Hey, whaddaya know, I survived!
Our optimistic 5:30 a.m. start turned into a reality-laden 10:30 a.m. As a result, we didn't arrive in Cass until it was quite late with two punchy children.
The bummer for me was that our cellular phone and internet service got spotty in the mountains and ceased to exist forty miles or so from our destination, but I was able to submit and bill for two transcripts before that happened, easing the pain of losing my tether to civilization as I know it.
It rained Thursday, but there was enough of a break in the weather so the kids could throw rocks in the river.
It rained Friday, again with an afternoon break, and by Friday evening the kids met some local children in the same age group and they happily played in the rain after dinner.
It rained Saturday, and that was the day of the train ride. Precious Daughter whined bitterly that she was cold and sleepy, and the ride -- almost eight hours of it -- was long and difficult until we found the toasty warmth of the coal-fired stove in the caboose. She and Mighty B. ended up sleeping on one of the cushioned benches for almost two hours.
It rained Sunday, but that's the day we left for home. The rain chased us most of the way. The kids were really, really good considering the length of the drive and lack of leg-stretching weather. It was pretty much pee breaks and food stops and that was that.
And despite my unwilling participation in this venture, it was nice having the kids and The Oracle all to myself. It's something I haven't had since -- well -- making this trip last year.
So do you think I'll be willing to do this again next May? I can't say. I really can't say, and I wonder if I'll even have a choice in the matter. Precious Daughter came home with a truckload of work for assignments she missed over three lousy days, and I'm amazed at how much work there is to do. Next year she'll be in second grade, and I don't see her workload getting any lighter. Maybe she and I will stay home and the boys can go play trains.