I love a good road trip. But none would be more memorable than a road trip we took three years ago. We woke up that Christmas morning, loaded up the van and drove to the farm in Wisconsin for my Dad's funeral. Bad weather was in the forecast for the entire trip. But with friends and family lifting us up in prayer, we forged ahead. We stopped that first night in Wichita, Kansas. It was 1am. My husband was exhausted. We had no more than climbed in our hotel bed between cold sheets, when I remembered the bag of lemons I had brought for my Mom. They would surely be frozen by morning. So Randy (bless his heart) got dressed and went out in 5 degree weather and retrieved my lemons ~ only to climb back in bed and remember his iPod would also freeze if we didn't retrieve it. Poor guy. Oh but it gets worse, upon settling back in bed again for the 2nd time, we realized that Tyler's iPod was most likely in the van too... and Tyler was fast asleep. So, for the 3rd time Randy piled on the clothes and made his way outside along slippery sidewalks to the van. Needless to say, we didn't get to sleep till 2am that first night on the road.
We literally drove the rest of the way in a bubble. I'm serious ~ snow, ice and sleet surrounded us, but we had nothing. We counted over 50 vehicles buried in the snow along I-35 that day. So scary to think of what could have been. I was also grateful for the many miles to think and pray and remember and grieve my Dad's passing. I needed this road trip badly. Road trips can be healing like that.
When we finally made it to the farm it was snowing lightly, so I grabbed my camera and captured these images.
Even the cows seemed relieved we made it and gave us a welcoming nod.
I grew up in that big old farmhouse. It was built in 1927. My parents bought the farm in 1958 when I was just two years old. My brother Ron and his wife Deb now own and operate the 350 acre farm.
We left the farm for Phoenix later that week, on New Year's Eve day, and spent that night in Liberal, Kansas. Everything about that stay was a nightmare. For starters, poor service at the hotel front desk. We rang the bell forever before the gal finally woke up (she was sleeping in the back room). She was either not fully awake, hungover or high, but we liked to never get to our room. And once we got settled and asleep, a loud, drunken party commenced in the room across the hall. I had to eventually tell them to be quiet, or else... sure, like the gal at the front desk would be of any help.
Which brings me to the reason for telling you this story in the first place.
While Tyler and I were finishing our free breakfast at the hotel the next morning, Randy gets this hair-brain idea to wash the van. Ok, I must admit, it was filthy from all the mud and crud that comes with traveling cross country. So he takes it to a car wash to wash it himself. Need I remind you it's 5 degrees. When he pulls up to the hotel, he's driving a dadgum ice cube. I'm not even kidding, the van was encased in a layer of ice.
Well, ever since that infamous washing, the van makes this horrible sound when you turn the steering wheel in the winter. I mean horrible sound. And only in cold weather. This being our 3rd winter of tolerating that horrible sound upon turning the steering wheel.
Well, the other day Randy had to take our 2006 Grand Voyager to the dealer for a recall repair, and Randy tells the guy about what we've been living with for the past three winters. And, well ~ God Bless Tempe Dodge ~ THEY FIXED IT. FOR FREE.
Best Christmas present in 2012!