We woke up last Saturday morning to rain and a dead bird on the sidewalk.

I pronounced it an omen saying we should stay in Salida.

Jac laughed and Mama Syd asked when we started believing in omens.  Since we were druids way back in the day, I said. I get a little sarcastic when I’m stressed.

Jac, on the other hand, sings when he feels pressure.

“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” He crooned as we packed and packed and packed some more.

We loaded up the van and headed for the hills where we proceeded to sit in a traffic jam for 3 hours.


In the middle of that start and stop madness, our van began to act crazy.  A kind of crazy that made a knot in my stomach and twisted up the muscles in my neck.  With each minutes we stayed still and each slip of the car, I added and subtracted from the time table in my head.

We were pushing hard to get home for Max to race in the pine wood derby.  We didn’t have much leeway if we were going to get back to Rapid in time.  The time that had seemed so plentiful that morning ran through our fingers like water and it made me panicky.

I didn’t want to let Max down.

Against the advice to turn around, we kept our Easterly heading and watched as a giant moon rose over the mountains.  We stopped to get gas, then to go potty, then again for gas and the car lurched and surged more violently.  Heading out of Wells at 11 pm I called back to Salida.

Turn around, they said.  Stay at the Motel 6.

Thankfully we didn’t pay much for the small and smelly room.  While the kids bounced around and struggled to sleep,  Jac and I pondered our options.  What would we do? Where would we go? How would we pay for it?

All of us were still awake at 2.

In the morning the whole situation seemed even more grim, if that’s possible.

We limped over to Mass and made a break for Elko after lunch. We walked into a horrible Motel 6 and I lost it.  LOST IT, I tell you.

Thanks be to God, Jaaron sent us over to the Holiday Inn and we rested easy for an evening.  We needed it to face the facts: the transmission was blown and we were stuck.

There might have been another little fit here. . .

There was a lot of stress and uncertainty and worrying.

And then we were in a rental headed back California and praying we made it ahead of the snow.

So we are here again and unsure how long before we can return.  Max’s race, Sabine’s National Honor Society induction, the spiritual exercises, training – all missed while we waited.  But, in the meantime, we get to see Mama Syd’s students perform a play tomorrow and Aunt Susie and Paul arrive soon and a Reyes family reunion is on Saturday. We’re going to enjoy this re-run as much as possible.

“Living it up in the Hotel California!”