Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Eve Fiasco

December the 23rd. Typically my favorite day of the year, and the day of the Naimo family Christmas party. So I was thrilled yesterday when Michael called from work to say he'd be getting out earlier than we'd originally thought. I was excited to be able to arrive to the 5pm party on time for dinner. But yesterday the 23rd was one of THOSE days. Here's the short version in incomplete sentences:
No water, no coffee. Sick doggie in the backseat of the car. Freezing rain. Flat tire. Near-death driving incident. Six hour voyage home. Beer explosion on Christmas gifts.
Here's the detailed version:
When I woke up (early, mind you) I discovered that the city had turned the water off to work on the water main on our block. So, no shower, no laundry or cleaning dishes in the sink, and worst of all, NO COFFEE! "No problem," I thought, uncharacteristically upbeat despite my am lack of caffeine, "I'll just get some while I'm out." With my spirits still high I finished all of my errands and unloaded then loaded everything necessary from and into the car (up and down three flights of stairs!) I even had time to pick up some special dog treats and a new toy for the little fuzzy ones. We picked up Mike from work at 12 and headed home despite the bad weather in the forecast. I was prepared with Lola's tendency to get sick in car rides and had laid extra rag towels in the back, which she readily threw up all over, three times before we even got on the highway. UGH. THEN, right before Gary, Indiana I noticed the car pulling awfully strongly to the left. Flat tire. In the freezing rain with cars spraying him with dirty highway water every 30 seconds, Mike managed to change our flat tire, but not after having to remove all of our beautifully-wrapped Christmas gifts exposing them to the elements, soaking them in the process. It took him about 30 minutes, and we made our way around Gary looking for a place to get a new tire. OF COURSE, neither of our phones were working so we couldn't research on our GPS about where to get tires, so we stopped to ask and after driving around in circles for another half hour arrived to the palce to find it closed. BUGGER. We moved on toward Michigan City. Phones working now, I called the place in MI City and spoke with a very nice man about directions. "Exit 40B" he said. So we trekked on in the freezing rain until exit 40A...we made note of it and I thought M would realize 40B would be the next exit. M, however, was completely spaced out and when I pointed out the exit, it was too late to make it. He braked and we started swerving all over the place, almost hitting a semi in the next lane. Very scary moment. We finally found a place just past the Michigan border who swapped our donut for a used tire from a Saturn for only $40. Oh, did I mention that by this time Lola had puked about 10 times in our backseat? Way beyond the realm of the three towels I'd brought to deal with that. Luckily, after Benton Harbor the weather cleared up and we were able to make the rest of the drive in good time, though the entire drive did take six hours. Six hours with a sick dog. BOO. We made it to my grandma's and discovered that the beer jugs M had brought home for his brothers had exploded all over the gifts in the trunk... cue emotional breakdown. Well, it's not really Christmas until someone's had a breakdown anyway. As it turned out, the gifts weren't completely destroyed so the emotional breakdown may have been a *slight* overreaction. So despite how exhausted we were and how utterly antagonistic the events of the day were, we still managed to make it home in one piece for Christmas with the family. Life is good.

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