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Life is an adventure. Sometimes I yearn for boredom, yet it never comes. This is an account of my struggles & triumphs- my struggle to know God & understand the "why" behind it all. "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain" This is just me - learning to dance - sometimes gracefully, but most the time - stepping on my 2 left feet..

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Glad Game

 My friend Kellie's youngest (who happens to be my youngest daughters best friend) birthday was on Monday.  They were going up to visit her grandma at her grandma’s cabin.  It was decided that we would all rendezvous is Tenn. for the weekend.  My child with RAD could not come with us for 2 reasons :
1) He was sick
2) We haven't had a overnight pass yet & I am not sure our first one should be out of state.
 (It really has been very hard for me making sure the other children still get to do things even though their brother is hospitalized.  I have to often remind myself they have not made the choices he has made, they are not mentally ill and so they should not lose out on normal things just because currently he is )

While Kellie and I talked about the various hotels in the area that would be close to them; Kellie's mom suggested we just stay at the cabin with everyone for the weekend....and so began our adventures.

I cannot tell you the excitement that was resonating in my household.  Kellie is absolutely one of my favorite people in the world and I could not wait to see her - My oldest daughter could not wait to see her middle daughter - and my youngest could not wait to see their youngest. I must say it really works out nicely that my best friend's daughters are my daughter's best friends. { Bill, oldest daughter of Kellie & Kellie’s mom – we were excited to see you too!!! J }

Amanda & Gabe were back from Europe so our housesitting responsibilities were on hold (and they even volunteered to dog sit -- aren't they awesome!) so Dan decided to come with me (YAY!! J)

On the road the van was abuzz with all the talk of seeing everyone when we heard an incredibly loud pop!  Yep - we had a blow out!  But that would be a little too normal -- so we decided to have a double blow-out.  Evidently there had been something in the road and it popped both the driver side tires.  UGH!! Hubby and I got out and assessed the damage - got back in the van and were getting the insurance papers when we heard a loud crack -- now what??  Oh I see some passerby decided the situation didn't look bad enough to them - so they threw a rock through our back windshield completely shattering it!  UGH AGAIN!!

We called our insurance company's road side assistance and it was going to take forever!  Dan saw a Firestone off the exit and said he would walk down and see what could be done.  By the time he returned Tenn. emergency roadside assistance had come.  The very nice man told Dan he would help take the two tires off and take them back to Firestone (which was wonderful because Dan was going to have to walk them down individually).  My youngest said she had to go to the bathroom so the man was nice enough to let her ride with her Daddy to Firestone.  That left me with the 2 oldest on the side of the road.

I have to say - I am incredibly proud of my 2 oldest.  A little bit of bickering began (after all it wasn't the most pleasant of situations) and I gently reminded them that we are a team.  "It doesn't help the team when bad things happen to be ugly with one another -- this is when we need to be encouraging. This isn’t a tragedy – it just an inconvenience”  I was amazed at how quickly they took the cue!  All bickering ceased and kindness started coming from their lips  (seriously -- I'm sooo proud!!!)  While we were sitting there in the heat of the afternoon waiting for Dan to come back with the tires ( he had called and said the tires were being brought in from another shop) - I told the kids lets name the things we can be thankful for because the situation could be so much worse.  Again - I was so proud -- they came up with a very long list......Daddy decided to come with us, there was a breeze, it's not raining, the man let Mandy go to so she could go to the bathroom....the list went on & on.  (Kellie was so tickled that we did this -- she started teasing me..."it's the glad game"  I had to laugh at myself -- so for all you Pollyanna fans out there ....I have renamed our “thankful list” to the "glad game")  Then they found various ways to entertain themselves without being irritable.  My daughter texted everyone.  My son made creations -- amazing what this child can make out of sticks, rubber strands and duct tape!  It was impressive.  I read a book and prayed that the time would go quickly.

At length - they came back -- the youngest very proud to announce "Daddy let me have 2 cups of coffee!!!"  I said "I can see that" & I could -- she was literally bouncing all over the place.  While the men set to work putting the tires back on - the two youngest set to work embarrassing their older sister.  The youngest stood on the overpass waving at all the cars delighting when they would wave back and my son was pretending to breakdance.  (Oh the trials of a 15 year old sister!)

Oh! and yall will get a kick out of this!!!  Remember the Plexiglas window my husband had fashioned a month or so ago?  He had stuck it in the trunk when we got the car fixed -- so he just ducked taped it to the back where the windshield was supposed to be.  I had to laugh -- it was great -- the wind would not be whipping through the van and my son was saying "look we have a redneck,  hippy van!" (the duct tape was my daughters crafting duct tape - it was tie die)

So off we went in our "redneck - hippy van" to the mountains of Tenn. Our van was to remain that way for a couple of days -- because it's the weekend - no one replaces glass on the weekend.  We were out to make a fashion statement.  I cannot tell you how happy I was when we finally arrived! (we got in a little after midnight - the original time was 7pm)

What a blessing the next couple of days were!  No internet and no phone (texting was available)- just beautiful peaceful mountains and a gorgeous lake view.  It was such a peaceful feeling watching my son & husband fish in the paddle boat while the girls played with their friends in the lake.  It was so nice taking long walks around the lake with Kellie -- sipping coffee on the front porch first thing in the morning watching the chipmunks and humming birds – playing games with both families at night - I can't tell you the last time I had such a wonderful peaceful, relaxing time - it was heaven.  It was preparing me for this weekend... but that's another post...

I really have so many things to be glad about…

Dancing & playing the glad game,


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