Day 55

I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and surprisingly not stressed out, considering it was well after when I’d hoped to leave. I was realizing that my body’s demand for sleep clearly outweighed any need to get on the road quickly. This calm moment of zen lasted approximately three minutes, when I discovered that my phone was dead. Completely and utterly non-responsive. I had plugged it in all night but it was gone. I tried two other outlets and had no luck in getting a “okay, I’ll charge now” symbol. Going out to the van I tried one last time to no avail and then started quietly catastrophizing. Walking around flapping from these experiences, I was unpleasantly shocked to learn that the huge bag of “dry” clothes the kids had brought back from the laundry room last night were still wet.  

My moment of serenity was rapidly changing to borderline psychosis.

There was one goal for today. One. “We are going to see the Atlantic to make our ‘cross-country’ tagline official!’ I had said cheerily when picking CJ up. Oh yes; CJ. Those of you who are following our Twitter and Facebook have no doubt noticed a sudden addition to our little team, my 16 year old has joined us and will be along for the return leg to California. Say hello CJ!

“Are we there yet?”

Well, isn’t this going to be fun.

Anywho, after getting on the road about five hours later than expected we ended up fielding gas stations without power, misdirections, (twice,) and at some point my phone started charging again very very very slooooowwly. Ick.

We finally found Virgina Beach on the map and I realized that I wasn’t quite all that safe to drive. Like shaking and blurry-eyed and exhausted. The perfect time to go through a several mile long tunnel and across several bridges over bays we couldn’t name. There were two accidents and during the stop-and-go Asterix* (We finally named the damn van,) let us know that she was PISSED.

We ended up running the heater for the last six miles.

*********

I didn’t know Virginia Beach was on an island.

Where I grew up and island was something seen off the coast in the distance that one only got to see if a boat was acquired and loins girded. Santa Barbara’s channel has been called one of the roughest in the world and though there are many lovely pleasant days out on the water, there are more of the, “Hey, do you get seasick?” variety.

So we’re now on the island in a KOA the size of Disneyland with humidity so strong I feel like I’m taking a spit shower from God. Gross.

I have read the riot act to the boys about getting to bed early, and am teaching them Seven Dragons.

The dog just walked through the game.

Time for bed.

 

Day 35

I awoke this morning realizing that I have to drive to beat the heat and nearly started to cry. I am so achy and sore it hurts to go to the john.

We’ve lost some canned food to the heat. Went to pull out our dinner last night and found dents I don’t recall being there and I’m not sure if we can eat ‘em.

I managed to back up and knock off one of the dumping pipes to the van. It’s currently sitting in the toilet wrapped up in plastic bags and I’m trying not to think about it.  We also appear to have no dashboard lights when the headlights are on, which is absolutely terrifying when driving at night. We are about to drive through TX where it’s going to be about 12 hours before we know a living, breathing soul.

The dog had a foxtail deeply burrowed into her paw and I am not sure I got it all out. She was completely clingy all evening from being left in the kennel and my guilt was nearly insurmountable. (Ducky bravely announced he would skip promised swim time in the pool to stay with her. I still can’t believe that happened.)

Today is one of those days I Have Doubts.

I have been so excited. Brightly talking about our adventures, knowing we sound insane; going back east, through the south, coming back to California and then hopefully getting the job in SC and heading back again. (It is necessary to come back to CA to modify my custody order, even though Ducky’s daddy hasn’t said boo to him since he was two.)

I still believe, It’s just that today my hopes are dimmed.

This trip has been a strange reminder of just what it means to be a single parent. The word “we” has taken on a weird double meaning I’m starting to resent.  Every other “we” I’ve met has meant a traditional family and I’m dying of envy. Not the “husband and wife part,” (Or husband/husband, grandparents + brood, etc.,) no. I’m jealous of one simple factor: Two (or more!) Goddamned Licensed Drivers.

Oh the joy of being tired and having the ability to swap with somebody! I can hardly imagine it. Oh wait. Yes I can. In fact I’ve been practicing. I’m actually very good at imagining that, if I do say so myself…

Then again, when I realistically try to picture doing this trip with another adult it stretches my excellent imagination to the breaking point. I’ve never had to share parenting duties with another person. I am not certain I how to have healthy conversations about things or even how to productively fight. This last makes me fear for Ducky because without an example set, how will he learn? I don’t want him to grow up, fall in love and not know what the hell to do when there is a disagreement.

 

Yup. Like I said. Doubts.

 

I need to remember that I am aching all over from the fantastic explorations that we took part in yesterday.

That the canned food can be replaced and it was just a small portion of our stores. (Though I would trade my soul for a freakin’ Trader Joe’s ya’ll. Seriously.)

There are RV repair stops/shops and I’m sure to find one if need be. Not to mention that the dumping pipe we lost for for the toilet which we have never used. We also don’t tend to drive at night. Like ever.

The dog will be okay.

The kid will be okay.

I will be okay.

I am feeling the fear and doing stuff anyway. Off to another time zone today. Damn, Texas looks huge.