Saturday night

The most humorous event was early Sunday morning, but things had begun getting complicated Saturday night.  For this story to ANY sense at all, one must comprehend the various locations and how they relate to each other.

For four years (and in August Josiah may be beginning “four more years”), Katie has lived with her wonderful roommate, Amy Kucks (“Cooks”) at Patrick Henry College (PHC) in Purcellville, Virginia.  Amy’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Kucks , live 15 minutes away from the college, to the southwest.  Our family, as well as Scott’s mom and two sisters, were staying at a hotel in Sterling, about 30 minutes east of the college.  We had planned to take Scott’s mom to breakfast on Sunday morning at IHOP in Leesburg.  Leesburg is between the college and Sterling, so here’s a simplified diagram:

(KUCKS) <—15 min—> (PHC) <—15 min—> (IHOP) <— 15 min—> (HOTEL)

You may be familiar with the logic puzzle of how to get the fox, the goose and the corn all to the other side of the river in one boat.  This is reminiscent of that!

Not counting Aunt Becky’s red Mazda, in which she, Mom, and Krit had driven from North Carolina, there were three vehicles at the hotel Saturday evening:  Katie’s old car (“White”), which she’s been driving for four years and which will probably stay somewhere in Virginia for Josiah to drive in the fall; Katie’s new car (“Blue”), which we drove to Virginia from Missouri and which is temporarily licensed to Scott in Missouri and currently sports a paper tag to such effect; and Scott’s Honda (“Honda”), in which us four and no more – plus ALL our luggage and vacation gear – intended to drive home six days later.

All of us were at the hotel for supper – Scott, Patty, Katie, Josiah, Andrew, Grandma, Becky, Kristy.   All three cars were also at the hotel.

However, Katie had not yet moved out of the dorm at PHC and she would be sleeping there that night.  A car would be required to make that 30 minute drive, and she would then drive the 15 minutes back to IHOP at 8:30 for breakfast.  Oh, did I mention that most of northern Virginia would also be taking its mom to IHOP in Leesburg for breakfast that Mother’s Day morning?  Well, we didn’t realize that Saturday night, but in any case, Katie had to get “home” to the dorm for the night and then back to breakfast in the morning.

In addition, it was important to Katie to be able to say her goodbyes to Amy that night.  Furthermore, after dorm cleaning on Sunday afternoon (a whole ‘nother story, trust me), we five Roberts’ would be driving our Honda and Katie’s old White to Shenandoah, Virginia, some two hours away, for a few days of family vacation, before we drove back to our lives in Missouri and Katie began her new life as a well-educated and gainfully employed adult in Loudon County.  Our vacation would leave Katie’s new Blue car unattended for several days, and we all know it’s not smart to leave a spiffy car – wearing only a temporary paper tag – sitting unattended for almost a week in an apartment parking lot.

So. . . the Kucks agreed that it would be okay for Katie to leave the Blue parked at their house while we did our family vacation.  The Blue was, understandably, unable to drive itself to their home, but if Scott took Katie there on Saturday night, she could say her goodbyes to Amy and they could drop off the Blue for its little sabbatical.

It should be noted that earlier Saturday evening, following Scott and Andrew’s diligent cleaning thereof, we did, yea and verily and with the fare of several some fans, give Katie her graduation gift – the 2005 Blue Honda Civic hybrid.  Katie is not given to mass displays of emotional exuberance, but she did seem well-pleased with the car, and she took several of us for a brief spin about Leesburg while she got acquainted with its features.  It is a very nice car; frankly the nicest car our family has ever owned – even temporarily!

So Scott and Katie left the hotel a little after 10 PM in the Blue and the Honda.  Scott expected the round trip from the hotel to Kucks to PHC and back to the hotel to take about an hour and-a-half.  That was fine.  Mom and I visited for a while, and the boys were playing on computers when I went down the hall to ask Bec a logic question.  “If they took the Blue to Kucks, then they would have to drive the Honda back to the hotel and drop Scott off here and have Katie take the Honda back to PHC, so she could drive it to the restaurant in the morning, right?”  But the Honda is a standard and Katie can’t drive a standard.  So Bec and I stood in the hall and tried to figure out this fox-goose-corn thing, and when we couldn’t, she finally said, “The only way it could have worked was if they had taken three cars and three drivers.  But since Mom, Krit, you, Josiah, and I are all still in this hotel, they couldn’t have done that!”  At which point I decided to apply what I’m learning about boundaries and responsibilities.  I said, “Well, I KNOW for sure that Katie has a bachelors’ degree; I saw her receive it this morning!  And your brother is also highly intelligent, so I’m sure between the two of them they have it all figured out.  I’m not going to worry about it!”  And we both had a really good laugh while I went back to our hotel room to drag the boys and their laptops off my bed.

To be continued. . .

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