It's about 2 am and we've stopped for gas. Somewhere. The kids are dozing fairly well, except for our smallest one, a belly sleeper, is fighting the deep sleep his body needs. Our caravan of vans is a sight to behold. With car top carriers donning our vans like turtle shells and seats filled to the max with people, toys and luggage, there is no doubt we are a group with a mission. We've gassed up the vehicles (and the drivers) and we're ready to roll.
But one vehicle is not starting.
The engine in one of the van's refuses to turn over. Ugg. By this time, everyone is awake. Everyone. After a quick jump from another van, we're on our way with skepticism. We chat with hushed voices about the possibilities of what could happen. One toll booth later and we are stopped again. It's rolled onto the shoulder after absolutely conking out.
Enter Goo.gle on the phone.
My sister-in-law finds the nearest 24 hour Wal.mart. After one more successful jump to the fading battery, and an interesting route there, we find it. It's bold blue sign beckons and welcomes.
Everyone is awake. The odd combination of adrenaline and confusion get the kids in giggle fest that rivals Tickle.ME.Elmo.
The guys (of course) purchase the much needed battery and begin installing it into the tired van. After several trips to the bathroom, we realize that most of the Wal.mart employees know who we are. ("Are with the group who's car isn't working?")
And everyone is awake. We take this opportunity to let the children loose on the Wal.mart parking lot. It's about 2 am. Not too many visitors to this now beloved store, so we don't mind their enthusiasm.
Soon, we are on our way (thank goodness for handy men, eh?). After a few miles, all are sleeping again, except those of us who are thinking the obvious.
Thank goodness, for Wal.mart.
**I'd be severely remiss if I didn't see the strong hand of the Lord at work in this situation, eh? Here's a few things He put into place: an internet-ready phone, a shoulder to pull over on, tools to install a battery, a close Wal.mart, men who know their way around an engine, and the ability for most of us to rest after all the excitement.**