Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Trekking Across Texas | Part 1

It was time to leave Corney Lake and head on to a new adventure, volunteering with the US Forest Service.  Packing the pop up always took longer than expected and this day was no different.  Keeping Truman occupied while trying to complete the two person job of dismantling camp came with it's own set of challenges.  Now 13 months old, he was becoming more mobile.  He hated being contained and for his safety this was necessary while packing.  Once we were hitched up and ready to go it was time to strap Truman into his carseat.  He cried until he fell asleep to the rhythm of the tires putting road between us and Kisatchie.  We had 1,245 miles between us and our destination, and with the ability to travel about 4 hours a day, we needed to get a move on if we were going to make it to Roosevelt by our April 1st start date.

The first day we made it about 3 1/2 hours to a place called Canton, TX.  With sunset pending, we opted for a hotel.  This would be our first experience with "flexible" hotel pricing.  Truman had met his limit for the day and we were about to test our own.  I pulled in to the first lodging off the exit, a Motel 6.  I pulled in and parked temporarily under the awning near the entrance.  I was so ready to be out of the car and even more so to check into a room.  It had been over a week since we had showered in the traditional sense.  

I entered a full lobby and the air was thick with a smog of negativity.  It was easy to see the employee was disgruntled.  The line moved slowly and in my head I was preparing for a fight.  My mood was already soured by the 30 mins of crying we had just endured...and Brian was still enduring.  I knew he'd be wondering what the heck was taking so long.  With each minute that ticked by my blood pressure rose...and all from anticipation of things that hadn't even happened yet.

It was my turn at the front of the line.  I requested a room and was met with sticker shock.  The prices were $100 per night in lieu of an upcoming Flea Market event.   I attempted to explain we were simply traveling through in the hopes of some compassion, but there was none to be had.  It was $100 firm or move along.

My irritability was beginning to swell.  As I exited the hotel, I could hear Truman crying and see Brian's look of desperation...his body language screaming, "what the heck took so long".  I reached for the driver's side door handle and that's when I heard a gentleman address me in a tone I didn't take kindly to.  And that's the moment my limit was found.  I  turned and unleashed on this unsuspecting man.  

Brian leaped from the car to diffuse the situation.  He ordered me into the car with a tone I knew better than to argue with.  Once inside it's confines, we turned on each other.  We said a lot of things we didn't mean in those few minutes it took to drive to the Super 8 next door.

Luckily they were not price gouging and I graciously accepted their rate of $45 per night.  They even offered a complimentary breakfast.  Score!  Unfortunately, this turn of good fortune was not enough to dis way the foul mood I had set in motion minutes before.  

It definitely adds a new dynamic to go from spending hours a week together to every minute of every hour of every day.  Your spouse becomes your everything from your husband to your best girlfriend to the person you unload on.  We emptied the car in silence and continued our evening separately, eating dinner at two separate restaurants within walking distance.  Can anybody blame him...I can't.  

Truman and I enjoyed breakfast for dinner at a nearby Denny's.  Our hunger satisfied, I loaded Truman in the stroller and made the hike back to the room.  The cool night air felt good and the exercise lifted my mood.  By the time we made it back to the room Truman was asleep and I wasn't far behind.  Brian came in shortly after and crawled into bed to curl up next to his family.  His time off had seemed to erase his bad mood as well.  I whispered, "I'm sorry..."  He replied, "I know."  And we drifted to sleep.  

This wasn't our first spat and I'm sure won't be our last, but we have definitely minimized our disagreements over the last two years.  

If we've learned anything it's this...  

  • Don't sweat the small stuff
  • Some time apart is a necessity
  • Forgiveness is key