When we landed in Cleveland, our friend ‘Crabby’ showed up (Christian Crabtree). He is originally from Ohio, and I met him when I was 13, when I was preparing to go to Western Reserve Academy. We had stayed friends all of these years, him eventually moving to Utah. He had moved back with his wife Victoria Crabtree and their son to go to grad school. He had volunteered to be the ambassador for that state, and we knew that he would knock it out of the park!
We left the airstrip, he drove us back to his house, and we climbed into bed. The next thing I know, I woke up and it was later, maybe around 7:30. James had already gone and I had no idea where anyone was. I got up, showered, and got some laundry going. Victoria was there, had food for me, and was ready to do anything for me I needed that day.
I don’t remember how I got to the rec center, but I was soon there. James was either finishing up his swim, or doing his transition to the bike. I think Victoria had packed up a nice breakfast and brought it to the rec to feed everyone. I went in to the RV to make sure that all of my cute ducklings had arrived alive. I remember that it was hot…I was surprised that they were all sleeping so comfortably in that hot RV. The generator was NOT working, so there was no AC running.
I woke the kids gently so they could eat. I went out to the parking lot and saw a crowd gathered. I figured that James was in the middle of that circle. I walked over, and sure enough, James and Wingmen were prepping to head out on the bike. I said, “Good morning.” James looked up, and right back down. I knew the fact that he didn’t acknowledge me meant that he was REALLY out of it. I figured he was in the middle of something, and it must be important (probably a garmin), so I gave him another minute or two. He was about to take off and I snagged him, “I love you,” and kissed him before he rode off for the day.
Our friends Grant Myers and his wife Ashley were there. They are friends from Utah, but had been living in Columbus. They came up to support us for the 140.6 miles that day, but mostly to offer their services. They were staying in a hotel, with a pool, “Hey, can we take your kids for the day? They can swim with us.” I hesitated…only because they had just offered something so generous that it shook me a little. After the thought processed, I was thrilled! “Yes! That would be awesome!!!” I knew that swimming would only be a couple of hours, which would give me some time to get some errands done. The kids changed gleefully, and they were off.
Brittany Chatwin Light and I had several errands to run, but it was more that they were errands that would take a long time, rather than many errands. One such errand was mailing a bunch of Iron Cowboy shirts. The shirts on this journey started out to be an awesome thing! People had requested that we have them made, and that we sell them, about 5 states into the journey. We ordered them, and we were selling them like crazy! We would run out of shirts very quickly, and so I began taking pre-orders for the shirts. When the next shipment would come in, I would have ordered extras to ship, and still have a full inventory. Well, this turned into a complete nightmare…
When our orders arrived, it was the wrong shirts. In fact, it was so many wrongs shirts, that we still have them sitting in our garage today! “Get off your Ass and run,” with a picture of a donkey. Hilarious, sure, but not everyone feels comfortable wearing these shirts. We ended up with 300 of these shirts, NO CLUE HOW, and only one of the shirt orders that we needed arrived! So no shirts to ship, and no shirts to sell (other than the donkey shirts). This continued to happen with every shirt order all the way until OCTOBER AFTER WE GOT HOME!!!!! We spent several months after we finished sorting out the nightmare of shirts. All of the orders were organized, it was getting the shirts we were promised/ordered that was the issue.
There was ONE set of shirts that had arrived correctly, and there were probably 15 shirts that we could ship. Brittany and I went to the post office to get these shirts mailed off. In the meantime, I needed to deposit the cash from the shirt sales. I had to have a Chase Bank to deposit it. GPS took me to several places that were NOT Chase Banks. When I finally found one, they told me they couldn’t let me DEPOSIT the cash because I didn’t have James’ bank account number. That makes tons of sense! Don’t want me depositing MY money into someone else’ bank account do they…well guess what geniuses, I didn’t want to do that either! I knew his social security number, and all of the other info, but it was still a disaster. I had to find another chase bank where I could deposit this cash!
Between these two errands, it took like 3 hours! Grant called to see if we wanted to go to the Minion Movie. I knew the kids would love it, and I agreed. I actually HATE movies, always have, but am willing to go to some kids’ movies because they are funny, I like funny. And obviously I have lots of kids who like movies, and really love going to a theater (which is a special occassion), so I do end up in a movie theater every now and then. I went back to the house, and Victoria had an awesome lunch ready for us. I ate quickly, and grabbed sandwiches to go!
We met up with them at the theater; the kids were so happy from swimming, and now getting to see a movie. The movie theater was the same one that we went to when I was in school in Ohio, back in 1995. It was CRAZY nostalgic! The kids loved the movie! Grant and Ashley treated us, and bought snacks and treats as well. Brittany and I got a long nap! The second that thing started going, we were out cold! I knew Brittany had worked hard, filling in any gap she could for me, but what I didn’t know is a couple of nights before that, she had had a very long night.
I was sound asleep in the RV, Quinn woke up sick. Not just any sick, but diarrhea like crazy! Apparently he had pooped everywhere, and instead of waking his mama to take care of it, Brittany and Casey cleaned it all up. They were dropping the Zyto girls at a hotel, and they ran inside and got him cleaned up. Quinn was crying because Brittany was going to throw away his favorite jammies, “I promise Quinn, I will buy you new ones!” Quinn was initially so embarrassed, that Lily had to go into the bathroom to help him. All the while, I was sound asleep. So if you think YOU have good friends…
By the time Brittany had gotten to the minion movie, she was exhausted. She had been with us for 9 days, and was leaving the very next day. She had put in a lot of work, many all-nighters, and slept more than one night on the hard lanoleum floor in the RV. The dark, cool theater put us both right to sleep.
After the movie, it was late. I had hoped to take my kids to see my old school, and to take a trip down memory lane. Because my morning errands had ended up taking so long, it was a NIGHTMARE, I had lost my chance. I am sure that my kids wouldn’t care, let’s be honest, they definitely wouldn’t care, so it probably worked out better that way.
Back to the RV, James would be ready for the run any time. We chilled in the parking lot for a bit, fortunately the RV was in the shade. We had been gone all day, so no AC didn’t get to us to badly. We set up the shirt stands and watched people arrive little by little. Soon my friend Amy Salim arrived. Amy lived across the hall from me I was in school at Western Reserve Academy. We were casual friends, but for some reason, we had stayed in touch for the past 20 years. She was now married, and has 2 beautiful, red-headed little girls. I was so excited to see her and her family; and I was so flattered that she had come to see me. I enjoyed her company for the rest of the evening (after she ran the 5k).
The night grew later, and there were many people who came and went. I am pretty sure there was a family there that James knew in Canada. I think this was the state that was closest to where they were, so they made the trip. Grant and Ashley soon departed, excited to announce they were looking to move back to Utah (which they since have), Amy left, and we were waiting for James to finish.
I was kind of sad that I didn’t get to see Crabby at all this day. He had been faithfully by James’ side all day long, but I love him so dearly, I was sad I didn’t get to see him. And my time with Victoria was so limited, but the good news was that he too was moving back to Utah in just a couple of months. I figured we could make up for lost time when they arrived back in Utah.
I had all of the kids get their things ready for bed. There had been so so many kids in and out of the RV that there were some things to take care of. Brittany and I got to that part, while the kids pulled their things together. When James finished, we drove back over to Crabby’s house, so that he could shower. We drove the RV through those narrow streets and waited in the dark. James soon came through the shadows and back out to the RV.
Tomorrow was Michigan. I had been to Michigan once before. Crabby had bought us tickets to the Buick Open, years and years ago. Lucy was just a tiny baby, and we packed her along. We got to see Tiger Woods play, and he walked right past us, 2 feet away from us. Michigan had been a great experience, and I was excited to see what it had for us tomorrow!