General George C. Scott, oh wait, that was the actor. General George S. Patton, once said “No plan survives first contact with the enemy”, or something very close to that. So it was with the Mad Farmer’s travel itinerary. The Mad Farmer hates to work on his birthday, so he suggested that instead of leaving on the original travel date that they bump up the departure and leave a couple of days sooner, so that the Farmer and Miss Mercy would have the opportunity for a more leisurely drive and possibly more time to “vacate”.
Sounds great doesn’t it? It was a great idea for moving the travel plan forward. Alas, General Patton’s observation came into play. In the days prior to the planned departure date the Farmer and Miss Mercy expected to have a couple of days to pack, finalize their plans, gas up the Family Truckster ( extra points if you know where that reference came from) and set on their merry way. Like most things in Life, Life, itself, got in the way. Work things popped up, minor emergencies had to be dealt with, lists were made, reviewed, and left on the kitchen counter or mis-read while shopping. Things that should have been in place weren’t, things that hadn’t moved in years, migrated. All the typical behavior that happens when you are “trying to get ready” and things go normally, instead of perfectly.
No worries really, there have been two days added to the trip, so slight delays shouldn’t cause any problems, you weren’t even planning on traveling on that day anyway, right? It probably should be mentioned at this time that Kansas has had one of the wettest spring/summer seasons in recorded history. Yes, it’s been said that 200 million years ago Kansas was a vast sea hundred of feet, maybe miles, deep. The Mad Farmer and wife don’t live 200 million years ago, so getting constant spurts of 12-14 inches of rain in 5-8 days is pretty unusual. So the morning of the planned departure, because God or Mother Nature (your choice or insert other deity/higher power here – not gonna debate religion today) decided to open the heavens and bless the Homestead with high winds and several inches of rain, massive storm clouds, flash flooding watches and county Emergency Declarations, just when the Homesteaders were hoping to leave. Did we mention the high winds that dropped a good-sized limb onto the Homestead from our Silver Maple? No one or no thing was hurt, but starting out on vacation thinking of the time that is going to be spent with a chainsaw upon return from vacation is not the best way to start a trip.
Finally things ease up. The Truckster is loaded, the coolers are in place (but not as full as envisioned). The last minute ritual shopping trip for last minute items is completed (sorry about the lack of Diet Coke and Frozen Pizzas most beloved Youngest Daughter – those were all on the same line of the list and the Mad Farmer missed them), and the trip gets under way. Because of the late start (or maybe it would be better phrased as “starting later than expected”) the Farmer and Miss Mercy did not make as much progress as hoped. Delays were encountered, which will be more aptly described in greater detail in the next post. All-in-all not a bad start, but not exactly according to the “plan”.
Next Up: The First Travel Day (aka Have you Made Friends with Construction Cones)?