September 29, 1 a.m. through 10:30 p.m.

tire

*Note:  I’m a week late posting this one because our family spent the last several days in the process of moving, and just yesterday evening I unearthed my computer and all its parts (from four different boxes), so I’m all set to blog again.  I know that people around the world were missing my blogs while I was absent, so it is important that I contribute to the wellbeing of society today with this humble journal entry of mine from last Thursday, right before the moving insanity got completely underway.  I had this post mostly written before our internet disconnected last weekend, and like a true drylander I hate to let anything go to waste, so thought I might as well go ahead and share it here today.  Here’s an inside look at a typically nontypical day for me.

September 29, 2016

Dear Diary, let me break down my day for you.

1 a.m. — Baby Marsielle wakes up crying in her crib.  I rock her back to sleep and manage to lay her back down in her crib.  (Getting the baby back to sleep is not an absolute in our house, no matter the time of day.  I am so thrilled that she is asleep I conk out in my own bed before I can get the covers pulled up.)
2 a.m. — 3-year-old Emilyn wanders into our bedroom and climbs into bed with me and my husband.
4 a.m. — Manage to wake myself up enough to carry Emilyn out to the couch and lay her down on it.
5 a.m. — Baby Marsielle wakes up crying in her crib again.  My husband brings her in and lays her in bed with me.
6 a.m. — My husband leaves the house to check stock water.  After a couple attempts, I manage to get out of bed without waking the baby.  I climb into the shower, hoping the kids don’t wake up while I’m in there.
6:30 — Out of the shower.  No kids awake yet.  Ahhhh… nothing better for a mom than being alone in the early morning with only her thoughts in an otherwise quiet house.
6:35 — 3-year-old Emilyn is up and feeling a little too warm.  I hold her with one arm as I blog one-handed at my computer.
7 a.m. — Husband stops by to announce the corporate housing manager may be stopping in today to look at our house.  But… but… I was planning a trip to town!  No time to clean!
7:15 — I get the baby back to sleep on the couch and turn on a kid show for the 3-year-old and her 5-year-old brother.
8 a.m. — I am in overdrive!  So far I have loaded the dishwasher, wiped counters, started a load of laundry, swept the entry, and picked up the living room!  We’ll be ready to head to town in about 15 minutes!
8:05 — The 3-year-old asks if I will sit next to her on the couch.  Thirty seconds later, I realize she is throwing up on her blanket.  She continues watching TV like nothing is happening.  I race to grab a bucket.
8:30 — Okay, I have washed the 3-year-old, rinsed her clothes and blanket and thrown everything into the wash, changed her into fresh clothes, and scrubbed the compromised couch cushion.  I am still going to town today!  I won’t let this stop me!
9 a.m. — All three kids are dressed.  I have packed an overnight bag for the two older ones, who will be spending the night at Grandma’s house.  I have located the lost (and waaaay overdue) library book.  I have discerned that we have enough diapers packed to make it through the day.  I have filled the water bottle.  I have packed a package of beef sticks to be used in a hunger emergency.
9:30 — Okay.  I have loaded 4 coolers, 3 (five-gallon) water jugs, and 3 kids in the pickup.  We hit the gravel road running!
10:05 — We have been on the highway for about 2 minutes when there is a loud explosion.  I look in the rearview and see black smoke and debris departing from the rear of our pickup.  I pull onto the narrow shoulder of the mostly-deserted highway.  The passenger-side rear tire isn’t flat yet, but it has blown all its tread.  The 5-year-old boy is full of questions about what’s happened.  I proceed to drive slowly on; I know that there’s a pull-out for a county gravel pile about 3 miles ahead.
10:07 — Miracle of miracles, my husband calls.  I have a cell phone with me, and miraculously I am in service, but he has to be calling from the home phone, because there is no cell service on the ranch where we live.  Sure enough, he is calling just to see how we are doing.  I tell him about the tire and he says he will come rescue us.
11:07 — The kids and I wait for help to arrive for over an hour.  We play in the county gravel pile.  The kids get very dirty.  I unload the coolers from the back of the pickup, along with the spare tire.  I take the hub cap off the flat tire.  I attempt to loosen the lug nuts but have no luck.  A few vehicles pass on the highway but out of embarrassment and fear I ignore them all.
11:30 — All of a sudden three county gravel trucks pull off the highway and into the gravel yard.  The county employees are very helpful and start changing my blown tire.  Five minutes later, tire pretty much changed, my husband pulls in.
