A couple of weeks ago, my family and I loaded up the cars and headed out in a convoy of sorts, west to the Frio River. We try to go every year, but sometimes we can’t all manage our schedules at the same time. We missed last year, so this year we were really happy to all be getting away together. My brother-in-law, bless his heart, went early and had all of the younger kids with him. Later the rest of us – finally all rounded up – hurriedly threw everything into the cars, forgetting a few items, but none that we couldn’t live without. We were off. I was in the lead, with my Cute Little German Mother in the backseat and my sister riding shotgun. My nephew and his friend were in a truck behind my car, and my daughter and oldest son were behind them. Ever notice how much harder it is to make any last-minute exit decisions when being followed by one or more others? I proved to be a less than perfect leader. We turned around many times. Once, we exited for gas but the Shell station was misleadingly on the other side of the road. Oh, and before that, we turned around when I was deeply enthralled in a conversation with my sister and instinctively exited at 290, when we weren’t supposed to until I-10. Those following were really loving me about then. The Little Cutie was asleep in the backseat with her mouth open most of this time, so she had no complaints. My daughter had called twice to say that she was either going to kill her brother, or we would have to take him in our car at the next stop ... something about bad taste in music and excessive sneezing. Oh, and I forgot to mention the dog, Lucy, riding in their backseat, also a sneezer. At one point, my son and daughter passed me on the right, and made some questionable hand gestures at us ... not THE finger, but a finger that looked close enough. My Cute Little German Mother flipped them off. The hysteria that followed left me wondering how none of us had an accident, wreck or otherwise. “Vell,” she said, “day should know better.” So they should, but she loves the joking around and often gets the best of them. Shortly thereafter, all was going smoothly and we were making good time in the fast lane. Then, out of nowhere, the big rig beside us honked loudly. My sister and I looked at each other and at the driver, confused about why he honked. He was smiling broadly. Oh well, we continued on. The next big truck we passed did the same thing. Then we saw why. My Cute Little German Mother was pumping her right arm up and down at the drivers, and they were happy to oblige. When we stopped laughing, I asked Mom to warn me the next time. Big truck honking beside you on the highway, for no apparent reason, can be unnerving. We finally made it to Hondo, to our trusty H-E-B, where we always get the groceries and supplies. Everyone was told what to get ... waste no time ... get in and get out. This is never easy with my Little Cutie, but she wasn’t driving the electric cart, so some stress was alleviated there. We made it out in about 25 minutes. I believe this is a record. Now back in the cars and just a bit further to the flashing lights, and turn right. Well, my brother-in-law couldn’t remember the road we turn on, and I was not sure, but he knew it was in Sabinal, at the flashing light. Well, we were about 11 miles past Sabinal, deep in conversation and oblivious to the fact that we had passed the turn, and Sabinal entirely, when I realized we were about to turn around again. The convoy rounded about and we turned back. It must have been that last flashing light we passed. The one that didn’t look right. It wasn’t. We turned around again. We were so focused on looking for that flashing light, that we missed it again before we discovered it was not a flashing light at all, but a regular signal. The Little Cutie reported that her blood sugar was getting low, so we needed to stop goofing around and get her there. For my mother, a diabetic, insulin is not used to manage diabetes, it is used to manage the amount of sugar you eat. If you eat a lot of sugar, you just take a bigger shot. There’s really no point in arguing with her anymore, but sometimes the bigger shot leads to a sudden drop in her blood sugar. Then she gets cranky, and sometimes disoriented. I recently woke to find honey all over the kitchen. On the counter. On the pantry door knob. On the bread box. On the floor. On the wall. In and on the refrigerator. On the toaster. And even in the bread wrapper. So, we made haste and got her there. My sister and I were laughing on that last leg of the trip, about all the times we turned around. We finally arrived and gave the report of the events, slightly exaggerated, to my brother-in-law and the kids who were thankful not to have ridden with us. “She flipped people off.” “We turned around like 17 times.” “We did doughnuts on the highway.” “Don’t ask.” “Doughnuts?” said the Little Cutie. “Oh, I should have gotten some doughnuts.”

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