Isn’t it funny how sometimes we plan our days to go a certain way, and then they take a twisty-turny route and we end up meandering through the day in happy unexpected ways? That sounds too general, and I’m sure you’re all dying to hear the specific.
Today’s plans were: coloring in bed for me and Sadie while Travis, Thomas and Helen make pancakes. That part went off really well, except for the little bit of time I dozed off between coloring pages. Hey, what can I say– I remain a tired mama, despite the fact that I’m getting more sleep.
Next up, was a hike with the dog to Great Falls Park. Helen was tired and so we got everything ready, and she fell asleep while nursing just before it was time to leave. I figured this was going to be perfect– she could nap while we drive there and when she awakens she’ll be fresh and ready to enjoy the hike. We get everything and everyone in the car, including the sleeping baby and the dog. I go to start the car. Nothing. The lights and GPS come on, so we know it’s not the battery, but it just doesn’t start at all. No turning over, no noise, just nothing.
A few deep breaths all the way around.
We go back upstairs, and the baby amazingly stays asleep. We look online, call AAA, find out about the shop the car needs to go to and have a brief discussion about what to do with the car if it turns out to be expensive. We plan to sell it before we leave, then just buy a new car while in Moscow. Every time the car breaks we play this little game: How much is the car worth to you today?
While we’re waiting for the AAA tow truck to show up, some dear friends call. They are interested in the FS, want to know more about what the process is like, what kind of careers there are, etc. So we get to have a great and long chat with them and catch up. I actually find myself feeling like it’s probably good that the car broke down, because really, if we had been hiking there is no way we could’ve talked for so long. And the kids were having a grand time. They pulled off all the couch cushions and spread them in a thick makeshift playground all over the den floor. They were crawling, bouncing and falling down with great delight. They then proceeded to build some of the best pillow forts I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing what kids will do when you’re not paying them any attention.
Eventually the AAA guy shows up. I head down to lead him through the garage to the defunct car. As we wind our way down the 2 levels, he tells me he’s a little concerned about getting the car out, as some of the corners are tight. I ignore that part of our conversation, but listen in an amused way when he mentions that maybe he’ll look it over when we get to it, “just in case.” You know what that “just in case” means, right? It means just in case you did something stupid like leave on the dome light even though you told me that wasn’t the problem. Of course, it could also mean, just in case you left the car in gear when you last parked it in here.
And wouldn’t you know, that is exactly what his keen eye discovered after being in the car for about .5 seconds. Apparently, I had somehow managed to pull the key out of the ignition while the car was still in drive. My question to him was how on earth could that even happen? I’ve tried to do that in the past and was unsuccessful. Maybe my ignition is starting to fail. Or maybe it’s the key. I gave him a high five, thanked him profusely and tipped him a 20, because he had seriously made me happy by revealing my inadvertent stupidity.
When I relayed all this to Travis, he was curious about what was going on with me yesterday to cause such distraction that I wouldn’t realize the car was still in drive when I got in my spot. Uh, hello? Don’t you remember that not only do we have 3 kids, but that I had to wake up at oh-dark-thirty yesterday morning to take all of them to the doctor’s office so the oldest could get a wart painfully burned off and that it was actually so early in the morning that there was still a ton of traffic getting back into town after the appointment and that the baby was on the verge of a total meltdown on the way home? Yea, that’s how.
Now it was after lunch, no one had eaten, because after the morning I just described to you, I also neglected to get around to the grocery shopping. So, off we went to Target to get snacks and then we were off again to Great Falls.
The drive was beautiful; it was a misty day that casts a magical film on every view. We knew the hike would be fun even if we managed to get wet. And it was. But wait! There’s more! Around a corner we spotted friends with the FS who were also hiking with their kids. Off we went merrily together, the kids checking out a large number of the out-and-backs along the trail and the adults chit-chatting and only occasionally freaking over how close the kids were to the edge. Did you know they have a giant billboard in the bathroom there that says “If you fall in the river, you will die”? Yikes!
So we started our trek as a semi-rambley bunch of 5 with a dog in tow and ended as a happy, somewhat sandy, motley crew of 12 with a very dirty dog. Here are a few images for you. They are of especially poor quality because they were taken with the iPhone camera- sorry about that.
|looking out at Great Falls|
|a view from the river trail|
|playing in the creek where it reaches the river|