Did anyone else grow up reading The Zoo That Moved? I did.
Today started out being about Kendra. My sister that has lived so close to us for the past two years officially moved away today. She boarded a plane with her two sweet kids and they're now on the way to meet my brother-in-law out at their new house. We will miss them a lot. But if I was crying on the way home from the airport, it wasn't about that. But I wasn't crying. But I wanted to.
On the way to the airport we hit some pretty bad traffic, right around the American Fork exit. Then, up by the Lehi exit everybody was trying to get off. They've been doing some construction up around the American Fork exit for months now, but the on ramp has still been functional. I thought that maybe there was some big event going on up around Lehi? We had no idea. At that point we were more focused on getting to the airport... and the stench that was coming from my nephew. (Turned out it was just gas, not... well... something else.)
Getting my sister and her kids checked in was busy and hurried (we were running behind after the hold up back around American Fork), but it went fine. I hugged them all goodbye, and got back in the car to head home.
Did I mention it had been snowing? It was raining when we first left and snowing by the time we hit the point of the mountain, but it wasn't sticking to the road or anything. Still, I'm not particularly wild about driving in snow of any kind. But I was keeping my cool. Not freaking out. Just trying to make it home.
Since the rain and snow had made the roads really wet, water was splashing up and back onto my windshield to the point that it was fairly difficult to see very well. I could only see about twenty feet ahead for a while there. And cars in the distance might as well have been floating down the road; I could only see the top halves of them. In an effort to get out of the wet haze, I decided to get off the freeway as soon as I could and head home on State Street instead. I had planned to get off a little farther up in Pleasant Grove where I knew the exit better, but I knew well enough how to get home from the American Fork exit, so I got off there instead, hoping to have the drive be a little calmer just that much sooner. Fool. Did I mention that I hate driving on the freeway? Or for long distances?
There I was, off the freeway at the American Fork exit, home free, heading over to State Street, about to go through the light when... Satan himself was standing in the middle of the road, directing traffic, directing me... BACK ONTO THE FREEWAY. Heading NORTH. Okay, so it was a police officer. But I hate him that much. In total despair, I started driving away from home. Frantically, I called my friend who knows the Lehi area a heck of a lot better than I do and asked her if I could get onto State Street from that exit. She said yes. So I followed her very helpful directions and was on State Street, heading--once again-- in the right direction. When I met with none other than Satan himself again. I couldn't believe it. This time the police officer blocking the road directed me into: a parking lot. Seriously? Where are the detour signs? Where are the helpful "Hey dummy, you must not be familiar with the area, so let me tell you which way you should go" directions?
By this time I needed to use the restroom, I was about to cry, and I just wanted to get out of the car. Not to mention the fact that I had no idea how to turn around or even get back onto the freeway heading the right direction. Why oh why did I not just go one exit farther and get off in Pleasant Grove? Sigh. So, I pulled into the Target parking lot that I was so kindly directed into, parked the car, and went into the big bulls-eye itself. Restroom--check. Cute clearance clothes for the big O--check. Calling my friend to ask how to get home (again)--check. Motivate myself to get back in the car and head home (with the snow now getting worse)--uhh... it's gonna be a little while. I walked around Target for a long time. I finally bought myself a bottle of water and some Annie's bunny grahams, got back in the car, said a prayer, and headed back out onto the road.
Remember all the animals in The Zoo That Moved that didn't want to get into their cages to be moved to the new zoo? That was me. Remember how the animal keepers had to lure some of them into their cages with a big cake? That was me. Except instead of a cake I had a bag of Annie's bunny grahams in my lap. Now, I am normally very good about telling myself I'm only allowed a reasonable amount of something, but I absolutely positively no-way-in-(well, you know what) wanted to get back into the car and stare into the big white blur of the snow anymore. So I told myself if I did get back into the car and try (again) to drive home, that I could eat as many little bunny grahams as I wanted. Ha! Take that scale! I may or may not have eaten half the bag. However, I am happy to report that I did, finally, eventually, much to my relief, make it home. Where the snow was even worse. And with a really fun idea for a new top. More on that to come later.
Moral of the story: it is better to eat a lot of bunny grahams than to live in Target. (Even though it took me a while to reach that conclusion.)
On our way up to the airport Kendra got a text from her mother-in-law who was meeting them in Denver for a connecting flight. Kendra commented to me how crazy it was that her mother-in-law was already there in Denver and she hadn't even gotten to the airport yet. Talk about getting stuck in the time space continuum. Kendra was probably in Denver before I even made it home.
Edited to add: I forgot to say this when I first wrote it earlier this evening, but when I was at the check out in Target I asked the cashier if she knew why State Street was blocked off and she said she thought she had heard someone saying earlier that a gas line had burst. So I guess the cops blocking the way to keep me out of harm's way can't be all bad. But I was still pretty perturbed that they were there.