Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving, Part 1

I create all of my "My Life" logos
The Thanksgiving holiday weekend has always been an important one for the Wencl family, and since Hannah has joined us, I get to celebrate with the Walts as well.

Hannah and I weren't sure what to expect from this year's trip up to Michigan since we had an extra package in the back seat—Miss Abigail Renee Wencl! Just a few days shy of eight weeks, she'd never been on such a long car trip and Hannah and I weren't sure if she'd sleep the whole time, scream the whole time, or pull off a combination of the two during the six hour car ride. Add to that all of the baby items (necessary, my wife assures me), and the car was cramped with stuff. I feared that Abigail’s things would take first priority, followed by Hannah’s. Somewhere near the end of the priority list my things would find their place, or not find there place, as the case would be.

Hannah picked up a new windshield wiper at my behest since a good portion of the trip would be traversed in wet weather. The wiper was in the back seat and I had to put it on. My lovely wife, no doubt in an effort to conserve space, threw out the packaging for the new wiper and left me clueless as to how to attach it to the car. The old one came off easy enough, but the new one was slightly different and took multiple attempts to secure to my satisfaction.

Center of Attention: Adored by
her grandparents and auntie.
I-69 is terribly dull. It’s mostly just straight driving the whole way and the scenery hardly changes. Add in some rain and a little bit of driving in the dark and you have a recipe for heavy eyelids and light snoring. I was glad Hannah was taking that part of the drive. Abigail slept most of the way, but feeding time came early and I transitioned to the driver’s seat a half hour before hitting the Michigan state line. The halfway point of the trip is about fifteen to twenty minutes inside Michigan.
During the rest stop Hannah learned how to change a baby’s diaper in a gas station without one of those drop-down changing tables. I’m not sure how she did it, but she insists it was sanitary and also insists we only stop at gas stations with restaurants attached—they always have changing tables.

Unfortunately, that meant I would be driving completely in the dark and in a constant drizzle that didn’t end in Lansing like the morning weather report had suggested. My companion in conversation took a brief nap so I listened to an audiobook to keep myself somewhat coherent during the drive as I took in the hypnotizing windshield wipers as they swayed back and forth, beckoning me to drift out of consciousness and onto the rumble strips.

Caught in the Middle: She can't avoid it!
The closer we got to Big Rapids the more excited we got. When we saw the first exits for Morley our anticipation grew. It’s always been hard for me to accept just how far Morley is from the Big Rapids exit. We crossed the Muskegon River where I went fishing with my dad and sisters as a kid and we found seashell and lizard fossils and I would ride my bicycle in the summer.

As the big Menards loomed into sight and I flipped my right blinker while tapping the break, we let out a little cheer. We’re here! We’re home. Our Thanksgiving break had hardly begun.

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