Monday, September 12, 2011


I must apologize first off for my lapse in the last two weeks of posts. I got caught up in preparations for my trip, then forgot to finish and post the one post I had started! Argh! Hopefully, I won't have such a lapse again. Anyway, I'm back, and that's the important part. Now, if I can just get my PCs to cooperate with me...

Today is my post for the blog chain... and as is apt having just come off my vacation, I'm writing it today... that's how much I'm behind! The topic is "Coming Home".

I haven't had the benefit of even looking at anyone else's posts, so I have no idea where everyone has taken this.

But, I had a literal coming home experience last week, so I'll talk about that.

First, I should tell you that I have a love/hate relationship with traveling. I like being away from home, but I hate the inconveniences of being away--being in an unfamiliar area (so I don't sleep as well), having my kids way off schedule, and not having any time (or inclination) to write or read. The worst of these is usually having to sleep in a hotel (or even in a relative's home.) The mattress never feels right, and the surroundings are such that I sleep very lightly, awaking to every little sound, even if it's one that normally wouldn't bug me at home.

Chasm Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park
The drive home last week was lengthy. We were in NE Wyoming with family, and we left their home at 8:45 AM Mountain Time. TMOTH and I have done this drive in 12ish hours before, so I had hoped we'd be home by midnight (allowing for extra breaks.) By the time we'd been on the road for ten hours, we'd stopped 8 times. Yeesh.

It seemed the miles came slowly, driving across four states in order to get home. Stopping for the night wasn't an option: TMOTH had to be at work the next morning. When we stopped to pick up my dog from Grandma, it was 12:30 AM Central, and we had one more hour to go.

Getting home was great. I was so relieved when we pulled up. Even when we walked in and found the place smelled like the garbage can we'd forgotten to take out when we left. (Poopy diapers left for 8 days don't smell that great--let me tell you!) I was just so relieved to be home, to be able to drop into my own bed.

There were a lot of reasons to be relieved to be home. Our car had actually made it! In Colorado, we were climbing Pike's Peak, and the car was acting very strange. We had to stop because our toddler, who is potty training, needed to use the bathroom. While we were doing this, we left the car running (hubby was afraid to shut it off) and it was sputtering and just not acting right. With our little boy in the car (asleep) and hubby off utilizing the men's room, my daughter and I were standing outside, taking pictures and the car just died! That's a little scary, when you're halfway up a mountain, and you don't know how you're going to get back down.

Fortunately, TMOTH is a mechanic by trade. He recognized what the car was doing, and determined that we had to let the engine cool down. We ended up making it to the summit, but the next day was spent in Denver, locating parts to replace a part of the engine.

What a way to spend a vacation!

So you can see why I was most relieved on our home coming. Things could get back to normal. Our car wasn't in perilous danger due to altitude. And I could sleep in my own bed.

At least I had a break from writing--and I'd recently just finished writing "Cora's Song" before leaving. On the way home, I figured out my laptop's fan had gone dead. Which definitely puts a damper on the whole writing thing. But, I'd at least gotten a preliminary read of K.M. Weiland's new "Outline Your Novel" done. I'll be doing a review here in a few weeks once it's officially released. I'll say this: I'm actively outlining again. This is a good thing.

I know this is a pretty disjointed post, and I apologize. Hopefully you can make sense of my version of Coming Home.

Until next time,


TraciB said...

What a trip! I'm glad y'all made it home okay, Liberty, and thanks for sharing the ride with us. I've experienced the overheating car on the mountainside thing twice (the first time in Venezuela - talk about scary!), so I can sympathize. Good post for the chain. :)

Sheila Hollinghead said...

The best part of vacations for me is the coming home. I'm one of those weird people who hate vacations--perhaps from living so many places growing up.

Enjoyed reading your adventures! Thanks for sharing.

Victor Travison said...

I have some stories about trying to drive across the country in a faulty car. In 1988, my ex-wife, stepson, and I tried to travel from Kansas to California. The car had a small radiator that kept overheating--not good at all for steep mountain driving or for the desert. (Never tried it with very young children, though. LOL!)

You weren't very far from me when you were at Pike's Peak. Just a few miles to the north of Colorado Springs.

~ VT

Jack Brown said...

No matter what home coming smells like i'm glad you
got back home,
blogged about it,
made me chuckle.

biiiiig hug


Tracy Krauss said...

