Well went back to Kentucky for a visit. It was extremely eventful, like most things in our life are. The trip up went pretty smooth. We arrived in Kentucky around 8:30pm on Thursday night. We had the privilege of staying with our dear friends who have two of the cutest little boys the world has ever seen. Hayes is 4 years old and very imaginative. One of his most favorite things is building a fort with the couch cushions. Somewhere in between the second bedroom made out of pillows, Cory asked me to help him bring some of our suitcases into the house. As I lean forward to get out of the chair I am blindsided by a very dense 4 year old head. I momentarily lost my vision and then was able to stand up. After noticing the screaming child laying on the floor and hearing shouts for ice, I knew it couldn’t have been good. I finally regained my balance and walked up to my husband.
“Cory, is it bad?”
The grotesque look on Cory’s face said enough. It looked similar to the reactions of the townspeople in The Phantom of the Opera or even the faces of the bystanders when Quasimodo was revealed to the village. I then noticed a large mass growing in front of me on my right eye. She’s not exaggerating… it got swollen so fast.
I was recommended to sit down and was quickly given a bag of broccoli to hold on my eye. I kept asking how it looked, and while my friends are the dearest in the world, they are LIARS.
“Jeni, it’s not too bad. Just put some ice on it and it will be ok.”
Two hours later and a bag of defrosted vegetables and this is what I was left with.
I woke up the next day very optimistic that this would be a quick recovery. I was very very mistaken:
I planned several weeks before to meet up with some friends for lunch. While I was humiliated I figured no one would notice my sunglasses inside a Mexican restaurant. Needless to say it was as embarrassing as I had thought it would be.
Oh, did I mention I was co-hosting a baby shower for my friend Kara with 90% of the people I had never met before during this visit? I was so happy to see that not only was my eye opening, but now there was a lovely shade of eggplant creeping down my eye lid! How fitting for an afternoon baby shower tea party. I tend to like my injuries “classy.”
“hey everyone, welcome to the baby shower! I know I have never met you before and you have pity on me for being a battered wife, but please ignore the giant colorful bulge on my face and enjoy some tea and cookies!” Then people were asking if I wanted to get pictures with the guest of honor…um sure! About as much as I want to be hit over the head with a sack of flour! Which would have caused another black eye.
I also forgot to mention that the next morning Cory, Gina and I were running a 5k. Ask me if I have ever run that far in my life. No. Ask me if I could see straight at this point. No. Ask me what time we had to wake up. 5am. Ask me if it was worth it. YUP.
My friends and I ran the Color Run. If you have not heard of it, it’s essentially a bunch of middle class white people (I saw 3 black people all day… in downtown Louisville.) running 5 kilometers through different ‘color zones’ where a bunch of random people throw powdered paint on you. Oh, and you pay 50.00 to do so. Anyhow, my injury gave me an advantage I believe. My face was a lovely shade of purple-green at this point, so my dear friend Gina decided to rub purple paint on the other side of my face to balance it out. Thanks friend!
By the time the race was over on Sunday morning, we were all swollen on various regions of our body (some of us more than others) and were ready for a nap. The rest of Sunday went well and we decided to leave Kentucky around 11am on Monday. I had planned to briefly stop at the outlet stores and then be home by 6:30. HAHAHAHAH.
We got as far as Grove City, Ohio. Cory decided to pull off since we were doing good on time and to get some drinks. Cory got out of the car to get drinks and take a pee break and I walked Charlotte around. Charlotte tends to get an attitude in the car since we have to essentially starve her until we reach our final destination. The baby girl has a weak stomach and so she cannot be fed during our road trips. Every once in a while we will look back into the backseat and she will have her “pound puppy face” on. Her face communicates “why won’t anyone ever love me?” Sometimes Cory sings the Sarah Maclaughlin song “In the Arms of the Angels” just to make it more dramatic. This pathetic display that she puts on really is the saddest thing I have ever seen. Her ears are droopy and out to the side like freaking Yoda and she is all slouched over. She won’t cuddle with us or even look at us. She’s like a teenager with Oppositional Defiant Disorder who is resentful at her parents.
Anyhow, Cory came outside and I took my turn for a pee break. I enter the dimly lit crime scene bathroom and open the lid. FIRST MISTAKE. There was a mountain of poop lovingly left for me. I thought to myself “This is gross but I am not going to think about it. I will just flush it and be done with it.” Unfortunately, the giant goliath sasquatch woman who left the mess before me also shoved several rolls of cheap toilet paper into the commercial grade toilet. I flushed and regretted it. Turds of all sizes came flying at me like pearl freaking harbor. One landed on my foot and I was standing in cascading poop water. Mind you, this all happened in a matter of about 5 seconds.
I exit the bathroom in a panic with my stupid black eye and go to the front to communicate my horror to the attendant. “UM. The toilet is broken and I tried to fix it and it exploded.” The woman looked at me as if to say “so what you are asking me to do is to clean up your fecal matter from the floor you stupid wench.”
After rolling her eyes I tried to explain it wasn’t me, but she seemed really uninterested in me talking any longer. After using the men’s restroom and washing my feet in the sink I was eager to get home and wash my entire body of the poop fiasco.
Cory and I get in the car. “Click.” He turns the key again. “Click.” At this point I think, “Why does God hate me?” As much as that is the worst theology ever, it felt like one of those days. I have a freaking pound puppy in the back seat, poop feet, 90 degrees outside and our car is broken.
A sheriff showed up to help us push our car to another area but we were still stuck. Cory attempted to ask several other people to help but we were turned away several times. So I went up to one guy who I asked politely if he could help us jump our car, and that I even had jumper cables, and he replied he was on his way to a funeral… in his Harley Davidson shirt. Liar. I then went up to a car full of college-aged girls who I assumed would help a fellow twentysomething. Nope. They didn’t even roll down their window when I came up to the car! Total lack of eye contact and everything. I know for a fact I don’t have leprosy and I had trimmed my beard recently… so I don’t know what it was. Luckily the cop stayed with us until he knew we had help, which was very nice. Honestly, what can be more pathetic than a woman with a black eye holding a puppy standing next to a broken car during a heat wave? Anyone? Anyone? No? Ok awesome. We did get someone to eventually help us, but discovered after charging the battery that it wouldn’t hold a charge. We were stuck. In Grove City. With a dead battery.
Luckily, one of our relatives just happened to be in the area and helped us more than she could ever know. LoriAnne Clark was a God-send. She is the only reason I am comfortably sitting on my bed with my puppy at the moment. We finally found a place that would give us a battery and we figured we could install it. We had been at the gas station for over two and half hours at this point. Aunt Lori lives like 20 minutes away from where we were stuck, too. She was coming home from work and happened to be really close to where we were… God was definitely watching over us.
After driving to Napa to get the battery, we got back and realized we didn’t have any tools to remove the dead one or install the new one. So we drove to a nearby grocery store to get some wrenches. We got back and quickly discovered that dumb car companies apparently put metric AND standard nuts on their batteries! Makes lots of sense, right? Wrong.
So we took another trip to the store. Got another wrench (this time an adjustable one) and I made quick work of that battery installation. While I was working on it, and of course not before, two guys stopped and offered to help us with tools. One was a mechanic. Wow, thanks for being 3 hours too late, Timely Joe.
Moral of the story: Don’t get stranded in Grove City unless you know somebody because strangers are jerks. I’m pretty sure there’s a parable a famous Jewish Rabbi once told about this, but I can’t quite remember what it was about…
As usual, the puppy managed to make an awful no good rotten situation better: