Tuesday, March 19th 2013
Secrets from the Roads

I went to see my dad and stepmom’s  for a few days. SO rushed was I to get out the door that I didn’t even write a “I”M NOT PACKING” post. Although… I thought about it. But two boys were arguing and it was an unusually harsh disagreement and it rattled me. I sent them to the backyard so that they could finish it out there while i loaded the car with the “look, i am being the GOOD child” child. (they take turns in that role. no one can stand it for long.)

The problem with this was that we could HEAR the arguing and awfulness and screaming at each other from the front of the house. So I knew they were okay. I knew it was a worse than usual confrontation I was refusing to mediate and they were trying some new, uh, communication techniques. Worthwhile. Then they made each other cry and then got into a serious acorn fight until they were REALLY hurt (hey, acorns are pointy) and I was so rattled by all of it I forgot to load several key items needed for the trip.

Like, my shoes.

I wasn’t thrilled to be leaving for a long road trip with this beginning. So I made them sit in the back together and say kind things to each other and work it out until they were okay. I turned up the radio so I couldn’t hear any of it. I’d already heard too much. And it made me mad. At both of them. Screaming little acorn hurlers.

Because God made them BOYS, they did as requested. They sat back there and talked kindly and apologized and laughed and forgave and made up. And then – because God did NOT make me a boy – I sat up front and SEETHED for 200 miles about crap that had nothing to do with me. Crap they’d forgiven and  forgotten.

What snapped me out of it was a convoy of monster trucks outside a town known for boots. Big fun monster trucks – not street legal at all – way bigger than that, being transported to some event I didn’t know about. I got all excited and tried to get the boys to care – but they didn’t – and so I alone waved and drooled and smiled and pointed and  mouthed my compliments and generally just freaked out as I sped up and passed each one.  The monster truck drivers seemed as entertained by me as I was with their trucks.  Maybe they don’t get that reaction often and everyone else just plays it cool and doesn’t flip on out like that? I don’t know . It was by far the most fascinating thing I’d seen in hundreds of miles.

My dad has a saying. What happens at LNP stays at LNP. that’s just so I don’t go and blog about him. (the NP stands for National Park. Not that it really is. But that’s my dad.) But I will say I’m especially glad for our visit. There was one tractor revelation, even though I hardly spent any time mowing.  (best time for alone time, thinking/praying/sorting is on a tractor. if you need some of that, i highly recommend it.) And great food and baby frogs and filthy kids and gorgeous weather.

Then the kids decided they’d just go ahead and clear some brush in the woods without waiting for my dad and took off with machetes on their own. MACHETES. Real ones. No supervision. Sharpened the day before by my dad. He spaces them out in the woods – SO NO ONE MACHETES OFF ANOTHER KID’S HEAD OR ANYTHING – and they clear brush as a team. But without him… well. It gets a whole lot more dangerous. I rounded them up, took away their long shiny blades and sat them down and gave them a SERIOUS talk. Then I put them in the car and we left a few hours earlier than we’d planned.


All three of them knew better. All three of them could have been chopped to pieces completely on accident if someone just sneezed unexpectedly. GRRRRrrr.

I put them all in the back of the car without any form of entertainment. Unless you count the big eyed glares they got from me in the rearview mirror. And they did not.

When I stopped being quite so mad, I let them watch movies. And nap. And nap some more. And read. And it was a loooooong drive home.

It was longer than usual, actually. Between my house and my dad and stepmom’s there is pretty much a flat line across half of Texas. If you follow it. However. I created my own line that jagged up and down sharply. Like the paper readout of a seismograph after a really bad earthquake. Unintentionally of course.

You know all those monster trucks I’d seen? WELL. Whatever event they had gone to was over and it was REALLY muddy somewhere and wasn’t just for monster trucks. There were four wheelers and trucks and all sorts of extremely happy looking muddy motorized things being hauled home on all the various roads of Texas on Sunday.

I got distracted.

I missed every turn I should have taken and took a lot of turns I should not have taken. I went as far north as to leave Texas entirely and accidentally hang out in Oklahoma before realizing it. U turn. Then I went as far south as Abilene, for no good reason except that I was drooling over the mud chunks on some ATVs and just forgot what I was doing and then I couldn’t find a turn headed west to save my life, so I just kept going.

It took FOREVER to get home. it took an extra TANK OF GAS to get home.

If the kids asked why it was taking so long, I just agreed. I wasn’t about to own up to my own stuff right then. I will. I always do. But not then.

I got home and sent my ‘home’ text to the people who request such things. I was relieved when no one asked why it took me so long. Sometimes I forget to send that until hours later and maybe they just thought it was that. Maybe no one noticed. Maybe I didn’t have to tell anyone for a few days.

Maybe I just tell y’all that stuff.

Maybe the stuff that happens on the WAY to and FROM LNP should be the road’s secret.

Eh. Nevermind. That’s no fun.


Maybe the strangest thing i saw was a very elderly lady crossing a highway with a plastic bag in her hand. She wore a dress and heels and I figured she was probably on her way home from church when she had struck and killed a coyote. She risked her life to cross the highway amid traffic averaging 80 mph and stand over it and debate whether she should move it. Or if it was really dead. Or what to do. The plastic bag in her hand seemed a bit… small for the job. She had her trunk open and waiting just in case, though.

Or maybe she didn’t kill it at all and thought it was just some good lookin roadkill. I don’t know. I prayed for her safety and then forgot all about her until I typed that title.

I kinda wonder what she had for lunch that day.


3 Comments on “Secrets from the Roads”

March 19th, 2013
7:28 pm

You miss muddin’ don’t you. So glad your trip was safe. Thinking about you.

March 19th, 2013
9:39 pm

so glad to see you back. We had the uber happy post then nothing, I worried a wee bit but thought you might need a people break.

Glad you guys had good weather. We have had some freakish dust storms. I often wonder if everyone gets those, then I think – nah, eastern NM and West TX. Maybe the Sahara can compare.

Love how you handled the boys. I need to learn a lesson in that. I have a tendency to nip disagreement in the bud because I can’t stand to hear it. They never learn to resolve anything. I need to just send them outside.

March 26th, 2013
4:26 am

Sometimes the zig-zaggy trips are the best kind. Lots of time to think.

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