Day #19: Springfield, MO to Tupelo, MS

I don't have any pictures. I know that I should but I got busy and so I just don't. We woke up in Springfield, Missouri, knowing that we would finally see family at the end of our drive today. It hit me this morning, how we have each fallen into a "role" on this trip. On the first night of our trip, we got to our wall tent and we scrambled around the car, going from door to door, grabbing whatever was closest to the door, bumping into each other as we stumbled through the thought processes of "what actually needs to come out of the car versus what can stay in the car." Fast forward to last night as we pull up to the door of the hotel, and without ever speaking one word, Will goes inside to the desk, the kids grab a luggage cart, and I start pulling out the bags we want to take inside. The kids and Will meet me at the car, they take the cart inside, I park, I meet them in the room, the kids return the cart, Will starts working on his laptop, the kids start arranging their stuff, I water my plants and get my laptop out to type my blog. Mornings have become a similar routine. Will showers and does his Bible study, I get up and get kids moving, we all dress and go eat breakfast, we bring a luggage cart up from the lobby, we pack all the bags onto it, Garrett pushes it out, Ellie gets the elevator, Will checks out, I go get the car, we load the car, the kids take the cart back, and we drive off.

This morning should have been more of the same, except after breakfast we brought the cart up to the room, loaded the bags onto the cart, and then ................ we just stared at the cart. No one spoke, blinked, or complained, but we were all thinking the same thing -- "once we push this cart out of this room, we have to get back in the car, and we don't want to get in the car; maybe if we stare at this bag it will just magically take us to Mississippi." Unfortunately, we had no magic carpet ride to Tupelo, so we took up our familiar roles and loaded up the car, reminding each other that this is almost our last day of the entire roadtrip. Will has an appointment for lab work (for a potential job) so we scheduled it here. Since he couldn't eat beforehand, we found a cool Hebrews Cafe to stop for a coffee (topped off with a cute little heart leaf, made of floating cream) and then we all renewed our vow to make only the most efficient stops today.

The rain went around us and we had a great, but very hot, trip south. We crossed Arkansas, the tip of Tennessee, and got into Mississippi when I saw exactly what I needed -- a boot store! I haven't had a "real" pair of boots since I left Montgomery and this place has a SALE advertised - woohoo!! When I can dig the boots out of the wreckage in the back hatch of my car, I'll post a pic of my wonderful new boots. They will be perfect for my Friday Night Bulldog's Football that I've missed so badly.

About 6pm we got to my mother-in-law's house and she had a phenomenal supper ready for us. I did feel a little self conscious as we brought in a pile of "junk" that looked like it belonged to a transient family -- wait, we ARE a transient family -- and got dumped inside her nice, tidy home. Thankfully, all she saw was "GRANDBABIES!!!!" and never even noticed our little piles of stuff in each and every room of her house.

In all today, we drove 398 miles and were in the car for 9 hours.