.  I got in the back of the car to get Austin out and what do you think I found in the back row seat of my van?

A dog.

A real live dog.

It was my friend's dachshund.  Sitting in Justin's empty booster seat.  200 miles.  Not a single bark.  Not a single whine.  She was shaking like a leaf.

"Really?!"  That was my only thought.  And then we went on the hunt for a kennel, leash, dog dish, food, and all those little things we'd need to keep the dog alive and contained for the next 24 hours.  Two Wal-Marts and a grocery store later, we had everything together, and we collapsed in our hotel around 10.

Megan's meet went well (another post- I promise) and we headed back home.  After dropping off the dog, we went straight to church for AWANA.  All the volunteers had everything running beautifully, as usual.  As soon as it was over, I was ready to pack up the kids and go home just as quickly as our van could take us.

Except... I hit the unlock button on the van one too many times, and... it went into security mode.  It wouldn't start.

Deep breath.  This just meant that we would have to stick the key in the ignition and wait thirty minutes.  That would get it out of security mode and we could go home.  Just thirty more minutes.

But then, the last little snowflake came drifting down.  Apparently, our van has one more security feature:  If you leave the key in the ignition with the doors shut, they lock.  Yes, lock.  With the keys in the car.

The snowflake hit the ground and BAM! down came the avalanche.  At least that's what it felt like.

But there were some St. Bernard's around to dig us out.  (It might not be the best thing to compare our dear friends to a breed of dog, but dogs were getting kind of a bad rap in this post so far.)  Sidney and Kelly and their family hung out with us just in case we couldn't get into the car.  And Phil, faithful as always, was able to round up a mechanic who got us back into the car.  Finally, of course, there was the friend who let me vent on the phone when I got home.

So, don't sweat the small stuff, but try not to let it pile up either.


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