After all of the sun and the fun, lazy days and late nights, our vacation was finally over. The kids and I got up early Friday morning and finished packing our last minute stuff in the car. We had packed all of the luggage and treasures in the car the night before…leaving our toiletries and snacks to throw in the car at the last minute.

Our plan was to do some last minute school clothes shopping at the outlet mall and then drive on to Mississippi to stay the night with my cousin Jeffery and his wife Lisa. Within a few hours we made it to the metropolis of Bothwell, Mississippi, piled out of the car and into their house where Lisa had food ready and waiting for us. We ate, watched t.v. and played games. When I felt my eyes getting too heavy to keep open I asked Caleb to go get my overnight bag and my make-up bag out of the car so I could get ready for bed.

When he came back in, he only had my over night bag. “Where’s my make-up bag”? I asked. “I couldn’t find it,” he said. Frustrated, I told him where it should be and sent him back out to get it…”and don’t come back tellin’ me you can’t find it, it’s big and black, you can’t miss it.” A few minutes later he returned…empty handed. By that time we were both frustrated! He said, “Mom I don’t see it anywhere! I’ve looked and looked and just don’t see it.” “Forget it!” I said, “I’ll go find it myself.” I stomped out to the car, opened the back end to the place where I KNEW it was hiding…and…it wasn’t there! I panicked. Franticly I began to pull junk out of the car. I could feel my neck getting hot and sweaty….my heart was pounding…and my mind was racing.

I went to the front of the car, pulled out blankets and looked behind
seats. Nothing!

The most important thing in the world! My make-up bag! Please dear God don’t tell me I left my make-up bag in Gulf Shores…139 miles away. Surely not I thought…I couldn’t be that stupid…I’m just not seeing it…I continued to pull luggage out franticly looking. Still nothing.

It just wasn’t in there.

I could not believe it.

My entire FACE was in that bag! Our tooth brushes. Deodorant. My HORMONES! Oh no, not the hormones…please!

I could see it now…the headlines in the local paper read: Hormonally imbalanced woman with dirty teeth, no make-up and unkept hair found in the fetal position…from an apparent emotional breakdown.

Dazed and disoriented…I slowly made my way back in the house…defeated…still trying to figure out how I could have left somthing so important. I plopped myself down on the couch and threw my head back in despair. Then Jeffery had to put in his two cents worth…unsolicited I might add…and said, “Celab, remember how mad your momma got when you left your shoes here, and she had to drive 60 miles back here to come get them? after all that griping she did, now here she has done the same thing…except worse.

Thank you Jeff for pointing that out.

The next morning we got up early once again, but this time it only took me three minutes to get ready…with no make-up or tooth brushes…we literally woke up, put our clothes on and walked out…we were on the road in no time.

The trip home was not nearly as fun as the trip down there. The kids were tired and cranky and ready to be home…I was too. After about five hours on the road we stopped AGAIN to pee. This time at Mc.Donald’s. When I walked into the restroom there were only two stalls. One was occupied and the other one (the handicap stall) was open…wide open…that’s the universal sign that the stall is vacant and available…right? WRONG! When I walked around the door to enter the large handicap stall I was shocked to find a well-fed, able bodied woman perched on the toilet. I ’bout had a heart attack!

Who goes to the bathroom in a public place and leaves the door wide open? Could someone answer me that please? I guess she didn’t think the 75 people in Mc Donalds would need to use the restroom. Why does this stuff always happen to me?

Anyway, after that humiliating experience, we decided to order some lunch only to find out…after I had ordered everything…that their credit card machine was down. So we left.

When we got to the car I decided we needed to tidy things up a bit, gather up any and all trash and throw it away. After we were finished cleaning out the car I went to start the car and realized I didn’t have my keys. I looked in my purse. I felt of my pockets. I asked the kids if they had them. No keys. I panicked. I could just hear me now trying to explain to Devin why he needed to drive all the way to Arkansas to come get me. The kids and I retraced my steps. We thought maybe I had left them in the bathroom or thrown them away with the trash. I went to the bathroom…nothing. I went to the front counter and asked if anyone had turned in any keys. They just stood there, looking at me like a cow looking at a new gate. I asked again. Finally they concluded that no keys had been turned in. Then we went to the trash can to check there, which is right in front of the window where people are eating I might add. I began to dig for my keys. This was an all-time low people…I have done some stupid things in my day but this was just too much. I dug around, handed Cassady what I had already checked…dug some more…nothing. My head was spinning trying to remember what I had done with my keys.

I tried to relax and make myself focus. Then I calmly asked Jesus to help me find my keys. Once again I opened the back end of my car. I suddenly thought to look in my opened overnight bag…and there they were! I don’t know why they were there…I didn’t care. I was just thankful to the Lord for his wisdom and help.

At about 6:00 that evening, eleven hours after we departed that morning, we finally reached the Muskogee Turnpike. A light at the end of the tunnel…which means only one hour to go. As soon as we got on the turnpike…to the point of no return…where there is no place to stop or turn around for miles…the low fuel light came on and the “dinger” dinged. I was flat on empty! I hadn’t even thought about the gas gage for hours, and now we were very low on fuel. My gage said I had enough gas to go about 35 miles and it was 22 miles to the nearest town. That was when Caleb so wisely said, “dad says he never trusts that gage to be accurate, we may not really have 35 miles of gas left.”

Thank you Caleb for that ray of hope!

Once again I have got myself in a predicament. I really wasn’t sure I would have enough gas to make it to the next town…I was flat on empty. I called Devin to let him know where we were…we chit chatted a minute and then I prepared him for what might happen. Bless his heart. I know he has to get tired of my dingy ways but I would never know it. He just stays calm and talks me through it.

Sure enough, we made it to Muskogee with a couple of gas fumes to spare;-)

Finally, at 7:14 we rolled onto Rohr Rd. I took this snapshot of Caleb…he was so happy to be home.

We were all happy to be home. Home to Oklahoma. Where we belong.

Thanks for reading! I love you more than Spanx!