Well, we’re back home. I swear, my father-in-law is up in heaven laughing his ass off right now…..
The night before the funeral, our nephew, Andy, was in the Ballinger ER with a kidney stone – he was miserable (and medicated) the next morning, he had to miss the funeral. We worked out how to get him home after everything – he lives about an hour east of us, so Rachel said that she could drive Andy’s car (and Andy) to his house. Then one of us would meet her at his house and drive her back to our house.
When we came out to eat breakfast on the morning of the funeral, Sarah informed us that Michelle had left the Bed & Breakfast early that morning to go out and look for snakes.
Mind you, we had told her the day before that she could go AFTER the funeral – heck, she had her own car; she could have spent all day looking for the darn things. All we told her was that the funeral home asked that the family arrive there at 9:30 a.m. so that we could caravan behind the hearse to the church for the service at 10:00.
We had no idea where she had gone, what time she had left, if she actually remembered what time she was supposed to be back, if she had thought about how long it would take to get ready when she did get back, if she had a watch/timepiece with her to monitor the time, etc.
At 8:45, I was pissed, because we hadn’t heard from her. At 9:00, Paul was starting to get pissed.
So he called her on her phone.
Of course, since “herping” is usually done in remote areas, we had no way of knowing if she was in range of a cell tower – or if she even had her phone with her. Paul didn’t get an answer, so he had to leave a message on her phone.
At that point, “livid” would have been a HUGE understatement for how he was feeling.
Five minutes before we were ready to leave for the funeral home, we finally got a call from Michelle. Turns out she had taken a curve too fast out in the boonies, then her car started fishtailing, and before she knew it, her car had rolled over twice. She was – miraculously – unharmed, but she needed someone to come pick her up, because two of the car’s tires were flat, the windshield was busted, and the passenger’s side window was completely gone.
She also had no idea where she was – “somewhere near the reservoir” (15-20 minutes outside of town), on one of the back country roads, no houses around for miles……
Don’t get me wrong: we were all glad that Michelle was OK – but if we had been tried by a “jury of our peers”, I’m pretty sure that any or all of us would have walked on a charge of homicide at that point.
I’m just sayin’…….
It took 45 minutes, but Rachel eventually found Michelle and drove her back into town; they arrived at the church just in time to line up for the meal that was set out for the family after the service.
We gave Michelle a great big hug, did a once-over to make sure that she was OK from head to toe, and then practically bit our tongues off to keep from saying anything that we might regret later on.
After the “after-funeral”, we all went to check out of our respective B&Bs, then met to coordinate our schedules. We drove out to where Michelle’s car was, to assess the damage and decide what to do with it.
All I can say is, Charlie was watching out for Michelle from up above – the car took quite a beating, but the driver’s compartment escaped relatively unscathed. Thankfully, she was wearing her seat belt, or she would probably not be with us.
Of course, seeing the car just made all of the adrenaline that had finally worked its way out of my system come roaring right back in full force (darn stuff takes an awful long time to leave a body the second time around).
We were able to get the spare tire on and inflated the other tire in order to drive the car to Paul’s dad’s ranch, where it will “live out” its days (don’t ask). We finally left the Ballinger area around 3:30 p.m.; Rachel followed us as far as the turn-off to our house, then she went on to drop Andy off.
We made it home around 7:30 p.m.; the girls unloaded the van, and Paul prepared to go pick Rachel up at Andy’s house.
The plan was for Sarah to drive Michelle down to College Station, spend the night, then drive back to Fort Worth the next day…..
…..and the truck wouldn’t start.
Like I said, I know that Charlie was laughing his ass off yesterday.
At least we had all 4 of our girls safe and sound under our roof for the night……