Black Weekend

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My husband’s family has this story. It’s called “Black Sabbath.” Story goes, one particular Sunday when hubby was a kid and visiting his grandparents up in Utah, EVERYTHING went wrong. They called it “Black Sabbath” because multiple trips to various stores to fix a slew of catastrophes meant that that particular Sabbath day wasn’t observed as intended.

Well folks, let me tell you about “Black Weekend.” Hubby and I decided to take the kids up north (north eastern Arizona area) to a family cabin and invited our best friends to drive down from Utah and join us. While there, we had the best time! Instead of being sick and dehydrated and hot and fainting (as I am while pregnant), I was actually doing pretty great! Sure I wasn’t my normal self, and sure I needed to lay down often. But we were out of the heat, chillin in beautiful country with great company, making fantastic memories, great conversation… all in all: WONDERFUL.

Except.

Everything else went terribly wrong.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? We decided to leave immediately after hubby got home from work Thursday evening, which left packing up (food, camp supplies, clothing, bedding, gear, etc.) to me. Normally, this is not a problem. With pregnant me, this is a problem. Yes, there were emotional and physical break downs. Finally, one groin strain later, a light-headed puke-y me pulls daddy’s big truck loaded to the gills out of the garage aaaaaand… KA-LUNK. Broken garage door. Sh&#%.

I manage to manually get the garage door shut and head over to my parents’ to hitch up a flat-bed trailer with an all-terrain “Ranger” vehicle loaded on it. There were issues there as well. I had to pull up the truck with 2 wheels on the sidewalk just to get the damn trailer hitch high enough to hitch. Hence: a good 45 minutes sprawled out on my parents’ couch with a tall glass of water to recover.

Hubby arrives, helps hitch up where I failed, and we’re on our way! Yay! Cool weather and friends here we come!

Picture this: it’s night time, on a very twisty, wind-y road switchbacking down a canyon, and the truck starts to rattle. Big time. “Is it the road? Hmmm….”  A mile later a whoosh alerts us to the fact that we’re screwed. Trailer tire completely stripped and blown out. Oh wait, where’s the fender? Yeah, that’s gone too, including the trailer lights on that side.

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Hubby to the rescue! Wait, where’s the trailer-tire sized tire-wrench? Who knows, let’s just fish through our tool kit and Mickey Mouse this thing. (The process, not the result, people.)

On the road again…. (where’s my music notes emoji?).

We arrive at the last major township of civilization and rush to the grocery store, which is minutes from closing, to grab a few items I forgot back at home. We also meet up with our friends (HELLOOOOOO!!!!!!) who’ve been waiting for us in the parking lot of said township for way too long.

We finally get to the family cabin hours later than planned (past midnight) and settle in for the best weekend ever!! SO fun! So relaxing! Oh, the conversation! Oh, the memories! No major mishaps.

Well, there was the time I got myself locked in a bedroom for far longer than I appreciated; and the fact that we sort of broke the charger for the GPS; and hubby’s delicious spicy green chili gave three of the six of us wicked sheebs (digestional blow-outs); and there was the frigid downpour while driving the Ranger through muddy trails in the middle of no where, but good times. Best-weekend-ever.

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Hubby was supposed to fix the leaking sink faucet that weekend, but he wisely refrained, knowing how all things mechanical were going for us so far.

When best-weekend-ever came to an end, we were all super sad to part. It went by way too fast! We said goodbye, hugged and hugged, and parted ways.

Ready for round two of our travel commute?

We head back to the nearest town and get two new, top quality tires on the trailer. (Thank you, spare tire! You did your duty!)

On the road again….

100 miles or so later: the rattle. The last time the truck got the shakes, the trailer tire blew to pieces, so we immediately pulled over. All four truck tires and the two new trailer tires seemed to be in perfect condition. Hmmmm…..

(insert potty break in wide open country with nothing to hide behind, but, I just couldn’t hold it in anymore.)

On the road again….

Once again, the shakes. So I called my dad. He gave us a few pointers on what to look for, but still nothing stood out as “wrong.” He assured us we’d probably be fine driving slow to the next town, where we could get them checked by professionals.

On the road again…. though 35 mph on the highway. “Thanks, Dad. Love you!” Hang up. 30 seconds. KA-BOOM! GRIND, GRIND, GRIND…..

This time, it was a truck tire, the huge, beefy kind. Mutilated. Not only that, but massive body damage to the back end/underside of the truck. That beefy tire decided if it was going to bite the dust, it would take out whatever it could with it.

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I’ll work on getting a better pic of the body damage.

Hey, did you know that those huge trucks have special ways of storing their spare tire? Yeah, they’re underneath by the axel. But you don’t just unscrew some bolts to free it. There’s a magical “key” that goes into a small hole above the back bumper in which you slowly crank down the tire. That took us a half hour to finally figure out.

It’s hot (like over 100*F), we’ve pulled over just past a big bend in the road (so incoming traffic has almost no notice), and there’s my Super-Hero Husband a foot from speeding traffic melting in the Arizona sun changing the biggest tire I’ve ever touched. My kids are wailing that they want to get home. I’m holding back tears. Husband’s jaw has never been so tense. Prayers for days, people.

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(Here’s a THANK HEAVENS! for my dad’s recent purchase: the world’s most awesome jack. At least lifting the truck and trailer were easy.)

Oh, did I mention that we were supposed to get home early because hubby had business to do for work? Yeah, so he was trying to get emails sent and calls made all while changing the second blow out in the scorching sun.

On the road again….

We stop at the next town, find the only tire place in the whole stinking county that sells the brand of tire we need, and get things squared away. “Freak manufacturer error,” according to the tire techs. So, at least hubby feels a little better that it wasn’t his fault. Oh, and the entire piece of body work from the back passenger door to the tailgate eventually needs to be replaced.

On the road again…..

I start cramping. Badly. Like painful contractions. Sweet Heavens, keep this baby in!  Hubby sighs, laughs, then says, “You know, giving birth in the car would be the icing on this cake, now wouldn’t it?”

We finally roll into my parents’ driveway. Dad comes out to assess and help, and while checking on the trailer hitch his brand new iPhone spills from his pocket and the screen shatters. Yep. We’re contagious.

We unload. I try to hose off the muddy Ranger, but instead my Dad takes charge of the hose and mumbles something about how he better take over from here. Probably didn’t want something else to fall into our Black Weekend trap.

Dear readers. Best-weekend-ever was also Worst-weekend-ever.

Yet, despite a seemingly endless trail of bad luck, we’re feeling pretty blessed that despite all this, we’re all home safe and healthy. Things could have turned out a lot differently. And I truly believe we were being watched over.  I think Heavenly Father must have a use for us down here on Earth.

Also, my husband is amazing. The best man on this planet. Sorry (not sorry) I scooped him up, ladies, but he’s mine forever.

And my dad is incredibly patient. And helpful. And (thank heavens) prepared.

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Moral of the story: say your prayers.

Other moral of the story: when things start to go south, prepare yourself for the fact that bad things don’t always come in threes. They might come in sixes, or sevens, or twelves.

Third moral of the story: remember these moments, so when you get to heaven you remember to thank the Angels.

-Tara

P.s. Good news: the garage wasn’t broken! It just needed to be re-set. Yay for super-hubby!

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