I am sticky.
The power went out over 40 hours ago, it is 80+ degrees with the humidity at approximately 400%, sleep has just not been happening, I awoke at 6:00 a.m. this morning *levitating* due to an especially sonic thunderclap, the children have been threatening mutiny, and we are redefining “family togetherness.” I love summer!!
We are in Minnesota to celebrate my father-in-law, Bill’s, milestone birthday. This trip had been in the works for months – all of Nick’s family coming together! Celebrations! Cakes! Gifts! Games! Prizes! An entire weekend’s worth of activities carefully and thoughtfully planned, eagerly and excitedly anticipated.
While our 2-hour layover turned into a 4-hour weather-related delay, we learned that my sister-in-law had a stomach virus, so she and her family would be unable to make the trek from Denver. Although we understood, we were crushed (we hadn’t even met our 5 month-old nephew yet!), and we got onto the airplane with heavy hearts.
And sat on the runway for an hour.
Once in the air, we learned that all flights from O’hare had been grounded – only minutes after our takeoff – and we breathed a sigh of relief that something was going our way. The flight was 30 minutes longer than scheduled as the plane was diverted around the storms, but we finally landed, ready to rock. Only after navigating baggage claim and collapsing into the rental car did Nick and I realize that it was 5 p.m. New York time and, thus far, we’d fed our children breakfast, popcorn, and a handful of almonds. Seeking to remedy our neglectful parenting choices, we quickly purchased “lunch” for the Ella and Annie, and thus pulled into my in-laws’ house with them clutching Happy Meals as if their lives depended on it.
Plus, they hadn’t exactly dressed up for our flight and, after the 11 hours of traveling, looked a bit like tiny, adorable hobos who had foraged for dinner in a nearby dumpster.
Yes, Annie’s shirt has a cactus and says “Hugz?” and Ella’s reads “I (heart) NICK”.
Happy Meals aside, we were thrilled to be here, and even more thrilled that my sister-in-law had begun to feel better, so she and her family had rebooked their flights and were coming after all. We ate dinner and changed our clothes just in time for the guests to arrive — Nick (a forever guitar player and singer) had long wanted to perform for his dad, a concert of sorts, and we had prepared several songs as the evening’s entertainment.
We began with our family’s favorite song, “L.O.V.E.” by Nat King Cole.
The Von Trapp Family singers? Not…
Toward the end of song, just after the last of the guests arrived, the winds began to pick up. Mid-second song, the rains came. Ten minutes into the gathering, the apocalypse surely seemed upon us and lights began to flicker.
Apocalypse or not, as performers, we knew that the show must go on, so onward we went, singing, strumming, and playing in the dark.
Those trees outside the window? Bending all the way to the ground? Yeah. It was like that.
We remain in the dark today. Except with less singing. And more stickiness. And by now, we – all eleven of us – definitely look and smell like hobos.
I’d say that “someday” we’ll laugh about the events of this weekend… except that we’re already chuckling, because my in-laws are generally awesome – and because, really, what else can you do? Except drink, but we’ve already established I’m not so great at that, and the beer is all warm anyway.
I’ve got plenty more to share, but the car adapter isn’t happy with me draining all of its power, and there are, like, eight more cell phones and i-devices that need charging. Also, it’s time to go bowling (electricity and air conditioning for the win!). Or maybe look for the lost keys to the rental car.*
Either way, it’s sure to be an adventure. And we’ll still be laughing.
* This post was originally written at 2 p.m. but couldn’t be published until later because the computer died. We did get power back by dinner, nearly 48 hours after it had gone out.
The car keys, however, remain missing. A 6 a.m. tow to the Hertz repair lot has so totally been on my bucket list. Winning!!!