I don’t remember arriving in New Hampshire, but I do remember parking at a school, or something, across the street from the rec center. It was raining and we had to dart over to the rec center to avoid getting wet. Inside the rec center was nice, which always makes my heart go pitter-patter. I believe the pool was downstairs. I remember Tommy Rivers Puzey, Christopher Parkins, and Brittany were swimming and Casey Robles made an entrance as usual. We swam back and forth with some intermittent enthusiasm, and then I jumped out. I got showered and went out to check on the kids in the RV.
Upon my return, I was informed that there was an awesome breakfast waiting for us, so I went to fetch my ducklings and bring them in for the meal. When James was finished, he met us in the breakfast room. It was actually REALLY nice because we sat down as a group and ate breakfast. It was the first time we had done something like that on our entire journey. I am pretty sure that there was media there to interview him as he ate. James’ plate was loaded with eggs, hash browns, bacon, pancakes, and anything else that was out! I remember he drank orange juice, and it was the only time our whole marriage I remember him drinking orange juice.
After breakfast, the bike began, in the rain, and we went back to the RV to drive it to the house, Audrey McCaffrey and Jason McCaffrey were our hosts for the day. When we arrived, they showed us where to park the RV (just across the street on a lot), and we climbed out. ‘The’ crew member called dibs on the camper trailer that was provided in the driveway. I didn’t feel a need to go inside, and prepped to leave for the day.
We had acquired a ridiculous amount of stuff through our journey across the country. We had found storage bins as the journey progressed, including the two twin beds lifting up and a huge amount of space underneath, but we were still maxing out. I decided that I was going to ship some stuff home. I wasn’t sure what James would consider to be sentimental, so I didn’t want to get rid of anything.
The wingmen also had a ton of stuff that they wanted to send, so we met outside the post office. They drove the RV, I drove the van, and we started to go through the stuff right there outside of the post office. Brittany Chatwin Light and I started with my family’s stuff, and they got going on any of their stuff that they no longer needed. The Wingmen went into the post office and came back with boxes. I asked, “How much were those boxes?” “They were free,” they responded with enthusiasm. “Are you sure? Those typically cost money…” They looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders. I decided to take them back into the post office to double check. Sure enough, they cost money. Bless their hearts… I paid for them and more, plus tape, so that we could package our stuff.
We filled close to 10 boxes of things to ship home. The total was almost $250! I was shipping them all the way across the country, so it wasn’t like it would be affordable! I ended up not shipping 2 of the heavier boxes, once I realized how much it cost to send these home. The Wingmen then went on their way and we went on ours.
We had been given tickets to a children’s museum. It was actually in Vermont, but it wasn’t too far away. The kids were excited, and I was too because the kids could be free and just have a blast. The first thing we saw when we walked in was a bubble station. There were several different ways to play with bubbles. They spent 45 minutes in there while Brittany and I just visited. We totaled 2 hours in the museum, enjoying stuff inside and outside. There was also a gift shop, which just made my day easier! When they kids had their fill, we headed back for the 5k.
When we were driving home, I had planned on going over a bridge. I believe it is the longest covered bridge in the US, or something like that. I wasn’t sure where it was, so I looked it up when we were about back. It turned out that it was right by the children’s museum, 45 min back. I was so bummed! These were the random kinds of things that I had wanted to see on this journey, but the majority of them didn’t work out. I pouted, then realized that the van was probably too tall anyway. I guess that is for my next trip to New Hampshire.
The 5k was held by the railroad tracks at a bike shop. We had anxiously been waiting for James to come through, having put some run miles in before the scheduled 5k. We were waiting for so long, I finally went out to see when-ish they were expecting him. James was standing there and ready to leave. “How long have you been here?” James responded, “Probably 20 min.” I turned to Casey, “HE HAS BEEN HERE FOR 20 MIN AND YOU DIDN’T COME TELL ME????” Casey said, “I didn’t think to come tell you.” I withheld my tantrum, but it was definitely brewing inside! James immediately took off with his 5k group, Lucy quickly trying to get her things together for the 5k, as she wasn’t aware that he was there either.
Brittany and Brian Hancock came with me to get some food. We went into the city in search of lobster rolls. I wanted fresh sea food! I love sea food, and as you can imagine, it isn’t all that fresh in Utah. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the good stuff. We managed to find a little shop that had some sea food, but not what I was looking for. I figured it would have to do for now. We got food to go for the crew, and made our way back to our posse.
Once the 5k was done, James requested to go to a track. He wanted to finish up his miles in a circle, not having to think. We all went together, by now it was dark. He began his laps, and we hung out in the parking lot. We were all together, which once again was a treat. We laughed and sang as James pounded out the miles. Soon, we headed over to the track to sing for James. I knew it would be annoying, but at least it would send the message that we were thinking of him while he was suffering. Living on a Prayer is our family theme song, and it describes our life as we have made sacrifices over the past decade to achieve something unique and non-traditional. We sang as loud as we could, standing on the track, as James went around and around.
Audrey McCaffrey had provided a FEAST! She pulled up in her truck, dropped the tailgate, and pulled all of the crockpots to the end of the tail. There was soup and enchiladas!!!! A home cooked meal!!!!!!!! This was a moment from the 50 that I was will always remember. Enchiladas are my freaking favorite Mexican food, and I could live off of Mexican food for the rest of my life! I felt lucky that night!!!
The night grew later, the singing faded, and people began to prepare for the night and the drive. The kids got their teeth flossed and brushed, jammies on, beds set up, and nestled in to their designated spots. I decided to go out to the track for a bit to watch James as he finished. I sat there quietly, in the dark, thinking of the miracle of this journey. How was it possible that we had made it this far?!?! There were so many obstacles, yet there was always a solution. I looked up at the stars, feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the universe. How is all of this possible? The world, our bodies, this experience?!?! There is only one answer, a loving Heavenly Father who has a plan, and loves each and every one of us.