11:45 — The kids and I are back on the road to Forsyth with a new item on the agenda:  a stop at Art’s Tires.
12:30 — First stop:  Dairy Queen.  The 5-year-old eats a corn dog and then, for a treat, orders a hot fudge sundae with sprinkles.  Of course, the 3-year-old, who has eaten 2 fries, believes that she also deserves a sundae.  Why not?  I order one for her and a cup of soft-serve for the baby and a chocolate malt for myself.  We all deserve a treat for being so good, right?
1:30 — I swing by the library to return delinquent books, resisting the kids’ pleas that we all go inside.  My mom calls, wondering where in the world we are and why we haven’t made it to her house yet.
2 p.m. — At Art’s Tires, they put a new tire on the driver’s-side-rear and discard the tire that blew up.  While the kids and I wait in the lobby, the owner is sure to treat the kids to suckers.
2:45 — From the tire shop we head to the grocery store, where they have one of those cool shopping carts that has a little car for the kids to drive attached to the front end.  The little car fits two kids.  I have three kids.  As usual, the battle ensues.
3:30 — We are moving at the end of this week, so I shouldn’t even be buying groceries.  I have been trying to “use up” the tail-end of our supplies at home, and we have been subsisting off of white rice, frozen vegetables, biscuits, and some strange cheddar-jalapeno sausages of questionable origin that we found in the back of the freezer.  The 3-year-old has eaten very little for several days now.  The 5-year-old boy, a fan of Hank the Cowdog, summed it up best when he declared, “Son, we am low on groceries.”  So here I am trying to buy the food we need to survive the rest of the week.  Also the donuts we’ll need to keep the moving crew interested.  Despite my best intentions, the grand total is more than $200.
3:45 — From the grocery store we head straight to C&K Meats, where they load for us the half-beef we receive every 6 months as just another benefit for PV Ranch employees.
4 p.m. — A quick stop at the Town Pump.  I lock the kids in the pickup while I race inside to buy three cans of snuff.  Daddy is out.  Daddy is cranky when he’s out.  Daddy has a lot to do this week.  We won’t survive if Daddy doesn’t have his snuff.  This is the real reason we came to town.  (Note to non-users:  never start.  It will be very hard, if not impossible, to stop.)
4:15 — Just west of Forsyth, finally headed to Grandma’s house, I pull onto the side of the road and let the pickup idle while I feed the baby.  I just get the baby strapped into her seat, fast asleep, when 3-year-old Emi announces she has to pee.  So… out my door, open her door, unbuckle her, bathroom break on the side of the road, re-buckle her, and back into the driver’s seat.
5 p.m. — I pull into PV Ranch headquarters with both girls asleep in their carseats.  Grandma meets us and helps us unload the meat into a freezer; this is where we will be moving to this weekend.
5:30 — Having left the two bigs kids for an overnight with Grandma and Grandpa, I and the baby head up the Ingomar Road to our not-much-longer home at the VX.  The baby does not demand my attention like the two big kids do, so I actually get to listen to the radio as I drive!
7 p.m. — I’m home again (well, at the house that will be our home for about three more days).  Beau is still outside finishing up a project, so I enjoy a second wind and unload groceries, change the baby, trim the baby’s stray toenail, check messages, etc.
8 p.m. — Date night without the two big kids!  Beau and I decide that, even though there are a million things we need to be doing (like packing to move on Sunday), we’re going to just take it easy tonight.  I make grilled cheese and tomato soup and we eat on the couch and even treat ourselves to a pay-per-view movie.  Looking for easy lightheartedness, we make a terrible decision in the movie department:  Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Now, we have enjoyed a few raunchy comedies in our day, especially in our younger days, but this movie is filthy beyond acceptability and truly insulting to our intelligence.  Beau and I are both red-cheeked with embarrassment, and threaten to turn it off repeatedly so that the baby finally finds the remote and brings it to us. If junk like this is what the majority of people swallow without question, no wonder our country’s going to hell in a handbasket.
10:30 — We finally get SuperBaby (her superpower: she can function without sleep) laid down in her crib and hit the hay ourselves, feeling somewhat unsettled after our “relaxing” movie evening. On the agenda for tomorrow: packing for the impending move.

© Tami Blake

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