This post was intended to be a story about my adventure in trying to fill the car with gas, but I am realizing now that the title is an excellent metaphor for the way I feel at the end of this week.
On Monday we left Wisconsin early in the morning and started the drive back home. The trip was very smooth and completely uneventful -which is just the way we like it with us and a car full of kids. We arrived home to a house still very disheveled from the prior week and the events of that week. We left the house the Friday before in a fairly hurried fashion - we didn't really have a choice. Normally, I like the house to be clean and picked up so that when we get home we don't have a mess upon a mess upon a new mess to deal with. But, when life throws a curve ball at you like the one it threw at us, you just do what you can do and keep on moving - the clutter will keep.
So this week has been all about trying to dig out of the clutter and figure out the new "normal" of our lives. On top of that, Trent has had play practice every evening and feels the added stress of missing a whole week of rehearsal time. On top of THAT, we have had some thing going on every night this week. Tuesday I had photography class. Wednesday was Kindergarten round up. Thursday, the Blue and Gold banquet for Cub Scouts. The week has been filled with shuffling schedules, arranging sitters and all the regular, every day madness that ensues with a household and three young children to manage. Speaking of the kids, they have been amazing. They were such troopers on both of the long drives to and from Wisconsin. They have been in good spirits and the fighting has been minimal. There have been many days lately when they have had to take the back burner and they have risen to the occasion better than I ever would have expected. Their smiling faces and their hearty laughter keep me on task and keep me sane.
I am looking forward to tonight. We have nothing going on. We can hang out as a family - play games, work on our new puzzle and just RELAX. The house is still a mess, but if the past few weeks have taught us anything, it is how precious and fleeting life is. The clutter will keep.
Now for the gas story....
The last couple of days, every time I got in the car I looked at the gas gauge and could see that the car was running low. I made a mental note and would be on my way. The places that I drive to in a normal day are nowhere near a gas station. I don't go very far - the bus stop, Evan's school and the grocery store are about the extent of it in a normal week. The grocery store is near the gas station but I had already gone earlier in the week. So last night as I was heading to the Cub Scout banquet I noticed the gauge - it wouldn't even tell me how many miles I had left, it just read LOW GAS MILEAGE. I was a little panicked and decided to get gas before the banquet - we would still make it on time. As I started driving I had second thoughts because the roads were a little slicker than I thought they would be and I didn't want to get to the school too late to get a decent parking spot. I didn't want to have to make a long trek with three kids through the cold and ice. I decided I would get the gas after the banquet. The banquet lasted longer than I thought and by the time I could sneak out with Hailey (the banquet was still not over) it was quarter to eight. She was exhausted and I was really wanting to get in my jammies and watch Survivor, so I forgot all about the gas. This morning as we were all packed in the car to run Spencer to the bus stop I looked at the gauge and panicked a little more. The gauge had changed to read LOW GAS and I think if I were to get really close it would have said in small letters "get thee to the gas station before you are pushing this van down the road with three freezing kids inside -you idiot". So I told Spencer that we were not going to the bus stop, we were going to the gas station and then I would drive him to school. He was thrilled with the treat of the chauffeur and I was happy to finally get the task over with. I got half way to the gas station before a sinking feeling came over me as I realized that since I thought that I was only going to the bus stop, I did not have my purse with me. I just wanted to cry. I still couldn't fill up the car and I had wasted more of my precious LOW GAS by driving part of the way there. I turned around and headed to Spencer's school. There was nothing I could do unless they would let me pay them in wet diapers (that two of my poor kids were still in) or I wanted to put in forty six cents worth of gas, which happened to be the amount of the coins that Spencer had in his backpack and was counting all the way there. After dropping Spencer off at school, I drove home and got Evan and Hailey dressed and fed and we headed out for Evan's school hoping for the best, and the gas, to get there. We got Evan to school with backpack and snack helper supplies and our next stop was the gas station. I was keeping my fingers crossed the whole way. I have never in my life run out of gas and I sure didn't want to at this point. Luckily, the LOW GAS and fumes held out and we made it to the station. Thirty nine dollars and eight cents later -our tank is full! FINALLY!
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