|Heinz, one of my mother's millions of cats. She's just five cats away from appearing on an episode of Hoarders.|
Well, we made it. I jokingly told a co-worker that I predicted the kid would ask, "Are we almost in Oklahoma?" before we got out of our own neighborhood. I was wrong. She waited until we were fifteen minutes away. Fifteen minutes out of seventeen hours.
We drove for just over eight hours and then stopped at a hotel. We got there at about midnight. As it turns out, this hotel (which was actually more of a motel - some sort of family budget inn) was a hub for hunters. The parking lot was full of pickup trucks and trailers. One of the trailers had a dead deer lashed to the back. I was grateful that the kid had conked out by then, because I was way too tired to have to explain this sort of thing.
I checked in, woke the kid up just long enough to throw a nightgown over her head, and then we climbed into bed and fell asleep almost immediately. Normally I would grouse about having to share a bed with Short Stuff, in as much as I find sleeping difficult when I've got a size 10 kid foot planted in my kidney. However, I think we were both too exhausted to flop around much. Oh, perchance do you know what time hunters get up? 4:45 a.m. Also, they are required to slam lots of doors before heading out into the woods. When we got up, all of the trucks (and the carcass) were gone.
We spent another eight hours in the car on Saturday. The kid would pipe up every half hour or so to announce: "We're in the middle of nowhere." She wasn't just whistling Dixie - we truly were. We'd go for hours at a time without seeing anything but plains and farmland - and an occasional hand-painted sign advising us to repent ASAP. Finally, we arrived in Oklahoma City and met my mom, sister, and one of my nephews at a Chili's, where I promptly ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio (I earned it, ya'll). If I had realized then that my sister would be picking up the tab, I would have gone for a Grande Margarita.
We're all settled in, hanging out at Meemaw's house. My daughter is spoiled beyond all belief. My mother bought her a bunch of toys and then bought her two more when we stopped at a store. And this doesn't even include any Christmas gifts - those are piled in the guest room and are, for now, unopened. I'm planning to do a lot of relaxing over the next week. What I'm not planning to do: drive a car.