Stuck in Kentucky

Last week Josh and I made a semi impromptu trip down to Nashville.  We heard, a little last-minute, that he was to receive a Performance Award for How Sweet the Sound at SESAC’s annual award ceremony so we moved things around and made a trip!

I came down with a wicked stomach bug on Friday, we were due to hit the road Monday morning.  I was trapped in bed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Monday morning I somehow felt just well enough to commit to a 10 hour trip to Nashville.  Mind you, I was far from comfortable, the combo of baby belly and flu was unpleasant to say the least, but I did the trip cheerfully.  Then we hit the ice tundra from Narnia in southern Kentucky.  Turns out they had been hit with an icy snow storm.  Ice first, then snow.  I recalled a visual of semi folded around a light pole along the side of the road mere miles behind us.  I guess I should have seen that as an omen of bad road conditions because we were suddenly confined to one lane creeping along with a band of semis at 20 mph.  Granted this “good” lane was more than speckled with black ice and rough snow mole holes but our car felt plenty secure at 40 mph.  However, if we wanted to pass anyone we had to pull up onto a 3 inch thick shoulder of ice that was the other “lane.”  Twenty miles per hour was painful in the “good” lane, but it turns out that even that speed was too much to hope to pass when traveling on a shelf of glare ice.  After 10 miles and 45 minutes of this we decided to jump ship in hopes that the morning would behold clear highways.  We pulled off for a Super 8.  I entered the establishment with my bags in tow while Josh parked the car and requested a room.  The woman simply replied that they were all filled up and so was the whole town of hotels and the next couple of towns down along the highway too.  Our next hope was at least two exits further down the treacherous and obnoxiously slow-going road.

We took a stab at patiently braving the slow going road, hoping eventually the traffic would relent or the left lane would have received some treatment.  I kept glancing at my GPS.  I saw angry red dots lining our road for about 100 miles.  With some of those dots behind us I realized those dots signified the start and end points of such road conditions. That also meant our road conditions weren’t expected to improve until we reached Tennessee, another 90 miles away.  At this revelation we decided to take a stab at another hotel.  This time we called first.  The only place I could find was a Super 7.  That’s right, a Super 7.  I’ve never heard of it either.  The lady said they had one room left.  When we reached the town we saw our hotel prospect.  It was definitely the place to stay to get mugged or murdered. Then we spotted a Super 8 across the street.  I walked in, unloaded this time, and asked if they had vacancy.  She replied she had one room so $90.09 later we had a crappy room for the night and we couldn’t have been happier about it!  As she charged my card I asked about the roads.  Turns out the storm happened not that day at all but the previous day.  So then I was compelled to ask about the roads.  She stated that Kentucky doesn’t employ state plows.

The next morning we woke early and hit the road again.  The roads were in the same condition we left them in but at least we now had daylight on our side again.

We patiently traversed the roads, occasionally passing someone when we had a patch of less threatening left lane.  We saw a sign “Welcome to Tennessee.”  If you were to draw a line from the sign across the highway that is the spot when the roads suddenly were completely devoid of a trace of snow or ice.

Thank you Tennessee.  Kentucky, not impressed.

Miss Independent is Back

I have seen Josh for about five whole days in the last month and a half or so.  For this Redeemed Tour Citizen Way started up in our neck of the woods then headed down south, all the way west, up to Washington and over to Montana and then, finally, one month later I picked him up at a McDonald’s off the freeway in MN.  He had gone a total of around 8094 miles and 128 hours of driving for 19 shows at 19 different venues in 12 different states in 31 days and only slept 2 – 5 hours per night.  Josh and Ben Blascoe split all those miles and all those hours in the driver’s seat of their 15 passenger van.

Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 9.48.10 AMThis map shows the first 31 days of the tour, February 1 – March 4.

Needless to say, after all those miles with high energy and sold out shows in so many cities and states Josh was in need of some serious sleep.  Instead, he meets me in Minnesota to sing for my Grandma’s memorial service.  For him this meant sacrificing his big need for rest and pouring any remaining energy into loving on me, working on memorial service details, and entertaining my extended family.  And he did it all with such grace and love.  He is incredible.

If you haven’t guessed, marriage for us is different.

Because of all our time apart and weeks spent fending for myself I have found that I have reconnected with the little Miss Independent from my teenage years.  While Josh is gone I adopt a different lifestyle; I work all morning, around 1 or 2 I take a break or a nap, I get back to work, and come evening I read a book until I’m sleepy.  I mix it up with the occasional hang with a friend, a walk with the dogs, a home project, or some knitting.  It’s seems to be a very healthy pattern.  Instead of powering through 8 – 10 hours of work every day I put in 4 or 5, take a break so I can power back up and get excited and inspired, then I work the remaining 4 to 5 hours.

I also have a whole manner of affairs to tend to on my own.  Because of these little items I have to work on I have been finding that at the end of every day I feel very accomplished.  By sweeping, doing the dishes, buying groceries, juicing, getting the oil changed, shoveling the driveway, clipping the dog’s nails, or paying bills I can feel like I’ve been productive even if I’ve only been working on editing the same wedding for three days straight.

Then Josh comes home and we try to squeeze in as much togetherness as my work load can afford.  It’s a confusing back and forth because on one had I’m left to fend for myself and on the other hand I suddenly have someone around 24/7.  Talk about some whiplash.  We’re still navigating how to go between these two extremes in the ways that are easiest and most beneficial for both of us.  For the rest of this Redeemed Tour the art of this back-and-forth will be put to the test.  According to the schedule Josh is gone 4 – 5 days at a time then he’s home for 2 – 3.  As for today and the rest of this week I am Miss Independent, then come Monday I am a Mrs again for a couple of days 😉