The L’Anse Diaries: Day 1 I Almost Strangled My Husband


To say I had a hectic day at work would be an understatement.  I am back at the hospital after a seven year hiatus and I still have a lot to learn.  I arrived home already over-stimulated but ready to hit the road.  At the last minute, my sister had reserved a campsite near the bridge and we decided to join her in order to break up the nine hour drive.

I walked in with one thing on my mind:  pizza rolls.  My plan was to slam some food and diet coke and get on the road ASAP in an attempt to arrive at the campground before 11 pm.  As I stood in the kitchen eating, I noticed my surroundings.  Dirty plates, ketchup and honey bottles were all over the table.  Alright, I thought, I can rinse these plates and put this stuff away and we can get on our way.  Then I noticed the stove.  The pot that I had made chili in was there.  Dirty.  And the cast iron skillet.  Dirty.  And it looked like my husband had made cinnamon rolls and the 9 x 12 was there.  Dirty.  The rage was bubbling up inside of me when I walked into the living room to see that our suitcases were still there, and that meant that the truck was not packed.

Inside my head, the words were coming quickly.  Oh my God!  You were home ALL DAY!  What the F did you do all day?  Only inside my head, I say the real F word.  A lot.  But out loud, I said nothing.  Not worth it.  Yelling and fighting accomplish nothing and we were about to depart for a 9 day epic adventure and there would be plenty of opportunity for yelling and fighting.

Surely, there was an explanation.  Maybe he was insane.  Maybe, in his mind, it was perfectly acceptable to leave piles of dirty dishes when leaving for over a week.  Maybe he did not load up the truck on purpose, like he thought it would jinx our trip or something.

I set about washing all the dishes and as the words were still spinning around inside my head, Sullivan came in.

“Mom, did you know that black and clear are not real colors?”

“Uh huh,” I gave my standard I-am-distracted-right-now answer.

“Did you know that black and clear are not real colors?”

“Uh huh.”

“Did you know that black and clear are not real colors?”

I bent over the sink, supporting my weight on my arms and hung my head.

“Sullivan, I cannot do this right now.  Please.  Just stop. Okay?”

“Uh, mom?  Why do you sound like you are having a baby?”

I could not even laugh about it at the time, though I did later that night.

I asked Sullivan to put a cover on my toothbrush, the blue one.  He retrieved a toothbrush that was not mine, the blue one, no less than five times.  I was wondering how many blue toothbrushes we have in our house, when I finally gave up and found my own toothbrush.

It seemed like it took Mark an eternity to load the truck, and every minute that passed, I was getting more and more aggravated.  Finally, we were ready to go, 45 minutes later than what I had expected when I had first walked in the door.

We piled into the truck and immediately had to stop for gas.  I was wondering, once again, what the F my husband did all day, but I dug deep and kept it together.

We were on the road for approximately 10 minutes when Google Maps indicated a 50 minute back up, but offered us an alternate route that would save us time.   Thank you Google Maps!

As we sat in the beginning of the traffic jam, I suddenly realized I forgot the Epipens.  I had taken them out of my purse that morning to leave at home, where Brady was, and did not put them back in.  I knew I had one with me, in the medication bag, but when we travel, I prefer to have three.

As the reality of the situation sunk in, I threw my purse to the floor and slammed my hand against the console of the truck.

“What?” Mark asked, startled by my unexplained outburst.

“I forgot the Epipens.”

My mind was three steps ahead, I could call the doctor’s office and have them write a new prescription and pick it up in L’Anse, and just not let Brady eat from any restaurants until we got there.  The new script would cost hundreds of dollars, but totally worth it for my peace of mind.

“Why don’t you just call Jane, she’s not leaving until tomorrow,” Mark said.

And THAT is why I did not strangle my husband.  He is so much calmer than me.  He thinks more clearly.  And when I am on ‘high alert’, he brings me back to normal-ish.

As the hours passed, my mind started to settle.  Mark must have sensed that I was more at ease because he finally told me that he had every intention of cleaning the kitchen and having the truck packed up, but he was not expecting me home until later and he thought that I wanted to leave later to try to avoid traffic.

See?  I knew there was an explanation.

The rest of our trip was uneventful, but Sullivan proved himself to be the weakest link, yet again, when we had to take an emergency potty break 50 miles from our destination.