Thursday, November 23, 2006

Over the River and Through the Woods...

This song conjures up a long journey to family, them waiting at the door for your arrival, maybe even with a cup of hot chocolate for you at the ready.

We left our house at 3:30am EST on Wednesday morning to try and beat the Thanksgiving driving traffic on our trek to St. Louis. Considering that treks are generally arduous, maybe this wasn't a trek. We had snackage, bottles of water, books on CD, a borrowed CD player (key for the books on CD), sunglasses (to be used once it got light out), a blanket and pillow, and a generally positive attitude. Plus, the weather was good.

We made a few stops and got to my parents house at 5:30pm CST after 15 hours. We decided to surprise them by being a few hourse earlier than they had likely expected us. Likely, because Ronnie and I realized that neither of us had actually spoken with them about what time we might arrive. My parents know us well though, and so if they were thinking, they should have expected us this early.

Here's the thing. We drive up to the house and there's no one waiting for us at the door with hot chocolate. From what we can see, there's only one small light on somewhere in the back, and after much knocking and doorbell ringing, we figure out that no one is home.


Now we thought it was strange that we hadn't heard from them all day about when we thought we might arrive (so they could have the hot chocolate ready, of course), but we figured they were busy.

So we move their porch chairs onto the driveway where there's a bright motion-sensitive light, take out the blanket, some water and snacks, and the rest of the newspaper, and Ronnie sets up camp. I went up to Trader Joe's figuring they must have run out for some last minute things.

They aren't at Trader Joe's, and on the way back I trolled the parking lot at the big grocery store and figured out that they weren't there, either.

On my way back, I got a call from Ronnie that the driveway light had gone out. My recommendation to him - wave your arms around a lot until it goes back on.

About 15 minutes later, I knocked on the door of a neighbor two doors down who I haven't seen in 20 years at one of the few houses that still has people in it that I know. Turns out, he doesn't have a key to my parent's house.

About 30 minutes after that, I get in the car to try to find a key at another friend of my mother's who lives about 6 blocks away. As I'm driving down the street, Ronnie comfortably sitting on the patio chair with the blanket, water and snacks, I see a car pull into their driveway.

10 seconds later Ronnie calls, but I'm already headed around the block, having correctly assumed that my parents were now home.

My parents thought we were arriving today, not yesterday. Needless to say there was no hot chocolate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't accept that this is my brilliant niece who makes travel arrangements for thousands of travelers to meet tight, critical time schedules, and somehow these are met. And personaaly she can't be met by her concerned, eager parents. For shame. How could this happen !!!!!!!!!

Shattered ....unbelievable.

Uncle Jake