Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Trip to Illinois

I'm sure you've stopped by for some sort of story and while I really don't feel much like writing or have anything of great importance to write about, I suppose I've got to start back at some time and so why not start with telling you about my trip to Illinois for Kenny's funeral. After all, it seems no matter the circumstances there is always something strange and in hindsight hilarious that ends up happening to me and this trip was no exception.

My dad and I had planned on leaving Thursday, February 14 around 5:30. I got off work about 4:30 and went to pick up a salad and hummus plate from Zoe's Kitchen and then had plans to go home and let The Tide out before changing clothes and loading up my bag and The Tide and heading over to my parents' house. While I was at Zoe's, my dad called and needed me to pick up his cry cleaning because he had no clean white shirts to wear. Also, Justin was nowhere to be found and he was to take care of my mother while we were gone. Since Justin has no cell phone, there is no way to get in touch with him and so we were in limbo about whether or not to go ahead and leave town.

I picked up the dry cleaning, made it home, changed clothes, loaded up my bag and The Tide and headed towards my parents' house. On the way, I rolled down the back window so The Tide could enjoy some fresh air - I've heard that dogs enjoy this because being in a car makes them sick. Who comes up with this stuff? I also rolled down my front window a little as well only to have the window fall and not go back up. Yes, even Blue doesn't take time off from malfunctioning during tragic times. As you may recall, three of my four windows have broken and been repaired and on the day I'm leaving town for a funeral, the fourth and final window decides to stop working. I was thrilled, as you can surely imagine.

I made it to my parents' house only to discover that my dad had borrowed my grandmother's car (a Lincoln Town Car) for our journey. I loaded my things into the car and went inside to eat my dinner while we waited on Justin to make an appearance. Around 6:15 p.m. my dad decided that we should go ahead and leave so my mom had called a few people to come and sit with her until Justin (hopefully) showed up. My dad put my mom in the bed and then we taped up my fallen window and we pulled out of the driveway at 6:37 with a five hour drive in front of us.

As we were heading out of town on I-565, we noticed the traffic was backed up right before the airport exit. Actually, my dad noticed it more than I did. I was driving and he was on the phone and I thought it looked like the traffic was backed up but couldn't tell for sure and then her started frantically waving his hands about and so I realized that yes, indeed, the traffic was backed up. So, I slammed on the brakes of the Town Car and we luckily got stopped before slamming into the car in front of us. The car behind us, however, did not get stopped and in fact hit us. The driver's name was Calvin and he tried to go off into the median (we were in the left lane) but hit the side of a little bridge and then hit our side. Thankfully no one was injured and the car was only barely scraped. My dad said he didn't even feel us get hit and it's true, it was only a light bump. We were very lucky considering we were on the interstate and everyone was driving as fast as they were.
While we sat on the side of the interstate waiting on the police to show up we witnessed numerous cars (and even an 18-wheeler) screeching their brakes and running off the road to avoid hitting other cars. The smell of burnt rubber was all around and we felt for sure we were going to be witness to some horrific car crash. Thankfully everyone got stopped and there were no other wrecks. The Madison police showed up and were really quick about getting us back on the road. However, both my dad and I needed to empty our bladders so we stopped in Athens, about 15 miles down the road.

After our pit stop, we made two other stops, one for snacks (I needed caffeine) and another for gas. My mom had called around midnight and asked how much longer we had. Garmin told us we had about 10 minutes left but my dad thought an hour. Turns out Garmin was right and we finally made it to out hotel in Marion, Illinois about 30 minutes or so after midnight - there was construction at the exit and so we missed the exit and had to go about six miles out of the way and turn around to get back to the exit. We got checked in and immediately went to bed. Apparently I was snoring within five seconds of my head hitting the pillow. First, I didn't know I snored and second, I was pooped.

The funeral was the next morning and the minister did a terrific job. He really knew Kenny well, or so it seemed, and he delivered a nice eulogy and even gave us cause to laugh on occasion, which was a welcome surprise. We left after the service and headed back south. Thankfully the drive home was less eventful than the drive up there and we were back in Huntsville around 5:30 p.m. It was a quick trip, but I'm glad we went. I wanted to be there to support Jackie and her family, because as you well know if you've been stopping by here for any amount of time, they are also my family. Please remember to keep Jackie and her family, especially her parents, in your prayers as they continue to deal with Kenny's passing.


Erika said...

You could write a book....
I'm glad you and your dad were able to go, and I know Jackie was glad to have you there.

Melissa said...

I'm glad your car accident wasn't as bad as it could have been. I agree with Erika...you could definitely write a book...you have more car issues than anyone I've known. Sorry that you have to go thru all that, but it is quite entertaining for us readers :)