Even the Best Laid Plans

All along the plan for our family vacation was that we would leave after the final out of the June 28 game at Chase Field and that we had to be home by 4:40 PM on July 13 when the gates would open for the first series after the All-Star break. That seemed like a simple enough plan so I was just slightly tipped over when that plan was called into question. It was not the family who wondered whether the 4:40 PM July 13 deadline was hard in fast. They knew better than to question that. No it was actually Mother Nature who wondered whether I really meant that I needed to be home by this time.

From where we were vacationing it would be a 16 hour drive to return to Phoenix. The plan was to leave on Wednesday July 11 and drive part way and spend the night arriving home on Thursday July 12. I could then unpack, relax, and get ready for the game on Friday. Again, that seemed like a good plan at least to me and to the family. So as Wednesday arrived I began packing our belongings into the back of the car in preparation for our return home. While I was doing that Trina was doing some last minute checking of traffic and road conditions. She came out to the car and suggested that perhaps I didn’t need to rush as much as I was. It seems there was a wildfire burning out of control which was directly in line with our driving path. The fire had consumed 350,000 acres and was only 10 percent contained. I’ve driven through Utah several times and I wondered to myself how you could tell if it had been burned or not. Though a lot of that area it was nothing but sagebrush and tumbleweeds. So really the only difference between burned and unburned seemed to be the shade of brown/black that the bushes now were. According to the news, there were walls of flames going across the interstate. Trina seemed to think it would be a bad idea for us to attempt to drive through this. I had grown up watching Evil Knievel and I thought it might be kind of cool to try and put the Suburban up on two wheels while driving through a wall of flames. Dakota was all for that but we couldn’t convince anyone else. So instead plans were changed and we remained in a holding pattern waiting for the winds and the fire to change. It wasn’t a total loss as I was able to talk Trina into maybe working on the second seat cushion. I am not sure but I think that I stood a better chance of surviving driving through an uncontrollable wall of fire than I did making a suggestion that Trina continue her sewing marathon.

Trina and I made our way down to the sewing dungeon and once again started working on the cushions. Trina’s tolerance seems to have diminished during this sewing campaign. I was banned from the sewing room three times in less than 2 hours and not even for a good reason. All I said was “You know…” and before I could even finish the sentence I got smacked upside the head and tossed quicker than if I had been arguing balls and strikes. A guy can only endure so much of this kind of treatment before he starts to feel like maybe his help is unwanted. So I left her alone for the rest of the day. I didn’t see much of Trina after that. I finally went to bed around 3:30 AM and the lights were still on in the sewing room. At 5:30 AM I woke up and Trina was still not in bed. I decided I better go look for her. I crept downstairs and slowly opened the door to the sewing room. There was Trina slumped over in a chair. She had just finished the second seat cushion. In her hand she had a pair of scissors and in her other hand she had a handful of Life cereal. She was tossing back squares of semi-nutritional cereal while trimming stray threads. It was kind of creepy seeing her like that and I hesitated saying anything for fear she would throw either the cereal or the scissors at me and given I only had 2 hours of sleep I wasn’t sure if I could react fast enough to catch the cereal in my mouth and the scissors in my hand. If I reversed that it would be bad. I decided to play it safe and just talk behind the safety of a hollow core sewing room door. I thanked her for making the seat cushion then suggested that she try and get some sleep since we were to leave at 8:00 AM. When the alarm went off I just carried Trina to the car and set her in the seat. By the time she wakes up we should be part way home.

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