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Roadtrip – Day 4

June 5, 2007

Monday – Memorial Day

5:00 am – Hubby gives me a smooch goodbye. He’s going fishing with brother-in-law. I think he’s crazy for being up at this hour, but I wish him good luck anyway. I snuggle back down into the sheets and ask him to hook me up with a wake-up call at 7. The Savers in town is having a Memorial Day Blowout Sale and everything in the store is 50% off. Savers has good prices anyway, but 50% is NOT something I can pass up, especially when we’re outfitting four young ‘uns.

7:30 am – I am jolted awake with the realization that it’s light outside and I am still in bed. Must get to Savers… must get to Savers… The adrenaline is pumping, I’m in my clothes and shoes in 3.2 seconds flat. I race upstairs to drag the girls out of bed, run to the bathroom to splash some water on my face and brush my teeth, put in my contacts, rush the girls through a quick bowl of cereal, and ask the boys (out of courtesy only because I already know the answer) if they would like to accompany us.

7:47 am – We’re in the van and on the way. I’m pretty impressed with us, frankly.

7:48 am – As I’m coming down from the adrenaline rush, I realize that hubby was supposed to be my wake-up call. He’s fired. Totally, completely fired. Like fish are more important than a good bargain at the thrift store. What IS the world coming to?

8:02 am – We made it, but barely. I see some shady-looking, bargain-hunting, going-in-for-the-kill lady heading for the girls’ clothing aisle and we put on a burst of speed to beat her to the punch. I bet she was after the Mudd jeans I saw when we stopped by briefly yesterday. Well, she will NOT have those jeans, I tell you. The girls are out of breath behind me, soggy cereal and milk sloshing around in their little bellies as we round the corner of the aisle with the cart on two wheels… lucky for us there’s nothing in it yet. The weight of the clothes I’m planning to buy today would surely have toppled it at this speed.

10:30 am – We beat the lady to the Mudd jeans, and the seventy-five tops the girls wanted, and the shorts that they need since last year’s are too small, and the really cute pink, knitted poncho that the youngest daughter could not live without, and the 5 other pairs of Mudd jeans that are just a bit too big right now but will fit them both when fall rolls around, and the ski pants that we couldn’t find for them back in our home state, and the really nice Columbia winter coat that will fit the youngest daughter in October when the snow flies, and a couple of pairs of pants for the boys, and some of those groovy sweatpants with the flared legs that say “Princess” on the hiney, and, and, and…

10:35 am – I pay the cashier and think momentarily of having apoplexy before I remember that this is a full summer and fall wardrobe for two girls. I’m thinking $192 isn’t so bad. I think back to shopping with my Mom (who begged me to shop at the thrift store only to receive my most appalled, teenaged refusal) and remember that one pair of jeans for me was $50. It was good that I really liked those jeans because they were at least half of the budget. I definitely like a little more choice in the old wardrobe now. I think the girls are on my page…. for at least a couple more years.

11:00 am – Back at the sister-in-law’s for a friends and family hang-out day. My sister-in-law is definitely one to plan fun things for everyone so she’s set up a ton of games for us all for the day. And we’re not just doing games. We’re set up in tournament brackets, by team. We’re going for the Beanbag Toss champion, the Egg Toss champion, the Water Balloon throwing champion, the whole tamale, complete with prizes for the winners.

12:00 pm – The gang’s all here and the Beanbag Toss has begun in earnest. You’ve never seen competition, down and dirty, until you’ve done the Beanbag Toss with this group. You better not miss a single toss because the commentary is rough! Heck, it’s rough even if you make it. Hubby and I are the only actual couple team and there’s a brief discussion of the fairness of this pairing. We do, after all, have a “psychic connection” since we’re married to each other. We do ok and win our first round.

12:30 pm – Despite the “psychic connection” thing, I am amazingly uncoordinated and we’ve been bumped from the bracket. I took lots of ribbing for not being able to the hit the broad side of a barn, but it’s ok, I’m sure I’ll get them all back later.

1:00 pm – The Scotch-a-roo fairy is back with a huge tray of them. Youngest daughter happens to be right there as they come into the house. We hover and sneak a couple for ourselves before she gets an eyeball on the tray.

