By the time the weekend came around, I was at the end of my rope. The stress of carpools, sports schedules, homework and a baby on top of all of my regular daily tasks had completely overwhelmed me. My brain was fried. I was exhausted.
My nephew was having his birthday party on Saturday night. My sister and her husband live in my old college town two hours away. I had committed to being there. I really, truly wanted to be.
Late Friday night, Chris told me he would have to work all weekend. There was no way he'd be going to the party.
We have not left town in a year and a half. Our van is not in it's prime, and it has been hard to justify the repair costs just to take a trip. Mostly, though, Chris just won't leave work.
Saturday morning, I dropped him at the office. I pulled into a service station for an oil change and tune up. I learned all four tires were bad. It would be stupid to take it on the highway. It was high risk just driving it around town.
On a mission, every discount tire place within a five mile radius was contacted...either in person or by phone. Most were closed. The few open didn't have the right size.
I dropped Grace off at a birthday party and got lunch for the rest of us from a drive-thru. A national tire and auto chain store had the tires and the time. Known for their price gauging, I stopped in just for an estimate. Luck was on my side. The price was more than I really wanted to spend, but it was a bargain.
With an appointment set for a few hours later, I went home to pack. I solicited the kids for help. I reminded them that I was not being mean nor rude but that I could not listen to another story, debate, tattletale or question. They cooperated.
When the time came to retrieve Grace, we were just a few suitcases shy of being ready. The van was in the shop at it's scheduled time. We walked home. The phone rang an hour and fifteen minutes later. I walked back, swiped the credit card and drove home. Each child grabbed an armful of luggage. We were loaded.
Six hours, $572 dollars and every last ounce of sanity later, the getaway van was off.