We just got back from NE this evening. It was a good trip, kids had lots of fun and of course Christmas. Getting to NE was an adventure. We got started late on Saturday--another story another day--and ended up in bad weather. Rain from Columbia, then ice in KC which changed to snow going up I-29. The roads were bad and my parents called to say they heard I-29 was closed north of St Joseph MO. We were still about 20 miles out at that point(give or take a few miles). The interstate was basically down to one lane and it was about 35 miles an hour on it. We realized after the call that we had to stop for the night, the call came through around 2:30 or 3. Well there really wasn't anywhere to stop until St Joes. The Fawcett exit said it had lodging, but as we came up to the ramp there was a semi and 4 cars stopped on the ramp already. The ramp was also up hill, so I figured that was a no go, I wasn't sure we could even get off the ramp much less find a hotel/motel around there & if we did it would probably already be full.
Instead I stopped underneath the overpass at the Fawcett exit to clean my wipers. While doing this my driver's side wiper snapped and fell of the wiper arm. I was just stunned, I didn't know what to do. I thought about backing up to the ramp, but just could't do that. I thought about waving down someone to stop, but how they would help I didn't know. I gave a little thought to changing the passenger side to the driver's side, but I couldn't figure out how to put them on when I bought them and had to have the parts store clerk do it--I guessed there was no way I could do it in icy, snowy, windy conditions. Finally the revelation hit me, I had duct tape in the van. This was leftover from our camping trip in August or July--I know I am lazy about putting things away. I was able to duct tape the broken wiper to the wiper arm and it worked, there was only a 2" area that wouldn't clean completely. This was the start of our good luck.
Once back on the road, we were headed to St Joes again. There was a lot of traffic on the interstate and I was worried that even if we did get off at an exit we wouldn't be able to find a room or worse a parts store for new wipers. Worst case was the wiper failing and the duct tape not solving it and next worse was not getting a room and having to stay at a 24 hour McDonalds or something. Well, we came upon I-229, the inner belt for St Joe, I knew it goes to the older part of the town. I had been down in that section once, just driving around, but that had to be over 15 years before. I reasoned though that there had to be something that way and that anything off I-29 was probably already full. We took I-229 with a couple of other cars behind me. It was several exits and miles before we saw St Joe and then it was hard to see much. Finally, Debbie saw a Holiday Inn and we took the next exit. I went probably a mile down the road off the exit and found an O'Reilly's Auto Parts store. Stopped in there and bought new wipers and a scrapper with a brush. Pleading incompetence I had the 20 something female store clerk install our new wiper blades. They also gave me the yellow pages and I called Holiday Inn and was told they had plenty of rooms still at that time--around 4pm I think. The clerk gave me directions and we found the hotel and got our room. We were also able to get food from the Holihans in the hotel as well. Those events are the kinds of things where you really realize that someone is watching over you and your family.
We made it to my parent's house on Sunday then and had a good time. I will probably fill in other details and stuff later. Well, I am going to try and read some more of my book, The Looking Glass War tonight. I have set a goal to finish this book before the end of the year, I want to be able to put it on my Books Read 2007 list. I haven't read Cell in over a week. I wasn't able to get as much reading in as I would normally have at home, stayed up late talking rather than reading.