Our drive home is getting interesting. We pushed ourselves to drive as far as Memphis, TN today. Using my little Verizon MiFi connection and the Mac laptop I tried to locate a motel that wasn't charging an arm-and-a-leg for a room tonight (goodness knows we need all of our limbs, as rickety as they are!) ... to no avail. So Bruce decides to find a WalMart, buy a clearance blanket and just sleep in the Tahoe (isn't he romantic? Gotta love my frugal little Norweign!)
After some heated debate about how to get off the freeway and over to that WalMart on our left ... we find a comforter on clearance (imagine that! at WalMart? really? ... bwahhahhah) and eating a bad-for-you-and-the-world-McBurger we discovered every checkout station was at least 6 people deep. What in the world was going on? It's 9 p.m. Why would there be so many people at WalMart with their carts packed full rushing the checkout? Bruce cleverly decides to checkout in the jewelry department (he might be frugal, but he's also clever!) I decide to ask a store clerk why the place is packed. She tells me there's bad weather coming and folks are stocking-up.
Curious, we decide to hustle back to the Tahoe and check out the NOAA website's Doppler ... sure enough! There wass a severe weather warning covering the midwest ... all of it ... from Texas to Memphis, Tennessee to St Louis, Missouri to Des Moines, Iowa to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Well! That pretty much covers our path home! YIKES! We decided, tired or not, we'd better skeedaddle!
About 2-3 hours down the road we began encountering some rain and even more wind than before. Forecast was calling for winds up to 75 mph, softball sized hail, and possibility of tornadoes. Bruce was way past tired and from the looks of the Doppler we were north of one tornado warning and south of another ... a "sweet spot" so to speak. It seemed like a good time to pull of the freeway and see if he could find cover (didn't want to have hail damage the Tahoe or the nice enclosed trailer he just got.)
This is where we begin to see God's hand covering us in a tangible way (as if getting us out of Memphis before it flooded wasn't enough)! At the end of the exit ramp guess what we found!?! A vacant BP gas station ... you know what they have don't you? BIG, strong awnings (where the gas pumps had been)! Woohoo! Bruce pulled in so the entire rig was under cover and we settled in for the night under our new blanket (for those of you that don't know our family's reputation ... we are known for all the quilts we make ... if you are in the family you've no doubt been blessed with many a blanket-gifts! Our motto: No family member should ever be cold due to the lack of a good, warm blanket made with lots of love by another family member!) As we settled in, we both gave thanks to God for the protection!
Six hours later, stiff from our nap in the back of a truck (we had an air mattress with us, but no power inverter to blow it up ... the plan was to only need it while at Paul and Andrea's ... who knew we'd be sleeping in our vehicle?!) Bruce decided to get out and check our rig ... make sure everything was in good order, then drive across the freeway to the other side where there was an open Shell station.
Nothing. That's what he got when he turned the key in the ignition ... nothing. The Tahoe was dead ... no battery power. Ugg! I guess leaving my Mac connected all night long was a bad idea ... oopsie! Apparently its an energy hog even when it's in sleep mode!
Just as he got his hat and coat on, in preparation for a nice long walk over to that Shell station, a car pulls up next to us. Bruce cautiously walks over and taps on the window (scaring the poor lady half out of her wits!) Turns out she was there to meet up with her carpooler (What do you think? I say she was actually an angel.) She happily jump-started our vehicle and then refused to accept any money for her help. God is GOOD, All the Time! Talk about provision!
The rest of the day was uneventful. The storm system was behind us and to the east ... not in our path! We made it to Kansas City with enough time to enjoy a wonderful dinner at Red Robin, meet Katy's latest beau, Todd, and then enjoy a movie together.