Every month you’re invited to Fly on the Wall Friday, where a group of bloggers show you what’s been happening in their homes. You’ll see and hear things that will make you smile, gasp, and shake your head. Little moments we share (wisely or not) with flies who are brave enough to hang out on our walls.
I’ve had an eventful month. Not necessarily in a good way, though it started OUT okay. Bear with me – this could get a little lengthy.
My birthday was the end of January, and was an absolute riot. The crazy group of gals I hooked up with (um…not sure that’s a good phrase) to share a group post of recipes each month on our blogs decided to bomb my Rowdy Baker Facebook page with hysterical posts. It kept me busy all day just keeping up with all of them. You should go there and scroll down. Seriously funny stuff. Lots of love from everyone. I think my favorite was a photo of a cake my daughter found…with Tom Selleck on it. It just doesn’t get better than that!!! That man makes my toes curl.
And then, a couple of days later, THE SEAHAWKS WON THE SUPERBOWL! I’m not a huge sports fan, but since I lived in the Seattle area for 50 years, there was no way to avoid getting sucked up in the excitement. Woo HOO! Here’s a shortbread cookie I made. Did you notice I said “a”? After a ridiculous amount of effort, I got one to almost come out right. I quit while I was ahead.
Here’s where things start to get a little dicey. My grandson Mack was having his first birthday, and I really, really wanted to be there. The last time I saw him he was a newborn. Keep this in mind when you’re questioning my sanity later, okay? A grandma’s urge to see her littles is very, very strong. To sweeten the pot, my daughter told me they were going the surprise the girls with a trip to Disneyland a few days later, and if I could get down there (Northern California) and back, they’d love to have me go with them.
Normally I wouldn’t even consider driving in February – in fact, we’re usually snowed in. But…it was a mild winter and the passes to California looked pretty good. I could have (SHOULD HAVE) flown, but if I drove there was the added incentive of saving a few bucks and being able to drive to my son’s for a visit too. The Man has a tendency to look on the dark side of things, and I’m a raving optimist, so as usual, I blew off all his cautions and concerns. If it snowed up north I’d just stay longer in California. Off I went, car spit-shined, oil checked, and dashboard sporting the GPS he bought me for my birthday.
I had my last physical therapy appointment that morning, and my PT and I did a last check of the weather. It showed the possibility of a little light snow, but pretty much clear sailing. Ha… HA HA HA!
I’d almost reached Oregon when it was obvious I was in trouble. Snow was blowing so hard around the cars and big trucks that I was getting disoriented. I had to cross my fingers and aim between two posts for an exit the GPS told me to take, because I couldn’t see where it was exactly. Gonna tell you right now, it was a white knuckle ride and there was no place to get off the highway.
I have a new pet peeve. Semi trucks should not be allowed to be white. Nope. I was behind a “ghost” truck – totally white, with its tail lights obliterated by packed snow. I would try to trail far behind it, but the next thing I knew it was right there. Scary stuff.
My plan was to get to Madras, Oregon for the night and continue in the morning, and I made it. Barely. I was a shaky mess when I checked in. Continuing in the morning was a no-go. The Oregon trip cameras were daunting, and I could stand in my motel window and watch cars in trouble on the street. I booked another night.
Now in case anyone was worried that I was starving, I’ll admit this: the first night I ate Triscuits and licorice that I had with me in the car. The next morning I gathered my courage and drove to the nearby grocery store, where I bought more nutritious foods. A salad, sliced ham, bread, peanut butter, jam, milk, cereal, hot dogs, chocolate covered raisins, Oreos. You know…just in case I was stuck there for a month. I had a microwave and a fridge in my room, internet, and a comfy bed. Not the worst situation. Yet.
This was more snow that this little town has seen – if not a record, it had to be close – so the snow plows were being run ragged. But even though the motel parking lot wasn’t plowed yet, there appeared to be a window of opportunity. After The Man checked the weather from home and I checked it from there, we decided that if I could just get onto the highway I should be able to get through the worst of it quickly. The snow was DEEP and even when I locked the car in 4WD, it wasn’t very cooperative.
That should have been my cue to book another night, right? Oh, Lord, I’m stubborn.
I finally got to the T where I could turn out of the motel lot. Right was uphill (the way I’d taken to the store) and my car was balking. Left was downhill…a more realistic option, except I couldn’t see exactly where the road went. I was directed to stay to the left of some posts and I’d get out to the road. Everything was white, and…well…I was looking at a completely different post. Let’s just say that I created a road where no road had ever been, and found myself down a slope in a wall of snow. End of my escape.
Wait. It gets better!
Soaking wet after climbing out of my hole and slogging the long way back to the office to call for road assistance, I was put on hold forever. Bless the gal behind the desk! She let me use their phone and drip on their rug. I finally hung up when I started shaking too bad to hold the phone. I had no choice but to go back to the car and bring up dry clothes and something to eat, because obviously I was there for another night. I got my room key back, and this is where things got bad.
My gloves were in the car. My snow boots with cleats were in the car. By the time I got down there and started digging through the suitcase for clothes, I think hypothermia was setting in, because I could not figure out what to grab. I got my computer because that was my only link to home. I got a change of clothes and a can of soup and for some reason the entire package of disposable bowls, and put them in a paper bag. Brilliant, huh? Snowing like crazy and I’m going to drag a paper bag all that way. I did not grab my gloves or my boots. My hands were freezing solid (it was 3 degrees out) and I just closed the door and headed back. Only I was panting and falling down and, just like in the pioneering books that I love, I wanted to stay down and rest, but I knew I couldn’t let that happen. Dropped the can of soup in the snow, and I know I dug it out, but I never saw it again. It probably fell out of the soggy paper bag! Half way back I knew I was in big trouble, having to rest every few steps. I knew I should let go of some of my stuff, but it was snowing so hard, it would be covered in minutes.
When I finally got back up to the motel parking area, my angel behind the desk (Tanya) saw me and helped me to my room. She had to pry my hands off the computer case and dig around in my pockets for the room key. Blue nail beds, palms, shins. A long hot shower and dry clothes helped, but if you’re wondering, it hurts like HELL when the blood moves back into frozen hands. And then I had to do it again, to show the tow truck guys where the car was. Their response? “Oh, my GOD!” and “NO WAY!” They said they wouldn’t even attempt to tow it until the snow melted some. Great.
I spent the next 14 hours in bed, getting warm, feeling very sorry for myself, and adding up the costs of this trip so far. I also a big bowl of homemade chili with the works that my new front desk best friend had her husband bring over for me. It’s a good thing, since that can of soup was under the snow somewhere. Now THAT is service. Shameless plug here: if you’re ever in Madras, I highly recommend the Econolodge. Not only do they treat you like family, there’s also a really good free breakfast with fresh waffles, sausage, and scrambled eggs. I can assure you I took complete advantage of that.
Okay, so I called the other towing company in town and coughed up an insane amount of money for a tow because even though the slope I went down wasn’t that steep (people walk up it to get into the parking lot) they played musical tow trucks for a while, and finally had to park the big truck waaaaaay back to be on an actual road. Lots of heavy cable used. The Man took exception to this, and apparently called to let them know of his displeasure. (It may have been insult to injury that I used his credit card number for this. Ahem.) They said it took 2 hours. Pffft. Not even close. But honestly? They were all tired and crabby from the unimaginable amount of tows they’d been providing, and I was lucky they did it, especially on a Sunday.
I made my escape on Monday and finally made it to my daughter’s that evening with little drama. Shaken, my confidence beaten to a bloody pulp, but so very grateful to have made it in one piece. And oh, so happy to see them all!
A day of rest, and we were off to the happiest place on earth! A baby who was developing a double ear infection made the 11 hour drive a little less than festive, but strangely enough he always calms down to Christmas music, particularly “Big Fat Santa”. Bless you, Peggy Lee.
What can I say about Disneyland? Sore feet, smiles, and souvenirs! I hadn’t been to Disneyland since our kids were little, so it all seemed new to me. I loved watching all the impromptu dancing my youngest granddaughter managed to do with some of the park characters. My oldest granddaughter was more interested in making sure Grandma didn’t get lost!
So. We had a suite with connecting rooms, my granddaughters and I in one, and Mom, Dad, and baby in the other. I’m starting to change clothes quickly to go back out when I see the youngest girl sitting on the bed with her shirt over her head. I ask her why, and she replies: “I DON’T want to see you naked!” Oh my. I guess there are some things that just can’t be unseen. Naked Grandma is probably pretty high on that list. I may have scarred her for life. Sorry, sweetie.
Which reminds me, did you know that it is actually possible to gain 5 pounds in 4 days when you are sitting on your butt on a motel bed eating junk food? Just sayin’.
We were on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride (my personal favorite) in the last area where the drunken pirates are trying to shoot the big barrels of black powder. Singing “YO HO YO HO, A PIRATE’S LIFE FOR ME.” Do you know why I put that in all caps? Because it’s freaking loud!!! It was even louder 15 minutes later when we were still sitting there because the ride broke. Every few minutes the voice would come on saying “we’ll be just a few minutes, thank you for your patience.” Crying baby, yelling pirates, and the same chunk of song over and over and over and over. The only good thing was that I was behind the poor people who had the big barrels hanging right over their heads. That would make me pee myself for sure. The ride jerked and started,(to loud cheers) then stopped again with (you guessed it) me under the barrels. It was a tense “few minutes” for me before they finally got us out of there.
I’ve got to admit, though – all you have to do now is start singing that song and we all crack up. It’s funny now.
Here’s an entertaining video (honest!) my daughter and youngest granddaughter made, hitting the highlights of a trip to Disneyland as clearly as possible. I laugh every time I see it!
The ride home was a little tougher. Sad to leave and come back to reality land, and they were dragging home a sick Grandma. Figures. Nothing is going easily for me on this trip! My daughter has been plying me with creature comforts and has valiantly shopped three times for boxes of lotion enhanced Kleenex. Sore nose much?
Pneumonia? Bronchitis? One of the two – both were listed on the paperwork from the walk-in clinic. Sigh. I can tell you right now, the antibiotics and the inhaler both seem like a good idea. The codeine stuff that only helps me sleep long enough to wake up disoriented and in a panic? Not so helpful.
