Driving Myself Crazy

I was in my van today from about 2:30pm to 7pm. That could stand alone as a reason for anyone to be driven crazy, but it wasn’t just that I was driving someone somewhere and back all during that time, it was that I travelled the same stretch of road so many times and the rain tonight made everyone drive about 7mph on the highway. Insanity.

Craig is on his way to Florida for another Biblical Imagination conference with Michael Card. He was my first drop off. After that we did have a 45 minute lag, but not enough time to go home before taking the two younger girls to choir. Once I did that I had to go back to the school to pick up my oldest from yearbook class. Together we then went to pick up the youngest from choir. Then the three of us went to where Chloe was participating in a chess match. She wasn’t finished yet, so I dropped Maddie off there so Chloe wouldn’t be alone at the end of the match while I then drove the same stretch of road again back to the choir to pick up Katie. From there it was back to the chess match to retrieve Maddie & Chloe.

It was on this final trip to pick up the older two again that I really did lose it. I passed a major road and couldn’t for the life of me remember which direction I was driving on I64/40 or where I was going or who I was getting.

Fortunately the moment passed quickly and I realized I was headed back toward the city and I didn’t actually forget anyone, though the exceedingly slow traffic did make me later and later with each subsequent pick-up.

Since it was about 6:45 by this point we decided Jimmy John’s was in order and we parked alongside the store front on the street…right behind a man who appeared to have fallen asleep ON HIS MOTORCYCLE. His presence in the road made parallel parking a little more unnerving than it normally is, but I managed to get parked. By the time we got out he “woke up” and gave us a look that made us all feel sufficiently creepy. As we walked toward the restaurant the girls were convinced he was following us so we practically ran into Jimmy John’s, pushing each other inside so we’d be safe from the Crazy Motorcycle Snoozer.

We ate. Then we returned to the van. The man on the motorcycle had moved his bike from immediately in front of our van to immediately behind it. I know I’m delusional tonight, so don’t take me too seriously when I say it looked like he was trying to pry open the back of the van with a crowbar. Because it really did look like he was doing this. I’m not really convinced he was, but maybe he should have. He really missed out. We have a hot pink booster seat back there for the little girl we pick up after school, a green bag full of a random assortment of coloring books and such, and a fair amount of garbage because we still haven’t mastered the fine art of putting miscellaneous papers and straw wrappers in the trash can. We were quite a catch for the Crazy Motorcycle Snoozer.

It was no joke, though, that I didn’t even have to ask the girls to hurry into the van and we got the heck out of there as soon as we could. The whole way home somebody kept turning around to make sure he wasn’t following us.

And now I’m quite of the opinion that I never really want to get in the van again. Seeing as how I’m the only legal age driver in our house until Sunday night, I don’t suppose that’s a reasonable possibility, but it sounds pretty nice. Particularly on a night were I really was driven crazy.

Oh. My. Word.

So my girls asked if they could take some pictures of the cats yesterday before the family came over to get them. "No problem," I said and handed them the camera.

Just now I snapped a photo of a bookshelf I'm about to unload and came over to pop it into iPhoto. My photo is there alright…right behind 167 photos of cats.

1.6.7.

Cats in a chair, cats on the washing machine, cats on a sleeping bag, cats on the stairs, blurry cats, clear cats, striped cats, running cats, sedentary cats, cats, cats, cats.

And a fair amount of pictures of their water and food dishes.

And all I can say right now is I'm glad I know how to use the delete key. If I can ever get them all to upload.

We are no longer cat owners.

Picture 15
We said good-bye to our kitties yesterday. Three of us cried and three of us didn’t. Care to take a guess on which of us fit which category? 🙂

I wrote about the process of handing the cats off to their new family today at WORLDMag.com.

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For a variety of reasons, our family said good-bye yesterday to a trio of 7-year-old cats: Ricky, Lucy, and Ethel. These cats were with our family for two years and were good kitties, but we discovered in the course of those two years that two of us are allergic to cats. We also discovered that they didn’t get along very well with the puppy we acquired last August and, frankly, the puppy won.

Thankfully, we found a family willing to adopt all three cats. As sad as we were to say good-bye, we were glad they could stay together and go to a family who really wanted them. (These people are “cat people” more than we could ever be, and have promised to send us regular photos so we can keep in touch with the furry felines.)

But that grace didn’t make the process of saying good-bye any easier.

The girls were spending their last moments with the cats yesterday when the doorbell rang, and within 20 minutes it was all over. The family was very kind to walk out after we arranged the cats in their various carriers so the girls could say their last tearful good-byes, and I gently encouraged my daughters to carry the cats out to the waiting family rather than have them come back in to get them. I thought it would be better if we physically handed them over to the family instead of having them take the cats from our house. The girls were willing, but they were also wailing.

We came back inside and I gathered my weeping daughters around me. Their sadness made me cry as well as my heart was heavy because of the pain they were feeling. My first impulse was to help them get their mind off of their loss and I came super-close to taking them out for ice cream, because, well, ice cream always helps, right? I thought better of it . . . only to entertain the idea that maybe a video would help. Again, I realized that numbing the pain with something digital might not be the best way to go either.

The girls were still crying when I had an idea: “Everyone get on your shoes and coats,” I said. “We’re going for a walk.”

The girls didn’t question me and prepared to go outside. My husband pulled into the driveway just as we were heading out, noticed all the red eyes, and didn’t even go in the house; he just joined us in our lament. We spent 20 minutes decompressing what we as a family had just experienced, and what began in silence-sisters crying and holding hands to comfort one another-ended with giggles and mini-races back to the house. The immediate pain was soothed without the help of sugar or cartoons. It was good resolution.