Getting to Arkansas for our last big stop on our way back to Texas proved to be challenging to say the least. Most of our travels have been pretty smooth, so it was a big bummer (and a unpleasant surprise) to have such a hard time. 

One of the biggest challenges we experienced was with our bank accounts. Because we have been cruising through several states pretty quickly in the last week, the bank frozen all of our debit and our credit cards. We had a heck of a time getting them working again and had to call the bank at nearly EVERY gas station we stopped at from Utah to Nebraska! Needless to say, by the time we got ready to head for Arkansas we were already flustered and a bit worn out. 

We left Nebraska on Monday, September 21st, which was Abby’s birthday. We had celebrated her birthday two days before with Aunt Cortney and her family in Nebraska. Of course, Abby is three and has no real opinion about birthdays, except that she knows she gets a treat. Her feelings were not hurt that we drove all day to commemorate her birth. 

Even though she did not seem the least bit upset about spending her birthday in the car, she did seem upset about everything else. It was as if she and Josh had secretly plotted to make our drive miserable by taking turns crying about things we could not control. They both turned into bottomless pits, fussing for “more snack” almost as soon as they had emptied their cups. They guzzeled down their sippy cups, then tossed them into the far recesses of the truck. I had to maneuver Cirque du Soleil style over the back seat to reach them. 

If their attitude was poor, mine was worse. I was getting snippier by the minute as their whining was interrupting the podcast I was so desperately trying to enjoy. Instead of just turning it off and waiting for a better time (the right thing to do), I white-knuckled down, trying hard to make the kids stay quiet. I hit my boiling point right around Kansas City. I lost it and shouted at the kids to “SHUT UP!” Caleb nearly veered off the road as he looked over at me in horror. 

We found a place to stop so everyone could regain composure. I apologized to the family and, as always, they quickly offered their forgiveness. We made sandwiches and got back on the road. Thankfully we had survived the only blow-up of the day. Little did we know a literal blow-out was just a few hundred miles in our future. More on that in Part Two: Outhouse in the Ozarks

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