Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thanks to God, we are home!

That was a quote from my cousin, Fr. Peter, when he arrived back in Slovakia after their visit here a few weeks ago. Tonight, I can totally understand what he meant. Wow, what a trip. Let's start at the beginning...
Last Tuesday night - The whole family went to Enterprise to pick up our rental van. Yes, we rent a van because a. I do need a radio/video on trips that take over 4 hours and b. there are issues with my van that make me less than confident about it's ability to cross several states. When you rent, they have to fix things immediately. That makes me happy.

After returning home and switching over the car seats, dh headed to pack and sleep. You see, he was heading out before us the next morning...like 5 hours before us. He planned to leave by 4:30 AM for a 6:30 flight. Sometimes things don't quite work out.

We both got to sleep about midnight then, around 2 AM, I noticed that the message light was blinking. It seems the flight was canceled due to extreme wind and rain, could he please call and reschedule. So, he did. He left at 6:30 for an 8:30 flight. We left a few minutes after 9 (and running on about 4 hours sleep).

Despite the difficult night, the trip started out well. When I was gassing up the car at the local station, I looked up and saw this

I had to smile since I figured that was just the Holy Spirit telling me what I would need to do, often, over the next few days ;0)

We had planned our first stop at the 2 hour mark, in Canton, Ohio. This is the spot, not only of the "Mother Angelica Memorial Highway Corridor" or something like that but, more importantly, the monastery of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration. A mothers' group to which I belong was meeting there for daily Mass a week ago and we couldn't join them but I thought we would pay a visit since we were heading west. What a blessing it was.

Now, don't be confused...it is always a trial to get these people into and out of Adoration. In this case, the chapel was beautifully small and quiet and we lasted about 10 minutes. Still, they had the most awesome selection of choose-your-own-Saint-adorned-candle to light so we did that on the way out. The grounds were gorgeous...a nice place to stretch our legs and say a few extra prayers for our journey.
The namesake hugging her statue...so cute

Heading up to see Mama Mary

On our first day of travel, we started the trip with one decade of the rosary and tried to do one more on each stop (this was the second), reciting the fifth just before bed. I'm not sure we were quite that organized but we did get the whole thing done before sleep!
We had two other stops planned, Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Our Lady of Toledo. Alas, it wasn't to be that day. We came about 15 minutes behind a road-closing wreck outside of Akron (we are so blessed to have stopped when we did!) and after they reopened the highway, the rain and wind closed in with a vengeance. The next nearly three hours were spent with the kids glued to the video screen and me glued to the steering wheel. During one three-or-so minute period, I did nothing but chant "Jesus, I trust in You!". The rain and wind made it nearly impossible to see and I figured if it got my friend through the days prior to labor, perhaps it would help us get through the current trial and deliver us in one piece to see her beautiful little man.

We are arrived safely in Mishawaka, Indiana around 5 PM and checked into the hotel, ducked out for a bite, and back home before the rain again closed in. I was lucky to find a room that would house 8 (we only needed 6!) so some of the kids even luxuriated for an evening without a bedmate. For me, I snuggled up with Mr. G. We shared the king-sized bed but could have made it with a twin mattress.
I took this picture about 4 AM. Isn't he cute? Beyond his head is the rest of the HUGE bed. I am hanging off my side with him snuggled in tight. Oh well, there are worse things than clingy toddlers :0)
We were blessed to have a quiet room and exhausted kids so we got a good night's sleep. That was fantastic since the next day was full of more rain and adventure! Stay tuned...

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