Sunday, April 8, 2012

And Then My Son Lost His Toenail

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  My son lost his toenail on the last day of Spring Break.  Let me take you back to:

The First Day of Spring Break - Getting There
Our Spring Break trip was to an island only accessible by boat. A quiet haven in the breeze - no cars, no noise, just the sound of Nicholas Sparks typing away in his hammock. We left home at 8:40 a.m. to make the 7 hour drive to catch the 4:00 p.m. ferry. Doing the math, that would put us at the ferry at 3:40 p.m. - with no stops. 2 adults + 2 kids + 2 dogs; add those numbers to the formula and you do not get to the boat on time.

It started out well enough, but 1 pit stop took too long and we found ourselves a wee bit short on time. I called the ferry people and "Joan" (names NOT changed because I was pissed off) told me we might make the 5:00 p.m. boat, but we wouldn't have a shuttle to our house. This was an issue as we would be miles from our rental with our luggage and storage bins of supplies. Upon this discovery, my husband stepped up to the plate. "Leave me" he said, like the sacrificial lamb.  "If you and the kids make it to the boat, and the time should come, then leave me behind."

My heart will go on .....

Faced with homelessness, my husband hit the gas and roared past his standard 60 mph.  Each minute we shaved off the trip was met with a little celebration. Slowly, we regained hope ...

You know how when you're driving down a country road, and all of a sudden a man with a hat on in a Cadillac or Farmer Joe on his tractor pulls out right in front of you and slows to 20 mph?  Well, this wasn't one of those times. THIS time, it was a motorized wheelchair with an occupant that appeared to be halfway into the light.

A wheelchair on the road - what are the odds?!  But we maneuvered past him and sped up again.  The worst was behind us and all was not lost.  We had just enough time until we turned left on a small street, knowing this was the road before the road to the ferry.  And there, rolling towards us, like a gladiator in battle, was ANOTHER man in a wheelchair!@#$%&*#!

I have been with my husband for 17 years, and that has allowed us to develop a level of communication that doesn't require words.  In that moment, our brains sent the same message to the other, "It's over." Seconds later, his voice broke through the fog, "Just take the kids and the dogs. Get a boat if you can. I'll find you ..."

I won't let go .....

I called Joan again, who was still unwilling to play ball, "You can get on the boat, but you ain't got no ride" she reminded me.  But with 12 minutes to spare, we came blazing into the marina.  I jumped out, screamed at a man in a yellow jacket, "We need to make the 4:00!!!"  The rest was in slow motion - bags tagged, dog leashes intertwined, kids picking noses, and then, the moment of truth, when I met Joan face-to-face to pay for our tickets.  We didn't speak of her cruelty, but I saw a spark of shame in her eyes.

A few minutes later, we were all on the boat, high-fiving and reliving the miracle.  We breathed in the sea air and got ready for smooth sailing.

12 hours later, my daughter was puking in the bathroom and I was coughing up a lung.  And one dog refused to pee.

But we kept crowin' ....... more on our trip to come!

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