(I'm trying something new this one time.  Since I'm telling a story about our latest travel debacle, and mostly I blame Aaron, I have let him add his own commentary throughout the story in red.  Just remember, you should be very skeptical of anyone professing innocence in the face of very real and present evidence of guilt)

     So then there was the time that a member of Aaron's family died during the middle of a down south icepocolypse.  Schools were closed for days, businesses shut down, there wasn't a gallon of pasteurized milk or sliced loaf bread to be found within 114 miles.   End times stuff.  And we agonized over the decision of whether or not we should drive the four hour trip to Arkansas for the funeral.  He was not particularly close to this family member, but he wanted to be supportive for his dad and grandfather.  Plus the ice was melting an the roads were looking much better.

     So we wait until 6 p.m. the night before the funeral, throw a bunch of stuff and a bunch of kids in the car, and begin the drive to his grandmothers house in Newport, AR.  I'm proud of myself for packing so efficiently and quickly, everyone is happy because all of their electronic devices are fully charged and they are eating drive-through chicken fingers, and Aaron is no longer grouchy with me because I've quit trying to talk him out of the trip since I had conceded that the bridge over the Mississippi River was not iced over and we most likely would not slide off the side of it. (I have a few "overly nervous" issues with things like bridges, four wheelers, and cups with no lids at restaurants.  I'm working through them.)  

(Aaron: She was so proud of herself.  I specifically remember her bragging about how she packed us all in one bag.  I was impressed as well.  I know it was only one night, but we pack in more than one bag just to go to church on Sunday morning! One bag on a trip to Arkansas. . . .we had reached a new milestone that needed to be celebrated.)

     And then we pull up in his Granny's (on the other side of the family) driveway.  His precious, sweet Granny who always remembers to send us cards and money for our birthdays and who never misses a church service and who cooks things like 100 chocolate fried pies from scratch at Christmas because she wants to do nice things for the people she loves.  She's good people.  Aaron opens the back of the car and pulls out the one suitcase in which I packed the whole family of 6 (so efficiently, remember?) and then I say, "where's the pink bag?". The pink Vera Bradley bag that I pack every. single. time. we go anywhere that holds all the 'bathroomy'-type things.  The pink bag that one of us should have noticed was not there when "the-one-of-us-who's-job-it-is-to-load-the-stuff-in-the-back-of-the-car-when-we-travel" loaded the suitcase with no pink bag.   The one that I immediately begin naming the contents thereof (with increasing hysteria in my voice at every missing item).  Toothbrushes.  Deodorant. Make-up. Medicine.  MY FLAT IRON!  All the while I'm trying not to burst into crazy-lady angry tears like a psycho in front of his precious Granny standing in her driveway at 11:30 p.m.  

(Aaron: Uh oh.  I don't really know how "hard she tried."  Her actions were causing lights to turn on in neighbor's houses and dogs to bark; I really even think the moon immediately hid behind a cloud to avoid seeing what was happening.  I told myself - you have to stay calm. . .police will show up soon and Granny can't handle my kids by herself.  Both of us can't go to jail!)

     And here's the thing that still bewilders me about my nearly perfect husband.  He does so many things right, but even after more than 15 years together, he cannot just let me have a freakout.  I know it's stupid.  He knows it's stupid.  His precious, fried-pie-making Granny knows it's stupid, even her neighbors at this point probably know it's stupid.  But just let me feel the feelings for a second! Instead, he tries to act like it's not a huge deal and reason with me saying things like, "you haven't put on makeup in six days.  Who cares if you put it on tomorrow?"

Are you kidding me?  

     If he would have just said, "Holy mother of pearl!! What?!  You don't have your flat iron?  How can you go out in public with that puffy fly-away hair?!  This is Newport, Arkansas!  Who knows if they even sell our kind of toothpaste here?!  And what are all my cousins going to think when my neck isn't shaved tomorrow?!! Let's just drive home now.  I can't be expected to live like this.", then I would have probably calmed down and gotten a grip.  But instead he was acting like I didn't need to shave my armpit hair before that funeral, and that was an attitude I just could not tolerate.

(Aaron: Oh. . .she was going to bathe and shave?  Man, I wish she hadn't forgot that bag!)

     So the next morning, as his punishment for not realizing the bag was in the back of the car (even though he kept trying to tell me that I could have checked the bags myself - craziness), I set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. so we could go to Walmart.  Even though the the visitation started at 10 and you could stand in his Granny's front yard and see the back side of the funeral home.  And even though I haven't gotten up at 6:30 a.m. on purpose ever before in my whole life.  By 7 I'm headed to the Walmart to buy all the stuff he told me I don't need because he just doesn't understand what kind of struggle life is when you don't have concealer.  But for some reason he insisted that Turnanator come with me.  (and trust me, the boy was none to happy about it)

(Aaron: We were treading on new ground here.  Cassie shopping at 7am.  She doesn't shop wisely at any time; we need damage control.  I had to think fast and come up with a plan.)

     As soon as we get in there, my child begins questioning everything I put in the buggy and trying to get me to put everything back.  About half-way through the trip and after threatening to punch a nine-year-old in the face, I find out, his dad had sent him with me as a narc of some sort and set a money scale out for him.  The less I spent, the more he made.   If I spent less than $50 he got $10.  Can we please all get a firm grip on reality and realize that that did not happen?  But I did buy him a pile of Easter candy as a consolation prize.  

(Aaron: Child labor is just not what it used to be.?.?  He let me down.  After how much she spent, I told Turnanator, HE owed ME money!)       
     Anyhow, after a delicious breakfast including biscuits and gravy from the precious Granny who saw me become a psycho in her driveway the night previous, she and Aaron went to the visitation and funeral while I got myself and all the children ready to meet them in the next town over for the post-funeral lunch.

(Aaron: she left out how she apologized to Granny over breakfast. . .the only win I had all weekend. . .)
    Friends, it is no simple task to get yourself ready within a timeframe with all replacement makeup and no flat iron while trying to dress four kids, one of which won't stop trying to rip out all the pages of precious Granny's well worn Bible and put kleenexes in the toilet.  Of course we were late.  So as I'm yelling at everyone to get on their shoes and help me carry stuff to the car, I pick up the new $2.50 stud earrings only to find that Cootie baby has long removed the clear rubber backs - never to be seen again.  

     So then there was the time that I threw a new pair of earrings in the trash.

(Aaron: And somehow. . .that was my fault too.  So then there was the time. . .I just took it like a man.)
                                                     Love you like I love that pink bag,
3/13/2015 05:34:09 am

So....You didn't get EVERYTHING packed in ONE bag?

1/26/2019 01:54:31 pm

Sometimes, we tend to do amazing yet crazy things when we are in a hurry. Just like in your case; you weren't expecting that you can do it, but obviously with the power of everything you were able to do such things because there was a time frame that you need to follow. I cannot imagine having all those stuff being packed in just a one bag, but you just made the impossible thing possible, and I couldn't thank you for that!

Elaine Davenport
3/14/2015 07:01:49 am

Love your story, keep writing them. Did Kim tell you the name I thought of for both of your families? Parksters

Judy Vaughn
3/14/2015 09:38:54 am

Love this, stuff happens to us all, we just don't have the guts to tell it. So proud you do. Keep writing. Sure Aaron and the kids will continue to give you plenty of stories.

Chantel Rojas
3/14/2015 11:56:41 am

Loved it!! We have some funny stories too! This makes me wanna tell a few!

9/19/2019 08:54:04 pm

We really appreciate the kind of topics you post here and best work you have done, keep it up. There are more topic on instagram in my site. Coming to site.


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