It has been a very busy handful of days since last I posted.
On Monday, Erin and I went to the Louisville Zoo. The day was lovely, and we saw lots and lots of animals. I definitely got in my day's required walking, and we had a terrific time.
Tuesday morning, we went to Dick's Sporting Goods to look at camping supplies and pick up her newly-repaired mountain bike. Saw plenty of goodies to get before we take off on some camping trips later on. Got back out to the Explorer (he's picked up a name, now - Omar), and there were two voice messages on my phone. Dad telling me to call him immediately, Matt advising the same. I call Dad, and get a hit of bad news. They've been in a wreck - some wangrod t-boned them. Now get this, dear readers - they were making a left turn onto a side street. The other driver came from behind Mom&Dad and shot over the road's centerline, hitting their Explorer on the rear driver's-side door. According to witnesses, the Explorer was lifted off the ground by force of the accident, and it rolled onto the passenger side. They were both banged up, but no serious injuries. The Explorer is likely to be totalled once an insurance adjuster gets to look at it - Dad's doing something I consider catastrophically stupid, but more on that in a moment. Now, I'd been planning to take my Mustang to WV, as it's much easier on gas than Omar, but I'm now taking the truck so I can haul Mom&Dad back home. No sweat. We load Erin's bike into the cargo bay, run out to my apartment to throw some clothes together, and I get her back to Berea. From there, off to West Virginia. Matt is heading out by himself, and the plan is to leave the Explorer with Mom&Dad, and I'm going to ride back with Matt (he's coming home right after the burial).
I tear-ass across I-64, averaging better than 70 miles-per until I get to Huntington. Dad and Matt have been crowing about this alternate route to Logan County via Richmond and Irvine and Prestonsburg and a batch of Federal and state highways, but I stick to the route I know. Off 64 at Huntington, and onto WV10. And I'd forgotten what a mess that road is. 95 miles to Logan from Huntington, and it took better than two hours to traverse. Had I been in the Mustang, the drive would have rocked on toast, given his road-holdy nature. Instead, the drive was a tedious and constant speed adjustment, punctuated by my swearing at the massive radio-dead-zone I'm stuck in. (Must must must get a CD player installed in the truck.)
Arrival at Logan Regional Hospital to meet up with parents. Matt arrives within minutes of me (so much for that nifty new route being quicker and better - he ran his Mustang like Hell was after him, and me and the big clumsy and slower SUV beat him to the hospital, and I made at least four stops to refuel, get drinks, and return drinks to ecosystem) and off we all go to aunt's house. We go to the wake, I see and talk with many cousins and politely avoid a few others. Dad has decided to get a room at some little lodge in Man - but, of course, he hasn't checked to see if there are rooms available before we go there at 9:30 p.m. to check in. Of course, no vacancy. Now, please note that this is Tuesday night. They've been in Logan County since Sunday morning. At this point, I'm deeply regretting cancelling a room reservation I'd made at a Super 8 in Logan (the town). So, another motor lodge has a room, we go there. I do not sleep well at all.
Now, Wednesday. Funeral, brief service. Burial is several miles away, and the funeral procession is at least a half-mile long. Mom rides with me, Dad with Matt. Quick graveside words, crowds disperse, Matt splits, as Dad has convinced me to stay another night. He and I do some quick shopping (I brought exactly two shirts, including the one I wore on Tuesday, so need more if there's another day's stay involved), then we go to my aunt's house to move all of the bags out of their damaged Explorer to mine, as at this point the plan is to head back home today (Thursday). Mom is aghast when I announce that we're going to leave by noon today, so that I can see Erin perform at a Maundy Thursday service in Berea. Drama ensues. She wanted to stay longer, so that she can attend another funeral - her older sister's sister-in-law. *headdesks* There is a discussion I'm not privy to, and Dad decides that he'll just drive the wrecked Explorer back to Liberty. We spend the night at my aunt's house. I do not sleep well at all, unsurprisingly.
Thursday morning. Mom gets pissed at me because I can't translate "Andy, this thing is doing that thing again" into a useful sentence, and point this out to her. A couple of cousins and I do a quick fix on the shattered passenger window, I transfer all the crap that I'd moved to Omar back to the wrecked truck (with no small amount of grumbling), and they're all set. I shoot the breeze with two cousins for a while, we rotate Omar's tires and discover a damaged bushing, and then I'm off. Instead of WV10, I head for US119. Four lanes. Minimal traffic. Hell is split wide open. God bless West Virginia - the old state roads are barely deserving of the name, but by God, they have engineered some Federal and Interstate highways that are well-suited to move really damned fast on, and I make great time getting out of there. Cross over into Kentucky, and I don't know that I've ever been so happy to see the Catlettsburg refinery. Make the mistake of getting off of the Interstate in Morehead. Catch myself drifting off to sleep twice, and find a rest area for a power nap. Either I didn't set my phone alarm or I just shut it off when it sounded, because I'm awakened by Erin's call ... 10 minutes before her performance is to begin. Dammit dammit dammit.
So, I'm home now. It's cold out there. I'm expecting to have to go back that way on Saturday and pick Mom&Dad up when some hidden damage pops up and immobilizes the truck completely. I tell myself that I'll be gracious about it, but we all know better. Tomorrow, I'm hitting Autozone or Advance to get a replacement bushing. I'm hoping to get some time with Erin, but not counting on it. We're probably going to the Horsemen home opener on Saturday evening, unless I have to go rescue stranded parents.
Yeah. This week was supposed to be relaxing and fun. Vacation becomes visitation becomes recovery becomes drama. Bleah.