“The Capitol Steps,” a raw egg, pancakes, and a garage door. Happy Halloween!

Back on October 28th I flew the dreaded sixteen plus hours from Okinawa, Japan to Washington, D.C. to attend one of my best friend’s wedding, catch up with family and friends in person, start house hunting for our move back to our home town area next year, and shop.  I shared my story of the flight over to the states HERE, and then I landed and the time started to fly. 

I arrived in D.C. one week before election day and the buzz in the city was growing at a deafening rate.  Of course with the election just around the corner and being in D.C., one must go see “The Capitol Steps perform on their home stage at the Reagan Building, downtown.  My mom and I went on Halloween night and had a great time. 

Getting there was challenging due to Friday rush hour traffic and it being Halloween to boot.  During my visit I stayed at my in-law’s house in Northern Virginia and put about fifteen hundred miles on my father-in-law’s 2008 Lexus in two weeks.  On Halloween I had to drive over to Maryland to pick up my mom at my folks house and then drive into D.C. from there.  Well, I didn’t leave NOVA till 4pm but I should have left at least an hour earlier.  I sat on 495N for an hour and a half in creeping traffic for fifteen miles.  Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and called my Mom to ask her to meet me in downtown Silver Spring, instead of out in the suburbs where my folks live, in order for us to make the 7pm curtain downtown.  She met me at a parking garage where I left my in-laws minivan (I had the van for that one weekend so I could chauffeur my friend’s family to and from their hotel for her wedding) and drove Mom’s car from there. 

Well “The Capitol Steps” didn’t disappoint and was absolutely hilarious.  There was a journalist celebrity in the audience with us which was cool.  George Will was there with one of his sons and they seemed to be enjoying themselves too.  After the show we left the Reagan Building only to find that the neighboring restaurant had already closed for the evening.  So, being hungry and having skipped dinner prior to the show due to traffic jams, we went back to Silver Spring to get the van and then head up towards my folks house to IHOP for a late meal of pancakes and bacon.  While pulling out of the parking garage where I had stowed the van, I heard a loud crack and thought maybe I had caught on something while driving through the low ceiling building.  The crack turned out to be the sound that a raw egg makes when hitting the back window of a minivan.  Someone thought it would be hilarious to throw raw eggs at passing cars in the garage.  Whoopee!!  Yeah, so after dinner I went over to the gas station to run the van through the car wash so the egg wouldn’t freeze on the glass and paint while I drove back to Virginia on the beltway.  It was FREEZING that night. 

So, now it’s 12:30am and I finally get back to the in-laws house in Virginia.  Both of Hubby’s parents are in Texas to spend Halloween with their eldest grandchildren so I had the garage to myself for the weekend.  Now, I did not grow up with a garage and I haven’t had a lot of experience with them in my adult years so I thought that since the van was so big, it would be easier to back it in and park in the center of the garage.  Good idea, right?  Well, I got the darn thing in there and was absolutely exhausted.  At this point I had only been in the states for four nights and hadn’t really slept well yet so I was pooped.  I got my stuff out of the van and shut the door, then went over to the door to the house and hit the garage door button.  All of a sudden there was a terrible catching and tugging sound and I realized that the garage motor’s emergency rope had caught on the rack on the top of the van and was pulling with a terrible force.  Well of course I panicked and was afraid that the rack and van would get damaged so I tugged the handle till it was free of the rack.  Unfortunately, the clasp on the track came undone and the garage door became stuck.  I couldn’t get the door to stay up or down so it was stuck about three quarters of the way up. 

I called Hubby in Okinawa where he could magically fix my problems.  Right.  I was a hysterical, blubbering mess on the phone and finally let him go, only to call the in-laws in Texas, where they were asleep, and let them know that I had broken their garage door.  I will never forget that awful feeling that I had caused such damage after only being alone with their house for twelve hours at that point. 

Well, to make things worse, as I mentioned earlier, it was freezing that night, and my in-law’s guest room is right over the garage.  Well without that door down, it was absolutely frigid in my room.  Though I had a space heater pumping all night and lay under an electric blanket, I still froze and managed to get a terrible cold because of it. 

The following morning, my mother-in-law called and suggested that I call the garage repair guy and then to go over to the neighbor’s and ask them for help with getting the van out and the garage door to stay down.  Realize that since the the door was stuck a quarter of the way down, I couldn’t get the van back out by myself without assistance and someone holding the door up.  After we got the van out and the neighbor got the door to stay down, I breathed a little easier.  The next day my in-laws came back from Texas and when I got back from my friend’s wedding, the Lexus was in the garage and the door was down.  I walked in the house and my father-in-law told me that the garage door had never been broken after all.  It was a safety feature where the motor comes off the track when something causes it from working properly so you can open and close the door manually.  He then proceeded in repeating what I had done two nights before and then showed me how to fix the track, just in case I happened to “break” it again. 

Then, the jet lag set in.