On Dec 30 Nathan, I, and the children left the farm in Kentucky to drive to our new home in North Carolina. We had the possibility of staying with family friends part of the way through but we realized that we wouldn't get to their home until 9 pm. If we stayed on the road we would be all the way home by 11 pm. Detouring to their home would give us a four hour drive on the 31st. I was eager to get to our new house and start settling in, Nathan was too.
We said goodbye to Mama Lily, her crew, Shagga Bear, Abby, and lots of extended family. I do believe I saw a few tears. I was teary too. I knew it would be quite a while before we got to see them all again.We headed south through Nashville and just an hour into our 12 hour drive we saw this. And this.
We sat in traffic for about 30 minutes or so. While we were sitting there we got to take a great shot of the home of the Tennesse Titans where we attended the Call in 2007. Kodak moment.
The day proved mostly uneventful. There was no throwing up or explosive diapers, just miles that didn't seem to slide by fast enough.
Nathan and I each took turns driving. (yes, I did share the wheel.) We stopped for a late lunch around 2. About 8:30- 9:00pm we were on the east side of Raleigh, about an hour and a half from home. We were thinking about getting some dinner to go. The highway is four lanes on each side there and the speed limit is 70 mph in NC. People were flying past us at probably 80 mph. Nathan was driving in the second to the left lane when we heard this horrible but unmistakable flopping bumping noise. Nathan looked puzzled as I said, "It's a flat tire, babe....PULL OVER!"
To his credit he did pull over, to the left. There we were stopped on the side of the road smack up against a concrete barrier with hour lanes of very high speed traffic on either side of us in the black of night. We get out to check out the tire. Bad doesn't even begin to say how much it was destroyed. Nathan and I were standing there trying to figure out what to do. We don't have AAA. We don't have roadside assistance. We know absolutely no one near there. And we have speeding traffic that shakes the van back and forth.
Nathan stuck his head under the van to see where the tire was and I had a brilliant inspiration to look in the owners manual about how get the spare tire out. And I thought, "Duh! Why don't I call 911. The State Patrol ought to help." So I called 911 and got the State troopers office. I explained the situation and they said not to do anything until they got there.
One trooper arrived in about 10 minutes. He got behind us and eased into traffic. We couldn't even go five mph. Once each lane was clear enough he eased over to give us a clear path to get into the next lane. We made it to the right hand side and were able to pull off far enought to give us space to work. We unloaded the back of the van, got the spare out and the helpful trooper changed the tire.
After the spare was on and everything loaded Nathan wanted to pump it up a bit with a bike pump we had in the van. The trooper said we shouldn't. We were in sight of the next exit and could stop there at a gas station and fill it up, and oh, by the way, we should tighten the bolts too because he couldn't get them very tight.
We eased into traffic and immediately knew we had a problem. It wobbled, shook, and bumped horribly. We drove very slowly to the gas station and when Nathan got out to put the air in the tire we saw this.
There was no way the van was going anywhere until we got a new tire. By now it was after 10 pm. Nathan was able to call a coworker who lived close to Raleigh to come and pick up me and the kids. We figured he would only be able to take three of the kids plus me so we decided AJ would stay with Nathan in the van. Surprisingly, he was excited about it. In fact, JM was up set that he wasn't going to get to stay too.
The coworker arrived a while later. We discovered that he only had two seat belts in the back seat so it was just Little Peanut and Grasshopper that got to come home. By 1:30 the kids and I were in our new house all cuddled in our bed. It felt wonderful to be home.
Nathan, JM, and AJ slept in the van. In the morning they were able to walk up the street about 30o ft to a tire store, Thank God, and get a new tire for the flat one and a new tire on the spare. The guys at the store put the new tire on and Nathan and the kids made it home for lunch.
More to come.