I know what you're all saying out there..."Wow, Dann...it's been forever since we've heard from you. We were all getting a little worried!"
As many of you know, last year we drove all the way from Wisconsin to Texas for Turkey day and that was rough enough...this year we decided to stay home and go to the wife’s relatives for dinner. Sounds simple and uneventful, right?
There's a song out there by the super cool rock band called Bobaflex that says, "All it takes is one bad day to drive you crazy!"
I need new tires for my Jeep. The two front ones are wearing down and it's going to snow later in the day. Some of you may not know this, but driving in the snow with balding tires is like going to the south side of Chicago yelling, "White Supremacy!!!" You just don't wanna do it!
So, the nearest tire place is an hour away form my home, so I get up and leave around 7:30 am, taking my oldest son with me for company. When we get to the tire shop, we're told it's "first come, first serve" so we're just to leave the car there and they'll get to it possibly in a few hours. I look outside and realize that the temperature is 19 degrees and we're supposed to find something to do for an unknown amount of time. My son doesn't really complain 'cause he knows I'll do it all for the both of us. We start off walking....in the cold...on snow covered sidewalks...in the wind.
We duck into a few places for warmth and food and bathrooms over the next couple of hours, but there was always that dreaded feeling of knowing we'll have to go back outside sooner or later. Summer wasn't coming anytime soon!
Around 1 o'clock that day, they finally get the car done! My timetable is slowly being shot to death. On the way back, I was to pick up a few things from the grocery store for Thanksgiving dinner. When we got back home around 2:30 I realized we didn't go to the store. My wife is at work, so there's no way she can pick up what we needed, so, of course...I have one cranky lady on my hands.
My daughter just graduated high school and she moved in with friends to strike it out on the "adult" path...Of course, she doesn't have a car and needs a ride everywhere she goes...she lives two hours away...and guess who has to pick her up and bring her home for the holidays?? So.....my son and I decide to head out around 3:30 to get her. She won't get off work till 9, but we figured we'd get there and hang out with some other friends or do some early Christmas shopping or whatever... Apparently the Big Guy upstairs was having a good chuckle or two at my expense!
As soon as we head out, Captain Cold, Mr. Freeze and Bobby Drake all get together to wish me "good travels"....now to any of you non-comic nerds out there...that means the snow came! HARD! Traffic is insane...visibility gets as good as my near sighted granny, and we're driving down the highway at an average of 40-45 miles an hour! Even with new tires, the Jeep is still a Jeep and wind can play havoc with it. Saying I was a little tense is like saying the Pope is a little Catholic.
And we get there....at 7:30...and what happens??? THE SNOW STOPS! sigh.....
We go and grab a quick bite to eat and I finally remember to go to the grocery store! (Of course now, the wife has to wait till I get home to start cooking..phase 2 of her crankiness towards me). We get my daughter and start to leave, when, in what has to be part of an audition tape God is making to send to the old TV show Last Comic Standing, the snow starts back up! God is laughing at me....not with me....AT ME!
So...conditions are exactly the same as they were when I first started out, but now I'm in a bigger hurry and get a little cocky. Halfway thru the trip, I speed up and the universe retaliates by saying, "Look, there's a nice icy spot on the highway...just for Danny!" I hit it...and I'm spinning around the highway, getting a nice 360 view of the road. We end up in the meridian facing the other direction....fun stuff.
We finally get home at 12:30 am. I'm tired, kids are bored, and my wife is cranky.....so like a good husband , I stay up with my wife to help her cook and clean up...so that means I don't get to sleep till 3:30 am! I'm so excited to get to bed I almost forgot to lay on it!
Enter the Sandman!
Starts only a few hours after Day 1. We have to be at dinner by one o'clock and it's an hour or so drive there, and after the night I just had...leaving a tad bit early may be wise! We're up, dressed and out the door by 11.
Now, Me....I'm just a little bit on the edgy side after my long drive the night before, so I'm still driving at a slower speed than normal... and the crowd is growing restless. I try to make the trip a little more interesting as I tell them all the different, maniacal ways I'll kill them if they don't quit bitching. Doesn't help much tho.... So we get there...relatively pain free!
Dinner is fine...no one chokes on turkey bones, Galactus doesn't come down as a guest and I beat my son in a good game of pool! All in all.....a good time. We get home around 5 and now my wife is getting into the Christmas spirit....and all the radio and TV talk about are Black Friday deals. (and right now, I'll say this: If anyone has a problem with the term "Black Friday", then they need to chill out! 'Nuff said!) "I'm really tired" I say, hoping for sympathy. "Do you really want to go to the stores at 5 in the morning?" She says, "5?? Silly man...the deals start at Midnight!" and I quiver.....and cry.
I take a quick nap...maybe an hour and a half...because we need to leave at ELEVEN o'clock pm! I was able to make one stand and say that there was no way I was driving...I'd had enough! "Sure" she complied, "I'll drive. That way we'll get there faster!"
We got there faster.... we got to every store that said, "stand in line in 7 degree weather for at least 2 hours so you can get in and fight for the latest thing that you really don't need". I noticed time slipping by me when I got "night hair"..you know what that is....it's when you're up for an unprecedented amount of time, your hair gets into these odd little styles and looks like it wants to leave your head so it can get some rest. Then the "night aches" began...shoulders start to hurt, ankles are tight, that sort of thing.
Soon, the "night cold" sets in. The little chills you get all over at random times when you're really tired. Top that off with ice covered roads, annoying people, loooooong lines and sub zero temps... I was ready to go!
Thankfully my wife started feeling the same...we left around 11 pm and we even skipped a few places she wanted to go. As soon as we pull in our drive way around 1, I'm jumping out of the car ..running to the bed... barely saying “hi” to the kids.. and passing out!
Ugh to "Black Friday".... Give me “Blue Monday" anyday!
Now, on to the rest of the year! So much to do...so little time to do it in!
Happy Holidays everyone!