And I sure hope the steroids don’t make me go home with a beard and deep voice, because this has turned into one expensive, stressful trip, and though I’m sure The Man will be relieved to see me, I’m certain to be in line for some “I told you so’s.” It’s pretty hard to pull off the “poor little me” bit when you’re singing bass.
And I still have the drive home to face.
Speaking of The Man, we send out Valentines every year instead of Christmas cards. Here’s the photo that was on the front of this year’s card. It shows him pouting because he’s left alone feeding the chickens, dog, and cats. I’ll bet after all the excitement I’ve had on the trip this far he’s starting to feel pretty lucky after all!
If I haven’t made you want to beat your little head against the wall while you’re hanging there, please go buzz around these other blogs for a while, and see what THEY do and say when they think no one is there!
Baking In a Tornado
Just a Little Nutty
The Sadder But Wiser Girl
Follow Me Home
Spatulas on Parade
Stacy Sews and Schools
Searching for Sanity
The Lazy Mom’s Cooking Blog
Dates 2 Diapers 2
Oh my goodness! I’ve had trips like that (I travel for work) and they just seem to be a never ending barrage of bad luck! So happy you made it home safely and in one piece! Thanks for a great post!
I almost took it as a sign, Trisha, and headed back home, but then the weather got even worse north of me. When between a rock and a hard spot, head for the sun, right? Thank YOU for wading through the long story 😉
Holy Hannah, woman! Mickey Mouse should have let you in for free! You were more than a trooper.
Happy Birthday! Tom Selleck cake? You know what to ask for next year 🙂
I hope you are on to healthier days… <3
Thanks, Michele. Mmmmmmm…that man will still look good to me when he’s 90! Feeling a little better today.
Oh my word! I’m so glad you are okay and made it to those sweet grandkids!
Good heavens you should win a prize!
Disneyland with kids makes it so special.
I’m so sorry you are so sick. 🙁 What a messed up wonderful time spent in great company.
Sending warm fuzzies and well wishes for a speedy safe trip home.
Tom Selleck cake was beyond awesome!
Thanks, Meg! Yeah, it’s been one big roller coaster – and no, I did NOT go on that! I’m a chicken.
I hope in memory that the thrills outweigh the bleak ditches. At least you got a hug from Mickey — that must have made it all worthwhile!
Well…the valentines had to be mailed before the 14th, so the magic of photoshop was a factor. 🙂
Oh, my goodness!!! What a trip!!! HUGS HUGS HUGS!!!!
Glad you had Disney and grandkids to keep it from being a total disaster!
Me too, Stacy. Me too!!! I may stay here ’til summer 🙂
I have to hand it to you, I’ve had experiences where it seemed everything that could go wrong did, but you. . . you are the new QUEEN!
So glad you did get there eventually. This will be a family story forever.
I guess I earned that crown! I’m loving the family time but would like to forget the rest ever happened. I’m sure in 20 or 30 years I’ll be able to laugh about it 🙂
OMG – that was SOME white knuckle trip! I guess it’s safe to say that you’ve come a long way to celebrate your grandsons’ birthday!
I have never been to Oregon, but if one day I’ll get the chance, I’ll make sure not to miss Madras! Will July be a snow free month?
Love the Seahawks Cookie!
Oh, definitely. There are some very high mountain passes in Oregon, but spring and summer are lovely, Tamara. I’ve driven it in August and love the scenery. This time, not so much.
Thanks, Lori, for sharing your exciting trip! Bless you for keeping a positive attitude and sense of humor through it all! Hope you are feeling much better. Any idea when you’ll be heading home? We’ll be here…so would love to see you!
My schedule’s been pushed out a week because of this crud, Kathy. I’ll go see Doug & Michelle next week, so I’m not sure of dates. I’ll definitely be there, but still playing it by ear. Today was a little better, so I think I’m on the mend anyhow. See you soon!
That’s one of the worst snow stories I have heard!!! OMG I’m just so glad you made it out safely and you STILL got to go to Disney. Incredible!!
No more glad than I was! I almost got down and kissed the ground at my daughter’s house. She met me with wine. What a girl.
WOW at the snow! and that Tom S cake…not sure what to say!
Just think, it’s almost March.
Trust me, Dawn…I’m clinging to that thought! Though April would be even better.
@$%&&!!! That was quite a story! Disney may be fun but they neglect to tell you it is also the germiest place on earth!!
That’s no surprise – all those people!!! Maybe a white mask next time…
Thanks, Tam, feeling a little better.
Hi Rowdy Chef, I certainly recognize that desire to want to see the grandchildren, I have three grandchildren. The oldest is three, next is coming up on 2, the baby a girl is 2 months. Did someone say busy? Getting back to you’re not great trip alone nonetheless, you are pretty gutsy. You just don’t know what adventure you’re going to face, thankfully after all the stuff that wasn’t great you did make it to you’re destination. I am sure you savored every moment with your family especially your grand children.
Hi, Gloria! Got to love those grandbabies. It was totally worth it, but I’m hoping for a much less exciting return trip!