Thursday, September 24, 2009

We're finally home!

I went to sleep at my parent's house Monday night with every intention of getting up very early and heading back to NC. Halfway through the night, though, L came in saying she was scared and I ended up sleeping in the dark bedroom with her for the rest of the night.

I didn't wake up quite as early as I wanted.

We got on the road about 7 and headed east with every intention of driving straight through. About Birmingham, my dad called to check on us and to let me know that the news had just been covering a lot of flooding in Atlanta. I figured it might slow us down some and just to be on the ultra-safe side, I stopped at a travel center for gas and a potty break after we crossed the Georgia border.

Then we got closer to Atlanta and all traffic stopped. S T O P P E D. Orange striped barrels funneled I-20 down to one lane, then it guided us OFF THE INTERSTATE.

Everyone had to exit onto a small road headed south. Which meant that we moved an inch then stopped for 5 minutes, then another inch. Rinse and repeat for *5 HOURS*.

At one point I got off the detour route and started searching for something anything that would get me north or east. Every single road I tried was barricaded because of the flooding, which made me a little more appreciative of the monster that the transportation officials were up against. They were doing their best in working with what they had, but it was still hugely frustrating to sit through. Thankfully, it was late and the girls slept through most of it. L had a hard time getting to sleep and at one point announced that she needed to go to the bathroom. I could *see* a gas station ahead, but I wasn't getting there anytime soon. Within minutes, though, she was snoring away, so that was one emergency averted.

Mr. at Home was his usual incredible self and sat on the phone with me several times, looking up information about the rerouting. The most frustrating thing about the whole night was that after awhile, the detour signs disappeared. Traffic started filtering off in different directions so there was no clear indication as to which way would get us back to the interstate. I tried the road that was originally part of the detour, but it was now blocked as well. At that point, the fact that it was dark, I was way off course, I was driving around unfamiliar backroads somewhere south of Atlanta, it was the wee hours of the morning, and I had no idea where I needed to go next got to me. I hung up on Will because I was at the point where I was going to either curse or cry and I needed to just get hold of myself. I went through a McD drive-thru for a large iced tea and stopped at a gas station where I woke up the girls and we all went to the bathroom, and then I felt better.

The traffic had cleared and I got back on the last road that I knew was part of the detour and we continued working our way east until we got to the loop. Thankfully, the loop had just opened back up and we made it all the way around to the north side of Atlanta where we went searching for a hotel. It was 2am and there was no way I could drive all the way to Charlotte.

I found an exit with lots of hotels listed and saw that a crash had just happened seconds before we got there. There were at least two cars involved and another stopped. Thank you, God, for delaying us just a few more seconds! We found a cheap motel in a seemingly nice part of town and slept.

We got out of Atlanta after 10 then we *finally* made it home Wednesday afternoon. Just in time for a shower, a short time to rest, then it was back in the car for church since I had to teach last night. My wonderful Mr. at Home had unloaded everything and even had most of it put away. I can't even begin to say how wonderful that was.

Today we are settling back into our routine of school and dance and softball. I have my first meeting with a local art club tonight and there's a camping trip for Mr. at Home and Kate tomorrow night with our homeschool group, then Saturday is Kate's birthday. It's like jumping into the deep end of the pool, but it's a lot of fun!

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