Friday, August 24, 2012

Road trippin'

                                                     (WARNING: Its a wee bit wordy.)

Last weekend i had the pleasure of accompanying my oh-so-talented brother, Sam, to Milwaukee to help present the flowers for a wedding.  What a task that was.

Who knew, i say. Who knew?

Not me! Certainly not, head in the clouds, me.

The amount of attention he pays to detail is brain-scrambling (that's the only word that truly describes it).

My husband was wonderful enough to "allow" me to go away for three days. (well, 2.5, but who's counting?)  The longest i have EVER been away from my little cherubs.

I started the day at 5:00am on Friday when i woke up in Eath Bethel (yes, i meant to type it like that...with a lisp. It just sounds better and saves you from the impossible task of pronouncing it right, thoooo, you're welcome)

I got to my brothers in Circle Pines at 5:40ish and he was all packed and ready.

Now when i say packed and ready, i mean he had $1000 worth of flowers--arranged, in vases, in rows, wrapped in newspaper, snugly fitting to a T in the back of my parents Rendezvous that my Dad had built a shelf into. It was tough. I'll just say that. There was not an ounce of unused space and not a single thing that he didn't calculate down to a science. (He's so smart, isn't he?)

At 6:30am, we were prepared to head out. (we're timely like that) and as he was getting into the car, my Dad called and asked Sam, "Did you call?"  And Sam replied, "No." and just as he did that, he turned the key in the vehicle and...nothing...

"Dad, the car won't start."  (If you know Sam like I do, you could hear in his voice he was at the verge of snapping, but kept cool. Cause thats how he rolls.)

"Looks like soooome oooone left the liiiight on" (picture it in a sing songy voice, that Sam did not feel like hearing at 6:30 am after an hour of sleep and pressure enough to cook a...uh...ummmm...what the heck do you cook in a pressure cooker? Whatever. Picture high pressure)

Sam assured Dad that he did not leave the light on and had been careful. Thankfully, Dad was in Ham Lake and was a hop, skip and a jump away and just so happened to have a brand new battery in his van that was for the Rendezvous.

Thank you, Lord.

Sam and i both assured each other that if it was going to be any problem that the battery was the best. The best, right? Yes. Definitely the best problem to have. (We were clearly afraid to think of anything else and both refusing to admit that this was a major killer to have to wait and feel more pressure for time.)  Totally just the battery. Cool. No problem,. Batter? Easy fix. Easy. How lucky are we? Lucky, in fact. We were lucky to only have this problem. The battery. No problem-o

Dad showed up (i picture him in a cape) and got out his tools and his a none humorous situation--which, i think, made Sam even more stressed, which in turn made me joke even more, which in turn made my Dad throw in a few extra goofy laughs. Just for good measure. We were all refusing to acknowledge anything. We were joyful...some naturally, some forcefully, and some obliviously. Joyful.

Dad fixed the car and we were off. At the speed of 12 MPH, cause we have a serious flower situation in the car people, that's why.

We turned corners like we were 100 years old, and accelerated at a speed a turtle could beat. But we were off. And that was glorious.

First stop...Coffee. Please, Lord, get us some coffee.

Sam listed off the few small items he had forgotten and we planned where we would stop get them and headed into the sunrise, down 94 E .

We had good conversation, good tunes and good times.

I was in charge of the GPS, the notebook, and the texting. (all which require writing while in the car--which makes me feel like dying.)

7 hours later and one detour waaaay off 94 to Barboo, Wisconsin's Walmart and we were there.

We were tired and i had just about had enough of the delicious smell of roses. Ohhh, the roses. (insert gag here)

We were in Racine Wiscony. And the whole darn city was shut down due to construction. And i mean the. whole. town.  Like the center of the town was torn down and you could only access the church from the opposite end of it. It was a brain fuddle. To say the least.

Our headache had officially started.

Sam and i managed to find the church, hop out of the car and sniff the fresh air. Ohhh, the fresh air. The glorious smell of--well, not roses--anything but the roses.

After talking to the coordinator we proceeded to carry in about 693 thousand pounds of flowers, vases, flowers, buckets, flowers, vases, flowers and buckets. And did i mention flowers? Cause we carried alot of those in.

We had to make a quick stop at the bride to be's house to pick up something to bring to the reception the next day. So we ran (literally) up stairs and hoped back in the car and drove a few minutes to the Kennedy compound--I mean their house.  Lush green grass, sprawling out in to two acres over looking Lake Michigan. Literally. They were a rocks throw from the lake, that really more resembles an ocean, AM I RIGHT?

After feeling the quickest moment of envy, we hoped back into the car and headed back to the church for a night filled with corsages, chatty janitors, silence and more corsages.

It was great.  I learned a ton watching Sam and tried my best to help.

Now, if you are observant at all, you have noticed that i have not talked about eating thus far. That's cause we didn't do it. Ever.

Finally after wrapping our work at 9:30 pm, we headed out into what had now turned in to the streets of fast and the furious. Cars, bling, noise, and cops. It was a bit scary for this chicken liver.

We found a Jimmy Johns and walked as quickly as possible to the store and back to our car. Hoping to avoid the very likelihood of a drive by. I mean, with a body this big, i was sure to be the biggest target out there!

Back at the hotel, guess what we did? Yep. Carried in bucket after bucket of flowers to continue arranging the table centerpieces. Literally, bucket after blasted bucket of swishing water and fragrant flowers. Try carrying that and swiping a key and holding your Jimmy John. Not for the faint of heart, i tell you what.

In the hotel we agreed to giving ourselves 30 minutes to watch tv and eat and to take our minds off flowers. (as if that was even possible) 

Nothing was on, so we settled on Beauty Shop, staring the one and only Queen Latifa.