1:03 pm – The gig is up. She has seen the Scotch-a-roos and is beelining for them. She has a little bit of a questioning look on her face, like “Can I?” I’m wiping the chocolate off the corner of my mouth, so I’m pretty well stuck with the “Sure” response. I contemplate a way to bottle her metabolism. Heck, I wouldn’t even need to sell it. I would just use it on myself and call it good. The scale will not be kind to me after this weekend.

2:00 pm – The nephew’s girlfriend’s family is also in attendance and her dad is paired with the sister-in-law. I think somehow she arranged this, because he is by far the best Beanbag Tosser around. They end up winning the entire Beanbag Toss deal and get a caramel-filled chocolate bar for their efforts. Normally, competitive me would be upset by this turn of events (exactly HOW did she set up those teams?), but I’ve already had my fill of chocolate and caramel.

2:30 pm – We move on to the Water Balloon Toss. The kids have utilized the vast majority of the water balloons for their own interests, which means that they absolutely did not do the nice orderly game of tossing them to one another. They threw them at each other, bounced them off of each other, picked up the surviving balloons from the ground and squeezed them until they broke over their intended targets. They are now soaking wet and laughing and trying their darnedest to get us to give up the remaining balloons. Sister-in-law is all business. No sirree. It’s time for the adults to play.

2:35 pm – The Water Balloon Toss is over and nephew and his girlfriend have won. I think there was something of a team shift here, since hubby and I were the only real-life couple on a team initially. Anyway, we move on to the Egg Toss. Hubby and I make it to second place before the egg he lobs at me squishes in my hand and all over my shirt and pants. I spend some time with the hose, trying to remove the egg smell…. yucky!

3:00 pm – Sister-in-law has organized one last game, the Cucumber Pass. This has got to be the most humiliatingly hysterical game on the earth. One person holds this silly cucumber between his/her knees and tries to pass it to the knees of the next person. Every time someone drops it, that person is eliminated. We don’t even come close to winning that one, although we stay in the game for what seems like an interminable amount of time, but we laugh so hard my sides hurt.

4:00 pm – Done with the games for the adults, sister-in-law brings out the big guns… the pinata. I’m telling you, she’s got it covered like no one I’ve ever seen. Each of the kids gets a little prize bag, just for playing the games, and off they go for the destruction of the pinata. Brother-in-law is hoisting the silly thing up in the air and the kids are blindfolded, laughing and searching and swinging. Each kid gets a shot and the poor pinata is finally felled by the oldest kid there. Everyone scrambles. I remember that we made the kids bring their candy stash with them in hopes that they would share the wealth so we could go home empty-handed. No such luck. In fact, I haven’t even seen the candy stash, so I’m betting that their stash bags are still full. I wonder if I can surreptitiously reduce the candy stash before we leave.

4:30 pm – Everyone adjourns to the downstairs. Hubby brought the Wii and more hilarity ensues.

7:00 pm – Folks start to filter out. I start a load of laundry so we can go home tomorrow with clean clothes. It’s been such a fun trip. We’re happy, we’re relaxed, we’re enjoying each other’s company. I almost wish we didn’t have to go back. I have a brief moment where I think of the court stuff that awaits us. I push it away and focus on the place we are now. This is what life is about, right here. Family, fun, laughing together, playing together, making memories. I sigh. We’ll be back to reality tomorrow night, with all of its twists and turns, but what we have right now is what will get us through the rough spots. It’s goodness.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lynda permalink
    June 5, 2007 9:35 am

    It does sound like just TONS of fun!!! Wish I could have been there to laugh with you all. I miss having all the hilarity that a big family gathering brings. So glad you all made the trip and had such a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing the fun with us, your faithful readers of da blog. Many prayers are going up for you and hubby and the kiddos regarding the court stuff. Love you all bunches and bunches. Kiss the kids for their Auntie and give them BIG hugs for me.

  2. June 7, 2007 8:17 pm

    Crackin’ up! I tried the thrift shop route when absolutely nothing came to our house on the first round of summer parenting time switches – yeah, like that flew. Can’t compete with The Mother!

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