Like many other people, we attended a wedding on Saturday. Although we don't know the bride or groom very well, we felt somewhat obligated to attend the wedding. The groom's mother has worked for us for 17 years.
The wedding was held in a small town 3 and 1/2 hours east of where we live. The wedding was at 4:00, reception at 6:00. We decided to attend the ceremony and leave before the reception in order to be home at a decent time. Not wanting to travel that far and arrive late, we left home 4 and 1/2 hours before the ceremony.
Where we live are really beautiful. However, less than an hour east of here, the scenery changes into endless miles of desolate prairie as far as the eye can see. It is really hard for people who live in more populated areas to imagine the vast emptiness. In fact, when people experience it for the first time, they find it quite eerie.
At about the half-way point, we stopped at a little town that has 2 gas stations and is the only real town on that 3 hour stretch of highway. It was 108 degrees there Saturday afternoon. We planned to stop for 5 minutes to stretch our legs, use the bathroom, and grab a coke.
The gas station we chose only had one bathroom which had been hijacked by a 7-year-old girl. A line had formed and unfortunately, I was fourth in line. I don't even want to know what she was doing in there for over 10 minutes.
While waiting in line, I weighed my options. Since I already drank a large bottle of water and since I was planning on drinking a 20 oz. diet coke, a bathroom break seemed inevitable. Except for squatting along the road, this was my only option. So, I waited, and waited, and waited, and our 5 minute stop turned into a 20 minute stop.
Finally, we were back on the road, empty bladders, cold drinks, air-conditioning, and nothing but miles of grass.
That is when it dawned on us that the town where the wedding was being held might be in a different time zone. We weren't sure since the town is near where the time changes. We tried calling my dad, who is a wealth of trivial information and might know this little fact, but we couldn't get a cell signal.
We suddenly went from potentially being an hour early to possibly being 15 minutes late. I increased my speed to 80 mph, even though that wouldn't be enough. 100 mph might have done it.
After having driven over 2 hours, my husband now suggested we turn around and go home. There was still a possibility that we weren't late, and if we were late, it was only going to be about 15 minutes (the amount of time I spent waiting for the little girl in the bathroom!). Maybe the wedding would start a little late, so we wouldn't miss much. However, sometimes weddings are so short that if it started on time, we might miss the whole thing.
We just kept driving. We were within 15 minutes of the little town when we faced reality and saw the sign announcing a different time zone. Our clock said 3:00 which meant the wedding was starting. We decided to go anyway and just slip in the back. It was mid-sermon, and we did witness the vows.
We had not planned on staying for the reception, but it was one of few options for dinner. There were no fast food places, so it was either the grocery store or the reception if we were going to eat. We went to the reception only long enough to eat and were back on the road again.
I brought some Graham Cooke CD's along to listen to, but we were enjoying the chance to talk for a few hours. Road trips are good for that. We stopped at the other gas station this time, and we were in and out in under 5 minutes.
On the last leg of our trip, with a couple hours yet to drive, we popped in a CD and listened to Graham explain God's process in our lives as we rode off into the sunset - obligation fulfilled, hubby spitting sunflower seeds while he drove, and me with my bare feet propped on the dashboard sipping the last of one too many cokes for the day.