Not but a moment into arranging, i lost my vision. You know, cause i am weak and my body can take no stress at all. Ugh.

(for those of you who don't know, i suffer from very severe migraines that appear in the form of blindness and then turn to stabbing headaches that makes me wish i had just been hit by a semi to avoid the whole mess of pain...)

I mentioned to Sam that i couldn't see. And being the caring brother he was he tried his hardest to let me rest and i could tell that my darn migraine just upped the stress level by about two notches. Ugh. Darn you weak little constricted blood vessels, darn you.

After about 30 minutes i got my vision back and was up and at it. The headache i can take, its that blindness and numbness that is the worst.

We went to sleep before midnight.

Woke up at 5:00 and were at it again. But this time, but brother thought he should get to the church and finish settling up for the wedding, while i stay back and rest because i am a weakling and no help at all...i mean, becase he wanted me to finish a few arrangements. (wink, wink)

I agreed.

After a 25 minute and $25 call to my mother, i was ready to work.

Sam stopped by quickly to deliver me a Starbucks. (which would be the extent of our food that day...awww.)

(Isn't he the best?)

After a shower and a few Wisconsin morning news shows i was up in my heels and dress and the flowers were ready and Sam came back to pick me up.

Off we went.

You guessed it. Carrying arrangement after arrangement after arrangement and a few buckets.

Which reminded me--should i run in a grab our deodorant? Just for good measure? Yes. Definitely. This is going to be a long, sweat induced day.

But i was in heels, that was fun, right?

To the reception hall we went. (45 minutes away)

It was a beautiful place called Cuvee, and we had to get or stuff to the third level of a very fancy/trendy/yuppie place.  Once we got through the traffic of IRISH FEST, that is.

After some aggressive honking and a few more detors. (Ugh. What is wrong with this place called wisconsin? I was starting to hate it and its weird antics)

About 37 trips, a pound more of sweat, running in heals, carrying racks, breaking racks and arranging some more flowers, we were finished.

Just in time to fly. (and i mean fly) back to the wedding to drop the rose petals leading up to the church. You know, to direct people around the road construction mess. Oyvey.

As i entered the beautiful church to sit down, i realized that I couldn't see the whole left side. No! This is not happening again. I can not do this anymore.

Migraine setting in.

I was determined not to tell Sam this time. No need to worry him. I would just pretend that i could see everything he was commenting about. Nod and smile. Nod and smile.

Wedding over and we flew (and i mean flew) out of the church (underground style. I was certain we were going to come up in the white house. But alas we just came back to the front of the church. But in my head i was hugging GW.)


Back to that GPS, satellite interruption and random road closings. 

My head was not okay at this point.  Like, it was bad. Seriously?  I had lost my vision one more time in the car. And i knew, i was going to be in for a tsunami of a headache.

800mg of ibuprofen later in a empty stomach was not good.  I was so nauseous from the pain in my head (and probably the medicine) that i just asked Sam if i could have one teeny tiny second before I went up.

He knew. It was bad.

I knew. He was now concerned and probably doubly stressed.

I prayed that i just get better. Please. I need to help my brother. This is the last game, the 9th inning, the bases were loaded and i was up and i just swung and missed...if ya get my drift.

I swear, i willed myself to stand up. After a few almost vomits. And the valet took my purse, car, keys and left me with a little piece of paper.

Looks like i'm going up.

I tried to help Sam as he scurried (literally. He worked so incredibly hard.)to light the last of the candles and do the finishing touches.

He promised me he would take me home after the set up was over and i assured him i was A-okay. I mean, who really need a head anyways? Not me. We both weren't okay.

This was like, so super high stress and he was doing it. He was totally pulling it off.  The flowers were a hit.  Seriously, everyone commented on them.  Even the drunk guy at the end of the night, getting into the elevator yelled "Way to go, flower guy!!" and gave him a thumbs up. (Ahh, weddings. Don't ya just love em?)

Due to the few people that i knew coming from Sam's work, i was able to pull myself together and smile. I couldn't swallow much, but i was so thankful to be alive and recovering from this darn headache. It burned, its was so bad in the car.

Flash forward to having to watch everyone dance (except us. We were just the help...awwww) It was like torture to our souls to have to sit still as the cha-cha slide played. But we did it. Begrudgingly.

2:00 am and we were finally heading home. After cleaning up and giving flowers to the other help.

We did it. (HE did it) I was like so totally tired i could just punch myself in the face, and when i asked him how he felt.  He said, (and i quote) "I feel like i could run a marathon!" (all chipper chicken like)

Oy. I take that back, i feel like i could punch him in the face. (i joke, i joke.)

Sunday came and we got up at 7:00 and cleaned up. (flowers, in case you were wondering) and we headed out West. To the one and only Minnesota. Land that I love.

Our emotions ranged from somber, to laughing, to very methodical, to thinking everyone else was lame, to silent, to tired, to refreshed.

(Sam mentioned on the car ride home that the moment he knew i was that bad off, that he thought, Do I save the baby or the Mother? The un-answerable question. Help me and leave the reception, or leave me and finish setting up for the reception.  Now, how lucky am i to have someone like that for a brother??)

We didn't even stop to go the the bathroom the whole way home. That tells you just how glad we were to be heading home!

It was an amazing trip. My brother is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Long car rides are not amazing. GPS is unreliable. Flowers are stressful. Wisconson is not cool. At all. Road construction is rotten. Honking is the new black. And i think my brother is even cooler than before.

If that is even possible.

Soooo, that was my weekend. How was yours?