It’s funny, most people see the final product of what we do. Those two hours on stage where we’re all dressed up with makeup on. Instruments are tuned, songs have been rehearsed, miles of road are behind us, and we’re all in that moment with the music and the lights and the energy. But there is so much more that goes into putting on a show. it’s countless hours of rehearsal; It’s hours, sometimes days, of driving; it’s sleepless nights; it’s putting makeup on in front of whatever poorly lit mirror you can find; it’s hours of pre-show set-up and sound-check to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. And so on and so on. So I just wanted to let you in on the little adventure we’re in the middle of... so that you can get an idea of the lengths we’re willing to go to in order to do what we love; and to say some thank you’s to the good Lord for keeping us safe on the roads, and always somehow getting us where we need to go.
So yesterday, we get the RV and minibus loaded up for our trip to North Dakota. Food? Check. Clothes? Check. Babies? Check :). We get the RV hooked up to the trailer and leave a little later than our 7PM departure time, as usual. We get maybe a mile down the road, and Cody and Kelly notice that the RV has an issue with the air suspension. Now, I am no mechanic and pretty clueless about how it all works, but the RV is not drivable in this condition. So, we find a place to turn around and head back to the house. We have to hit the road that night because we have a full day of gigs Friday, and it’s a good 24-hour trip when you add fuel stops in. Well, by now, it’s 8:30 PM, so no rental place is open. We realize that the only option is for us to jump in the minibus, hook up to the trailer and leave. There’s not enough room for fifteen of us to travel in the minibus…especially through the night. So we transfer our things from the RV to the minibus and bring babies back in the house to stay with my parents (Nanny & Papa) and Cody, while the rest of us take off in the minibus. Us mamas are not excited to leave the little ones at home! But it’s only a 3 day trip- we’ll be back before we know it. Kelly drives the minibus through the night and in the morning, we find a truck stop to fuel up in Butte, Montana. Just as we take the exit for the truck stop and slow down to turn into the gas station, the minibus quits working. Just shuts off. Thankfully, there’s no traffic this early in the morning, so we coast into the gas station and come to a stop right at a diesel pump. Thank Heaven for little miracles! By the way, don’t ever say, “It can’t possibly get any worse!” I’m pretty sure there’s a mischievous little elf out there that waits for someone to say those words, so that he can stir up some new kind of trouble. We’re really scrambling now, because we have a tv interview at 9:30 tomorrow morning, and then a school, and then a performing arts center in the evening. A full day! We decide that the only option is to get a rental car for 6 of us to travel in and a U-Haul for the other two to drive and haul the trailer behind. Mom calls ahead from our house in Idaho and sets up the rentals for us. LaRae and I get a taxi over to the airport to pickup our car. Straightforward, simple plan, right? Wrong. First off, we’ve had an amount larger than what we owe for our rental come out of our account. The manager does a little research on the computer and realizes that there is another person in the system with the same name, and we got charged with her rental cost. So, he cancels that. Phew! Then, we go to pay for our rental and the computer won’t accept our debit card. We try several different cards (100% positive we have money in our accounts) and it won’t accept any of them. And they can’t take cash. No rental car. So we call our nice taxi driver and get a ride back to the gas station, where the minibus has now been sitting at pump #2 for probably four hours. The Town Pump gas station managers are REALLY thrilled with us at this point! Then we have another little miracle: back home, Cody is able to get the RV fixed…easy fix…so they are loading up and they’re going to drive the five hours to come get us (We get to see our babies sooner! Woohoo!). Meanwhile, we finally get a tow for the minibus and trailer. Our friendly tow guy gets us to a reputable truck repair shop in town. They can’t do anything for us. So we are now waiting for the RV to come pick us up, and a tow truck to move the minibus to another reputable truck shop. Guys, the only thing you can do in situations like this is laugh, and pray, and count your blessings. Speaking of blessings, I have a renewed gratitude for the RV. I’m grateful for the smooth ride, for the space, for the room to bring the whole fam-damily on the road. I’m grateful we broke down at a truck stop in a town where we can get help. I’m grateful we still have a way to get to the venue! I’m grateful we are able to use the RV instead of having to rent extra vehicles…which would be a lot of extra hassle and cost. I’m grateful for our men that work so hard to get us where we need to go and take care of the rigs. I’m grateful we get to sing and play music for a living. I’m grateful for all the people that support and love our music so that we can live this crazy lifestyle. I’m grateful that somehow we always get where we need to go. The show must go on! See you on the stage!