Well, we decided on a spur of the moment to drive the 13 hours back to our house in New London. ( this was on August 17th) . Dennis came home Wed. for lunch and asked if I would mind driving back to MN for the weekend, me, being up for anything, thought this would be a great idea, so we decided to leave Thursday afternoon. Well, we got on the road at about mmm 3:00 or 3:30, all the kids piled in the back, their blankets and pillows piled around them, windows rolled down, and we were off!! We drove thru St. Louis, on the north side of St. Louis, the battery light came on, hmmm, it's still driving fine, so we continue on with only the thoughts of our beds, and homemade food in our heads. We go about another hour, hour and a half at the most, and the cruise quits, then the clock light goes out, prety soon we are coasting along the interstate, looking for a place to pull over! So there we are, in the middle of no where, with a broken down van. Now I know, "use your cell phone", that is what most people would think right? Well, who are you supposed to call??? We have no clue were the nearest mechanic is, or the nearest tow truck... so then what do you do??? Anyway... Dennis started monkeying around under the hood, wiggling this wire, cleaning that wire, unhooking the battery cables, cleaning them, putting them back on, you know, making sure people could see that, yes, we ARE broke down, not just enjoying the scenery! But really, when people are driving by at 80 mph,, it's kinda hard to expect them to help us I guess. Finally a Sheriff stopped, walks up to Dennis, and here ya go people, asks,"so, are you having problems with your van?" Ummm, how do you answer that, aren't we obviously having problems?
He was actually a very nice man, he called a tow truck for us, and when he was on the radio trying to find a garage that would fix the van the next morning, a mechanic called into dispatch and said he could be at our hotel by the next morning and get us on the road. So Dennis had to wait for the tow truck, and the sheriff took me and all 5 of the kids in his squad car to the nearest hotel. Which he said was allot nicer than the hotel a few miles up the road. We get to the hotel and he goes into the ofice to get a key for us so we don't have to wait outside for Dennis, as we are waiting, Brooke pipes up from the backseat, where all the kids were sitting, and says,"mom, this is just like a movie!!!" Now, she is thinking some family vacation comedy, you know the type, car breaks down, very nice sheriff stops to help, they stay in some crusty motel and everything is great, except for the poor father getting attacked by a forest creature, see , ha ha ha, so funny! Now I am thinking.... HORROR FLICK!! You know the type, car breaks down, very nice sheriff stops to help, they stay in some crusty motel, they get attacked by some LUNATIC SERIEL KILLER!!!! Bates Motel, ya' know , that kind of movie!!
Well, we try to get into our room, but the door doesn't totally open, a dresser is in the way. Then we get in the door.... da da da doom... it is so gross! The floors are filthy, the bathroom is filthy, the entry door only has a flimsy little lock on it, I must give them credit for the linens, they did have clean sheets on the beds. So, we sit here, all 7 of us, Dennis is staying in a great mood, the kids think of it as another cool adventure, and I am in TEARS!!! We walked next door to get something to eat, then we all went to bed. Alexis and Brooke decided to slep on the floor instead of squeezing on one of the beds with the rest of us. Bad decision!
The next morning the mechanic is at the door at 6:45 to work on the van, which was wonderful. He got the van up and running within an hour, and he only charged us for the parts! An answer to prayer! So we go into the room to make one last sweep to make sure we didn't forget anything, Dennis opens up the dresser drawer, which by the way, Alexis slept under all night, and it was full of mouse droppings!! YUCK!!! I was so glad to get out of there, but I must say, we met a very nice sheriff, and we were able to talk to a very nice mechanic, who we found out was a Christian!
So I guess we can chalk this one up as another Anderson Family adventure!!