Monday, February 9, 2015

Final Preparations: A Soap Opera in the Making

The plan? Finish packing up and cleaning the house by Friday evening, do last minute things on Saturday, leave right after church on Sunday, get to Newfoundland Wednesday or Thursday to leave the dogs with my parents while we are gone and meet our new nephew and spend a week with family before leaving for Sri Lanka.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans....

Week One - Packing:
  • Two blizzards = four day delay moving out of our house.
  • Sub-zero temperatures = destroyed wiring in the Suburban. (Three garage visits later, the wiring is finally fixed.)
  • Blizzard #3 = broken windshield wiper motor. A huge thanks to the little garage behind my brother-in-law's house in Bellefonte, where they were able to fix it quickly.
  • Unknown cause = sick-in-bed daughter at my brother-in-law's. A huge thank you to him for taking care of her and cleaning up after her while we finished up at the house.

Week Two - Driving:
  • Overturned fully-loaded semi = two hours sitting in rush hour traffic in Scranton, PA, while road is cleared.
  • Cramped spaces + jealousy over who was sitting in 'mommy's' lap = multiple dog spats.
  • Daughter's stuff in dog beds + two cranky fighting dogs + me separating them = finger bitten to the bone.
  • Delays in leaving = stop at a K-mart in Massachusetts to buy dog food, resulting in me leaving my wallet at the store, which we discovered when we got to Bangor, ME, 230 miles (372 km)north.
  • Misunderstanding by FedEx = two day delay in Bangor while we wait for UPS to deliver my wallet so we can leave. Thanks to Jenn, the manager at the Tewksbury, MA, K-mart, for taking care of things on her end so UPS could get my wallet to me.
  • Violently ill daughter = one overnight emergency room trip.
  • Slippery roads and snow = 200 yard slide down an ice covered hill on the way to the hospital, just missing a car on the side of the road.
  • Sub-zero temperatures = me and the dogs sleeping in the running car so it would not destroy the wiring again.
  • Bad weather = UPS missing the next day delivery flight. Thanks to the call center, the customer service department, the local delivery warehouse and the UPS driver who went an hour and a half out of his way to get my wallet to me on Friday instead of us having to wait until Saturday. And, thanks to the Quality Inn in Bangor for putting up with us and not charging us for an extra day when the delivery came late in the afternoon.
  • A chain of storms on the West Coast of Newfoundland =  more than 200 miles (330 km) of absolutely wretched ice covered roads and intermittent snowstorms and whiteout conditions, and two near misses as people were not driving according to weather conditions.

Week Three - Visiting:
  • Coldest night of the winter = dead vehicle in driveway.

Honestly, we couldn't make this stuff up if we tried!

A couple of days here in Newfoundland with family, and then we leave for Sri Lanka on Thursday, arriving on Saturday. Praying and hoping for smoother travel the rest of the way!