As a runner, I often think to myself, what a great wide berm there is on this highway, or this road goes on for miles and it is flat and straight. I could run everywhere I wanted to go if I could run on the interstate.
Well that was until we hit exit 9B in South Carolina, my wish came true. Except it was not how I envisioned it... none the less, be careful what you wish for!
It was about 9 hours into our trip and the car hauler my husband was pulling behind the moving truck in front of us, has a low tire. We had stopped and filled it up, at the last fuel stop, but it was depleted of air again, and was starting to smoke. Eventually the tire blew, which is really a post all on it's own, but leads me to the run on the side of the road.
To say that we were an impressive line up on the side of that exit would be an understatement. But in true Lingle form, we attacked the situation with gusto and made a plan. A plan that included 5 children, 3 adults and 2, 80 lbs labs.
To say that it was hot would be an understatement. It is the heat of the day, and the wait time for just the call back on the service repair was estimated at 30 minutes. From there it was over two hours for the service technician to arrive and for the repair to be made. So off the side of the road was a nice shaded area. We all piled out of the vehicles and went down to the shade, where we fed the dogs, watered the dogs, made small talk, snacked etc. Things were good, or at least the best they could be in the situation for 2 hours and 20 minutes perhaps.... Then Bashful started to melt down. Literally, he was sweating and his attitude was also suffering significantly, so in an attempt to smooth things over, I took him back to the van for some alone time and for the diversion of electronics.
As we are settling in, the service repair man comes and starts working on the flat. I get a text about the same time that one of the dogs ran off. I think for sure this must be a joke, they are leashed. But no it is not a joke. Lucy has managed to slip her collar and leash and make a dash for.... well I am not really sure what for but she is dashing. The other dwarfs wrestle Lola, her sister to the van. Shut it up and start the air. I rush to the area where Lucy was last seen, with Grumpy, in hope of seeing Sleepy and Dopey with the dog already in hand.
I am such a dreamer! I send Grumpy with some treats in a metal bowl, shaking it as he runs in the direction of Lucy, calling out "Treats Lucy, Treats..." over and over again. I take the high ground and start running in flip flops, through the grasses and weeds in the kids direction as well ( I am just older and slower. ) We get about a quarter of a mile from our exit, and I look up to see Lucy bounding right at me. She is running with wild abandon, and looks like one of those cartoon dogs, ears flopping, legs pumping, raised high ... I think, I have one chance. She is coming straight at me, I will drop on her when she gets to me and hold her til the kids come with the leash and collar. So Lucy and I are running top speed towards each other, I am calling to her " Come here Lucy girl" . She is still flying in my direction. I stop and prepare for impact.
She sprints in another direction! Grrr did I mention I am not a fan of dogs.... Okay, well I am startled to say the least, I can hear the kids getting closer, but do not know what to do, because now I am the leader in this race and the kids are bringing up the rear. So I bolt (okay that may be a bit strong of a term, but for story telling purposes it works) into the area that Lucy headed, which was filled with jaggers and wild berry bushes. Fact: The dog is faster than any human. She again darts off the path and starts heading right down the side of the interstate towards the rest of the family and the Prince, and the repair man, and traffic flying by at 70 mph. I do not know if any of them are watching for her, so I stop, gather all the air I can into my lungs and start yelling for them to look for her. Fact: The side of the interstate is a noisy, noisy place and your voice doesn't really carry well.
So... she runs towards the Prince, and then darts out to the drivers side of the van, right in traffic range. The Prince manages to call her to the other side of the van, where her sister is already waiting for her. We get her into the van, and she is a shaking mess.
Here come the kids. Sleepy has lost one of her flip flops, and the Prince can't find it. She has cuts all over her feet because she made the interstate run in her bare feet. Dopey is cut on his legs as he plowed through all sorts of jagger bushes and such in the pursuit of his dog Lucy. We hear the tale of Lucy bolting across two on ramps and cars stopping and horns blowing and how one woman almost had her in her car, before Lucy got scared and ran again... I do wish that Lucy could share her version of the story with us... We get the kids and the dog situated and cleaned up about the same time the repair to the trailer is done. After about three hours and a little change, we are on the road again.
One of the dwarfs insightfully proclaimed as we re-entered the highway, " Mom, at least Lucy ran away while the repairs were being made, that way we did not have to waste anymore time sitting on the side of the road waiting."
You really can't make this stuff up!