Can’t Blame This One on Amtrak

Otherwise entitled, “Where’s a Geography Major when you really need one?”

The girls and I began our journey to the Deep South today and then (shocker) we took a wrong turn immediately after leaving Missouri (as in, 15 minutes after leaving the house). This wouldn’t be that big of a deal except that I didn’t notice my mistake until I was deep in the heart of Illinois (not the right direction to Nashville in case you are directionally impaired like I am).

We went 90 miles out of our way. And these weren’t 90 miles at 70 mph: they were 90 miles on what is presumably historic 40, which translates to 45 mph speeds, lots of roadwork involving flaggers stopping you for 20 minutes to let the other traffic through first, and stop lights. In short, we were 3 hours behind schedule.

As our destination was the home of Charlie and Andi Ashworth, who were making dinner and expecting us to arrive at 4, I then felt the great need to communicate my blunder so they wouldn’t still think we were coming at 4. As I don’t have a cell phone and forgot to write their phone number down, I was desperate to find a hotel from which I could pirate some internet access from the parking lot. It took two towns and three hotels.

The stress of all that made me totally forget to check the gas in the van. So I didn’t notice we were running on empty until that last chance gas pump dashboard icon lit up and I suddenly realized how much trouble we were in, being 30 miles outside of a town with a gas station. We literally prayed our way to Fort Campbell, KY, where I didn’t even care how much they were charging for gas.

After that, we were completely fine. Full tank, fully communicated, and pointed in the right direction. We made it to Nashville and have been having a fabulous time. In case you haven’t heard me say it 1,000 times before, you really must get your hands on a copy of Andi’s book Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring. She is the real deal, and her words are ones we all can be and will be encouraged by.

On the docket for tomorrow: lunch with This Classical Kristen and the much anticipated wedding, followed by a family slumber party with the Zellners. Watch out! It’s extrovert weekend for the Dunhams. We’re loving it!