Boy, have I made a mess.

My mom lives a little over 800 miles a way from Mr. M and I. When she retired from the military, she kept moving. Regularly. More than she had on active duty. In five years, she lived in TN (twice), CA (at least twice), OK, and China (for a summer). During that time, I graduated college and parked my weary heiney in a brand-new (to me, it's actually an ooooold town) hometown. I've been here over 5 years now-- longer than I've lived in one building my whole life. By a lot-- the closest to an exception would be college.

In most families, the kids grow up and move away. In our family, the mom moves away. Again and again and again. As I'm grown and pretty well self-sufficient, this is not a huge problem. It would be nice to have her over for Sunday dinner, but we were separated a lot even when I was little. This is "normal" for us. Unfortunately, she is sometimes very unhappy about it. Sometimes it is "my fault" because when she says she wants to move closer, I point out that in a couple of years, Mr. M and I are hoping to head off to seminary. (As a matter of fact, this time last year we thought we'd be there now.) But I've been here over 5 years. I've been here through at least 6 different moves of hers, and I'm fairly certain it's more than that. Each time, she chose a new place to live. I'm not responsible for the choices that she made.

That's not the mess I made.

The mess I made is that I said I wanted to see her whole family for Thanksgiving. Mr. M still hasn't met my grandparents, or two of my mother's siblings. We're all scattered across 5 states. (We're finally all basically on the same side of the country, though!) So, Mom has rallied the troops, and there are loose plans (that have changed regularly to this point) to get togther.

The mess I made is that I did not think the logistics out as I should have. I don't have the time to take off, so Wednesday we will start driving at 5PM when I get off work. Wednesday and Thursday we will drive 800 miles. We'll spend Friday with the family, and then drive 800 miles home on Saturday and Sunday. That part stinks.

The financial logistics don't work out much better. We're not going to drive 13 hours straight through. That's crazy. So, we'll be staying in a motel along the way. And we're not staying with mom when we get there, because my sweet introverted husband may want to get away from the dozen strangers congregated in my mother's tiny house. So, 4 nights hotel + petsitter + food while travelling + gas = a pretty sizeable chunk of money. And stress.

But it was my idea.

She's flying out for about 4 days this weekend, so we will see each other soon.

So what now?


  1. Blessings! THe holiday season is always rough on us as well. Distance is the biggest issue, that and babygirl HATES her car seat right now! I pray that God will bless your time with your mama and family, that you may all become closer dispite the distance. Also praying for your pocket book!

  2. It may be worth looking at flights. Yest they probably are going to be somewhat expensive, but if you save $ by reducing your nights away, gas, shortened pet-sitter, etc, it may work out to be financially equal and it saves a long trip out and back. Something to look into. Good luck. Balancing families and holidays can be difficult!

  3. Aw, thanks, ladies.

    Flying would be so nice. Unfortunately, we won't be staying with my mom (who lives in the middle of nowhere), and we'd still need transportation, so renting a car on top of flying... too pricey.

  4. well... prayers and blessings in order during the upcoming stressful season (it is for many of us, travel or no).

    and good luck as well. I know how you feel about flying. with renting a car etc. it's often just not affordable (plus the seats are not that comfortable for my six foot plus husband)

  5. Oh that sucks! It will be nice in the long run won't it?

  6. 13 hours is a do-able drive if you take breaks along the way. I wouldn't rule it out straight off.

    Then again, we've driven across country...


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins