A few random observations from our vacation last week.

7. You can get stopped twice by the police for the same blown taillight.  It occurred Friday as we were traveling though Illinois. Since my wife was driving, we just got warnings.

6. My cars turn signals only work consistently in Indiana.  Now this was weird.  After we replaced the blown tail light bulb, my turn signals where spotty at best.  The problem I believe is with a part that General Motors had a recall notice on, but when I bought the car, the notice had expired so I was on my own, paying to replace the defective part last summer. As we traveled back from Nebraska, through Iowa and Illinois, it would sometimes work, but usually not.  I started driving when we were back in Fort Wayne and it’s been fine since.

5. My kids are great parents. I’ve had regular contact with my step-son Ian, my daughter Rachael and her husband Brandon, my daughter Tiffany and her husband Jon, and my son Josh and his wife Madeline, because they all live in Indiana.  I’ve always admired Ian’s dedication to fatherhood with his two sons, 14 year old Jake and 4 year old Ashton. Tiffany now has two under two, Rachael has one under two and now my step-daughter Abby and her husband Jeff had their 1st child, which was the reason we went to Nebraska.  (I also know that Josh and Mad will be great parents if they decide to one day as I’ve seen them in action as Aunt and Uncle!)2013-03-11 03.16.50

4. My kids are going to be alright.  This is an extension of number 5.  Seeing Jeff and Abby in action last week as parents, as a couple and as adults making decisions together for the first time was reassuring.  All of our kids who are married have the spouse that is right for each of them.  I predict lifelong relationships based on biblical values and a mutual commitment that will sustain them in tough times as well as easier times.  As a Dad, this puts a smile on my face and in my heart.

3. No one seems to know where Limonia, Iowa is. Our return trip included a stay at a bed and breakfast in Limonia.  We were running behind schedule and it was getting dark and we were 90 minutes away according to Google GPS.  However there is a huge Verizon dead zone in southern Iowa, which combined with darkness, two lane roads and warnings of lots of deer, made us drive 40 instead of 60 and at least 5 deer sightings including one where I had to slam on my brakes to prevent Bambi from being a hood ornament.  My original prediction of arriving no later than 7pm turned to 9pm and it was really 10pm by the time we arrived at our resting spot for the night.

2. My wife requires lots of pillows to drive.  I forgot about this until we were on the road.  We divide the driving chores, where she does the boring parts and I do the city driving.  But since she is about a foot shorter than me, she sits on a pillow and then there’s the neck pillow and, well, take a look…  2013-03-16 17.50.13

1. We are never driving to Nebraska again.  Right before we were leaving for our trip west, we got word that Jeff and Abby were going to be moving about 6 hours closer, to Iowa, in a few weeks.  As much as we enjoyed ourselves and the people we met, we will never have to make this journey again.  But we do have a souvenir genuine Nebraska tumbleweed that can be used as a hat. 2013-03-16 20.11.34