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This.

05 Jun

I’ve been delaying writing this post. No particular reason other than it’s been difficult for me to get my head straight these days. More so than usual, anyway. But the time is now upon me. I am currently wearing a pair of my B-list shorts. Why? Because my A-list shorts are already packed, of course! That’s right, it is once again time for CMRT. What’s CMRT, you ask? (Well, you don’t if you know me even tangentially, or if you’ve been reading along for more than a year, but for the greenhorns among you, I’ll indulge the question.) CMRT = Crazy Momma’s Road Trip. That wacky annual road trip where I pile my three children, and pretty much enough electronic devices, snacks, and additional assorted detritus for us to survive being stranded for a month, into my minivan, and point it north. We make the trip from Florida to Maine, and back again. Staying a week in our favorite Maine seaside retreat, and visiting friends and having adventures along the way. Me, three kids, our minivan, a little over three weeks, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,500 miles. Good times, good times. See how the “C” came to be?

Well, CMRT: Summer 2014 Edition is a mere three days away from departure. And that part I said about wearing my B-list shorts is true. The part where I said the A-list shorts were already packed? Not so true. Nope, not finished packing yet. This is my 5th annual CMRT. Usually by this point in the game everything is already packed. Every bag is zipped shut. Every list has been checked. Every game plan prepared for execution. Not this year. Is it hubris? I am, after all, already a 4 time CMRT veteran. I know what we need, what we don’t need. I know what goes, what stays, what should stay, and what we’re going to take anyway. I’ve battled the shifting temps. Leaving home at 90 degrees with 99.9% humidity, arriving in Maine with lows in the crisp, cool 50s. I’m not new here. But I don’t think it’s that. I’ve just lately been feeling distracted, out of sorts, knocked off my game. But it’s time to step it up. Get cracking. Fold the laundry so I can finish my packing, and begin to wait. That’s right. Wait. Sigh.

So here’s the thing about this mega road trip. Yes, there is an intense amount of planning involved (Overnight lodging secured for all nights, rough plans of days activities, even some tickets pre-purchased for an exhibit in NYC. Check!). And there is a rather intense amount of organization that goes into the packing –  not just making sure we have the necessary accoutrement, but also in the plan for packing the car to facilitate easy transitions into friends’ homes, to nights in hotels, etc. But then there is the cleaning of the house. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, mopping the kitchen floor, putting clean sheets on everyone’s beds. Because is there anything better to coming home after an extended absence to a clean house with fresh sheets on the bed and not a speck of food on the kitchen floor? No. No, there is not. But ever hear the quote “cleaning with kids in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos”? Yeah, it’s like that. So I wait. Wait until I can shoo them out of the house to their dad’s on Saturday. And then I spend the last day before my extended road trip, the one where I am trapped for up to 11 hours a day in the minivan with my three children, cleaning my house. Sigh. But I can’t do that yet. So I’m in limbo. My to do lists for Friday and Saturday are exceedingly long, but it’s still just Thursday. And other than finish packing, there’s not a heck of a lot I can do that will be beneficial, and not have to be repeated in two days anyway. So, maybe that’s why I delayed the packing. To give me something to do today other than twiddle my thumbs. Yeah, that must be it.

But here it is, my final post before the adventure begins. CMRT: Summer 2014 Edition departs bright and early Sunday, June 8. I am once again going to attempt to chronicle our adventures on a nightly basis. We’ve made a few route changes, have some new plans, will be descending like locusts upon old friends – some of whom are CMRT veterans, and one new family who is probably cringing wondering what they signed up for (Hi, Tapleys! I promise we are clean, polite, wonderful people!) This year our “Southbound” leg actually starts with us heading north for an overnight in Bar Harbor – the furthest north we’ve ever been in Maine. On the way up we are actually spending a night in midtown Manhattan! (The lights, the city!) Sometimes it’s fun to turn traditions on their head. Take risks and chances. But at the heart of it, CMRT remains the same. The idea is to share adventures and make memories with my children. Indulge my wanderlust and foster it in my kids.

My 9 year old son, who is whip smart and esoterically genius, is not the hugest fan of school. So when he looked at our calendar for this week and shouted, “Woo! HOO!!” I just laughed and said, “Excited to see the ‘Last Day of School’ written on Thursday?” He wrinkled his brow as if confused, and replied, “No, I was looking at this. This is what I’m excited about.” And there was his not as small as it was last year index finger pointing to the words, “CMRT Departs.” And suddenly, the enormous cost, the occasional aggravation, the trials and tribulations leading up to, and sometimes accompanying us on this trip, they dropped away. “This is what I’m excited about.” This.

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© 2010 Krista Lindsey Willim