how i spent father’s day

I didn’t have time to write a flowery Father’s Day entry about how great my dad is yesterday, because I was too busy turning Father’s Day into a typical Lorie adventure for the entire family.

It all started on Saturday, really, when my dad requested that we all attend church on Sunday. If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, you know how I feel about attending church services, but I agreed to it because it was Father’s Day and my dad doesn’t ask for much. Ginny agreed to go too.

Also on Saturday we had the latest in our neverending routine of torrential downpours. This information will be key.

Sunday dawned, not sunny, but at least not pouring rain. We all got dolled up and decided to take two vehicles, rather than cramming all six of us into the old Caravan. Mom, Dad, Sammi, and Jamie rode in the Jeep. Ginny and I followed in my car.

My parents’ church is about a fifteen minute drive away, on a winding country road. We’re driving on said road and begin to see evidence of all the mudslides and flash flooding that had occurred the day before due to the rains. It’s kind of scary, by the way, to see entire hillsides crumbled away.

We come around a curve and see a sign that says “Road Closed Ahead.” About six inches in front of this sign were the barricades.

Thanks for the advance warning, jerks!

We screech to a halt. Mom & Dad turn around and drive up to my car. We all roll down the windows and have a brief conference.

L: Do you know another way to get there?
D: Yes, but we’ll have to go all the way back to the main road.
L: Is it even worth it? Do you think they’ll even have the service? Maybe we should just go back home.
D: They’ll have the service. It won’t take us that long to go around.
L: Okay, well, why don’t we take this road (gesturing) over the mountain and see if that gets us there quicker?

So they agreed. I followed them on the road I’d just pointed out, which went over the mountain and back to the main road. We took the main road to another side road, which went BACK over the mountain. It was majorly curvy and Ginny started to get carsick and I was afraid that she’d barf in my car (she has a history), but she didn’t. We came out on the other side of the barricades, and proceeded to the church.

Where the parking lot was empty.

The associate pastor and some other dude told us that they’d cancelled services since no one could make it to the church, on account of the fact that the barricades were up since half the road had washed away the night before.

I drive up to the Jeep. We have another conference.

L: Can I possibly say ‘I told you so?’
M: Yeah, shut up.
L: You could have called ahead, the number is on the church bulletin in your Bible bag.
M: Yeah, well, we didn’t think about that.
L: Okay. Well, neener neener, I told you so. So what are we going to do now?
M: We’re going to Golden Corral.
L: Ginny doesn’t want to take that mountain road again; it made her sick. I know of another way – can we go that way?
D: Do you know where you’re going?
L: Yep, I’m pretty sure I do.
D: Okay, you lead then.

This was the fateful moment.

Because, see, I have a piss-poor sense of direction. I was born without any sort of internal compass. I’m notorious for the stupid ways that I’ve gotten lost, and the only reason I ever found my way around in Chicago was because if I went too far in the wrong direction, I’d drive into Lake Michigan.

But apparently my family got amnesia about that solid fact, and let me lead.

I drive for a long time, and turn onto another road that goes toward the lake. As I commit to the right-hand turn, Ginny points out the left fork in the road (which has a yellow line) and says that we could have taken that road. Too late. She thinks I’m going to go all the way to the lake and loop back. I have a road in mind, called Meador’s Spur, that I know will cut across and connect back to the main road we want to be on. I’ve never actually traveled on this road – but I’ve seen the sign and I know it’s the same road on the other end. So I keep driving. For a long time.

And then shortly before we would have gotten to the lake anyway, I see the sign for Meador’s Spur and hang a left.

There is a sign that says “construction ahead” and the road is gravel – something that I had conveniently forgotten. I forge ahead.

Two words, people:


It’s a one-lane, gravelly, muddy, rutted piece of shit road that winds down through the mountains, across some fields, and crosses several creeks.

I’m like “Oh my God, they are going to kill me,” but I keep on driving, because I KNOW that it connects to the main road eventually.

We’re in the middle of fucking nowhere. We can’t even get cell phone reception between our two vehicles, so when Mom calls me, she has to leave a message. Which goes something like this:

“Yeah, this is a MUCH better road than the one we took before. Way to go. There’s a 400 pound hillbilly hanging off the back end of the Jeep. I feel like we’re in Jurassic Park 4. Good job. Bye.”

Meanwhile, we’re starting to cross bridges. I am fucking TERRIFIED of driving across bridges, and not only are these not good bridges, but they’re crossing creeks that are swollen with way too much rain and have flooded in the last 12 hours. So every time I cross a bridge, I’m afraid that my car will just drop in.

Then we get to the worst bridge of all. It’s crossing the widest part of the creek, and it looks like it’s made out of rotted two-by-fours. I’m so freaked out that I actually bring the car to a complete stop and start crying before putting the pedal on the floor and rocketing across the bridge.

Ginny makes some comment about crossing the Goodview Rapids on a plank bridge and I keep driving, and driving, and what seems like hours later I hit blacktop and floor it, and eventually we get to the main road.

It still takes us like 45 minutes to get to Golden Corral, and by the way, they jack their brunch buffet prices up for Father’s Day – thanks! And by the time we get there everyone’s grouchy and freaked out from being in the car so long, and so lunch is kind of…subdued and tense, to say the least, and then we went home and everyone just crashed for a few hours.

And who can we blame for this?

That’s right – me.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Sorry ’bout the mishap.

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