****edited to add link to video clip****
Whew! What a busy couple of weeks.
We've been talking about Joey getting his own welder for a couple years now, and the opportunity came for Joey to get a nice shiny red welder to match his nice shiny red truck, so we took it. Now the Nebraska job is no longer good enough, it's getting colder, and we have people to see and places to be.
We spent the first night back on the road in a Wal-mart parking lot after meeting Joey's friend's wife at their storage unit to get the leads that go with the welder.The kids and I decide to grocery shop at midnight so I wouldn't have to deal with saturday morning christmas shoppers. Shopping is a breeze in the middle of the night, unfortunately all the leisurely strolling down the aisles is painful on the budget. Oh well, at least now we're all set for a great road trip.
We stopped at a park in Osceola, KS for lunch and ended up spending a huge part of the day there. Even Joey couldn't resist the slides here.
We pull into the Fast Stop in Minneapolis, KS just as the bus runs out of gas. Whew! What luck!I hand over Joey's paycheck, run back to the bus to get a band aid for a lady in the store and realize the bus won't start! Joey says it just needs to get the diesel into the fuel lines, it'll be fine. I go back inside to get the phone book. I ask the girls inside if they know any diesel mechanics. In walks boyfriend, he calls a friend, who calls a friend and as soon as I come out of the store there's a nice young guy offering to help Joey. They fiddle for a bit, thankfully the clerks don't mind one bit that we're taking up two gas stalls completely and blocking easy access to two more. Young man can't fix it, he leaves to get someone he knows that can and within five minutes he's back with an older gentleman that proceeds to give Joey a complete lesson on our engine. They fixed it in no time and then would not accept any money! Not only did we save hundreds in towing and repair work but Joey got priceless info for future mishaps! That my friend, is unschooling on the road. What a Xmas gift!
We Google Earthed my parent's new place to familiarize ourselves with the layout so we could plan a sneak attack. It worked. They weren't even moved in yet. I called my mom and in usual fashion she asked "Where are you?" Sitting in your jacuzzi...surprise! :) They hurried home, bringing my brother and his family with them. It was so good to see everyone, it had been about nine months since we'd seen them. We also got to tour the bro's new mini mansion, where my folks grabbed their toothbrushes and headed back to their acreage with us. We all agree it's a good thing my mom and brother never cut the umbilical cord, Fort Worth is so much more convenient for us, being centrally located and South.
Mom and I had a whirlwind week of non stop christmas shopping, or at least what seemed like it. My mom's cousin, Diana, came over from Dallas to visit, and do more shopping. Her and husband, Rick, came over for Christmas Eve as well and brought some cool gifts. She got Joey a DVD game by The Discovery Channel called Road Trip America. We spent hours in the bus that night with all five of us playing it. I was a little surprised when my five year shouted out South Dakota for the answer to Where is Mount Rushmore? She hasn't even been there herself!
We're really enjoying this carefree life on my parent's property but we do have to figure out our next move soon. I'm sure we'll know more after this weekend.