I've had more than a few 'break down' experiences while on holiday, and it is definitely no fun! A radiator in Oregon ... a transmission in Boston ... (THAT one was expensive ...) air conditioning in Montreal ... brakes, mufflers, transfer cases, not to mention flats! It makes for some wonderful writing fodder, though! :)

Not sure I'd be up for the poopy diaper smell ... Just saying!

MGalloway said...

Good thing everybody made it home safely. I remember driving through parts of Canada and having my car stall out (bad ignition switch) as I went down a huge hill with deep, rocky dropoffs on either side of the road. Not fun.

Scott Fields said...

Aughh! I can't believe you were just south of me, and I didn't get a chance to come down and try to connect with you! Too bad. Maybe next time.

I usually enjoy my vacations too much to want to come home at the end. But to each their own.

Thanks for sharing, Liberty.

lynnmosher said...

Argh! Things get disjointed sometimes. Hope you had a good time while you were there. Still a good post!

Cindee Snider Re said...

Welcome Home, Liberty! So glad you all returned safe and sound. I don't get to travel much because of my injury, but I absolutely love it when I do -- love the freedom from routine and daily schedules, and the chance to experience life from a new perspective. But...its so much easier now that my kids are beyond the toddler stage!

chris vonada said...

let me start by saying that TMOTH always cracks me up, I also have endearing names for the people in my life!

Indeed, it is always good to be home after a trip... sounds like you had quite an adventure, got a break from writing, lots of new inspiration!! Welcome Home!!

Unknown said...

Thanks everyone!

@Victor & Scott, I knew we were going to be nearby, but we had no set plan for our trip, so I hesitated on mentioning it since I just didn't know where we'd be. If our car hadn't acted up, and we hadn't had to spend a day in Denver replacing the EGR valve, we probably would have ended up on the Western Slope. Never been out there. :)

@TraciB, @TracyKrauss, and @MGalloway, this isn't the first problem we've had while driving a long way. The 2nd time we were out in Colorado together, our Saturn started running really lean in the mountains. TMOTH was really concerned about it, and we had to stop going east just before we got to the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 to let things reset. At least we got something like 43 or 48 MPG! And when we returned from Wyoming for TMOTH's grandfather's funeral two years ago, we hit a Kansas-sized boulder in the road just north of Manhattan, Kansas (where K-State is) and spent the next two nights in and around Manhattan to get the wheels/tires fixed.

Hopefully we're done with car problems... for a while! We've got to focus on getting moved... again!

MGalloway said...

Well, there's the problem: it's a Saturn! j/k We have two of them, and one is at 100K miles, and the other has over 210K on it. They've been very reliable (with a few repairs along the way of course). We debated about taking one of them on a West coast trip next year...but I don't know how well they would handle the mountain passes.

Christine L.Henderson said...

That trip will now be a family memory of when the car died but was revived. It's great to have family stories that link you together.

I've got great memories of car trips and car problems that stand firmly in my brain.

From Carols Quill said...

I'm with you when it comes to love/hate vacations. I miss my bed. I miss my drawers that contain everything I need; exactly where I need them. I miss my routine!

God protected you along the way and refreshed you for the writing work to come. Outlining is good--it's like a map that takes your story home!

Debra Gray-Elliott said...

Enjoyed reading about your adventures.

Shawneda said...

Sounds like quite an adventure.

thebigguyinSF said...

Hey Liberty, Sounds like a lot of drama. I'm glad your hubby is a mechanic. Funny about he potty training child though I'm sure it wasn't then. Good blog thanks.

Adam Collings said...

Sounds like quite an adventure. If one good thing could come out of it all, is that it might inspire something for your writing one day.

Unknown said...

Hey Liberty,

glad you made it home ok. We went up that way a few years back with a toddler, saw Devil's Tower which should have been fairly close to where you were.

Convenient to have a mechanic on staff. ;-) As a DIYer I get myself into more trouble with a wrench than I can get out of, when under the hood of the family van.

As someone else said, these family adventures and trials make some wonderful bonding memories. Cherish them.

Unknown said...

@Everyone, thanks for your comments!

@MisterChris, Devil's Tower isn't very far from the family we stayed with. I've been there before, when my daughter was about 6 weeks old. :) It is nice to have a mechanic in the house!

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