Friday, August 31, 2012

Are We There Yet? A Tale of Two Cities

I woke up tired today, in Lexington Kentucky.  I think everybody else felt the same.  Shortly after we hit the interstate, two kids were asleep and a third was in a state of only half-wakefulness.  Everybody was feeling road weary.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  The scenery was no longer impressive—it just couldn’t cut through my mind fog.  And togetherness was suddenly not so appealing.  Most of the details of the day remain safely tucked away in a blur of weariness and irritability.

We crossed from Kentucky to West Virginia.  It was all the same beautiful terrain and would have impressed me a lot more if I wasn’t driving through it at the tail end of two weeks on the road with my whole family.  But we did remember to stop at the welcome center to take a photo with our trusty sign.
Later on, we hopped out of the van to see some waterfalls and let the dogs out.  Fortunately they were safely leashed this time.
We went on to see the bridge over New River Gorge, something Shaggy has been wanting to see for about a year, when he first started applying for transfers to this area.  We waltzed down 137 stairs and then wearily climbed 137 steps back up.  Of course, I didn’t count them.  I had entirely too little energy to do something like that.  I heard a kid from some other family say she counted 137.  I’ll take her word for it.
Once we were all strapped snugly back in the van, we put on a Harry Potter book on tape.  It had everyone enthralled, which is interesting because when we tried books on tape earlier in the journey, it was an epic failure.  No one listened.  The girls preferred their own forms of entertainment.  And J & R weren’t interested in listening in the least because they preferred to lose themselves in their imaginary games.  But maybe they’ve lost some of their creativity, or at least some of their energy along the way and are now content to just sit and listen to a story.  Thank goodness, whatever the reason.  At this point, I’ll embrace whatever reprieve comes my way.

Unfortunately, B decided not to participate in this particular reprieve.  She came down with a fever.  She took fitful little naps, woke up fussy, and stared around with glossed-over sick looking little eyes.  She made it hard to hear Harry Potter sometimes, but the kids demanded we continue trying after each of her many crying outbursts.
The most exciting part of the day came when we crossed the border into Virginia.  It actually cut through my feeling of numbness.  The thought that we had really accomplished something, that we had actually made it this far, was a most welcome one.
I really, really, really hope that the hardest part of this relocation is now over.  I am so ready for the easier part to kick in.

When night fell, we found ourselves in a hotel, once again in Lexington, but this time in Virginia.  Hallelujah!  Everybody was too tired to swim or to face anything for dinner other than carryout.  Ironically, everyone but B stayed up way too late.  She had begged to go to bed from the minute I carried her into the hotel room.  I was quite happy to oblige.  But everybody else got away with watching some family show on TV long past their bedtime, mostly because Shaggy and I were just too exhausted to stay on top of the bedtime routine.  Sometimes that little routine is hard to face.  Too bad it comes around relentlessly day after day after day.

My consolation is that whatever tomorrow brings, at least it will be happening in Virginia.  We’re getting closer to home, even though we’re not there yet. 

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