A few weeks ago we went on a camping trip with some friends near Ellijay, Georgia. It was wonderful to spend some time in nature and get away from the real world. Everything was great for the first hour, but when night fell it dropped into the 40's. Some of us weren't prepared for the chill and ended up leaving the next day. It turned out that Lydia and I were alone on the last night. I was iffy about staying by ourselves, but it was a safe area and I wanted to prove to Lydia that we can do anything. We hung the latern from the tent ceiling and proceeded to eat junk and play games until bedtime. I was deep in sleep at around 2:30 am when I heard someone shouting "Mom!....Sick!" followed by the sound of running water inside the tent. Wait. That wasn't water I heard. It was a geyser of puke. A geyser of puke spraying all over the down comforter and sleeping bags. The bathroom was a LONG ways away and I had nothing to clean the tent or my kid up with. I briefly debated asking Daisy to clean it up for us, but it didn't seem fair.To make matters worse, Lydia needed the bathroom for other reasons too, and seeing as our lantern was about to burn out I couldn't picture us using the "outdoor facilities" aka the woods.
I made a snap decision to load Lydia up in the car and go home, and I would make the hour drive back the next day to pack everything up. We were relieved to be on our way home with the heat blasting and the doors locked. We were a few miles down the road, passing through the small town of Ellijay (akin to Mayberry), when I saw the blue lights flashing behind me. I knew it was my missing headlight that attracted his attention. When I thought about the fact that my tag was also expired, I decided to be the most humble of criminals. The cop was your typical cop....with attitude they must teach in police academy. It seemed like we waited forever for him to come back with my traffic ticket. I was surprised when, instead of handing me a clipboard, he asked me to step out of my vehicle. I don't know about you, but the word vehicle makes me uneasy. It's a word you only hear on COPS or 911 shows.
The good officer took me to the back of my vehicle and proceeded to inform me of the fact that my insurance was showing it had expired a month ago. Surprise, surprise. I have a good excuse for this, but not a good enough one for him I guess. Then again maybe it was because he chose not to arrest me which I'm pretty sure he could've done over the whole insurance issue. He advised me to call someone to pick me up within 30 minutes because he was impounding my car, at which point I explained it would be at least an hour and a half before I could get someone there from Chattanooga. He asked me to step back into my vehicle while he and his compadre discussed options. When he came back, he asked me how I'd feel about eating breakfast with some cops. The plan was for Lydia and I (makeup-less, braless in our fleece pajamas, and probably smelling of puke co-mingled with camp smoke and b.o.) to accompany them to the Waffle House to have breakfast while we waited. Standing there shivering on the side of the road with my arms folded across my chest, looking into this guy's face flashing with blue lights, I realized I had teleported myself to an alternate universe. I managed to mutter my thanks and sat in the back of his cruiser with Lydia and Daisy and watched my little Jeep get towed away in a town I was completely unfamiliar with. The story gets better from here but I don't have time to write it all right now. Suffice it to say this was a costly little camping trip and I had help from some kind people in order to get it all straightened out (namely my estranged husband - thanks Chris). If it wasn't so costly I wouldn't trust my own memory of it happening.