Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hi ho Hi ho, it's off to work we go...

Jeremy has returned to work. Vacation is over for Chief Welch. We did have a bit of a scare. While in-processing he was initially issued gear to deploy with the 2nd brigade, here at Ft. Riley. This group was supposed to deploy in August, and is now scheduled to leave in October. I was feeling a little hot under the hood when he came home with his new battle gear. I know he will have to go, but this on-again-off-again roller coaster is starting to make-uh me a little sick-uh. You see, there were four slots for five Warrants here, and no one was really sure what to do with Jeremy. It turns out he is working at Division, which is a CW3 position. This is great for Jeremy because it means he is working above his level, and even better...NO DEPLOYMENT!!! He is really pumped to get settled now that he has a position. We are happy that he is happy!

On another note...I HAVE A NEW JOB TOO!!!
I know, I can't believe it either! I will be teaching preschool at the First United Methodist Church, here in Manhattan. It just fell into my lap. God is so good. In fact, at church this morning, I told a lady I would be working at the preschool and she was so positive. She said it was hard to find a job like that in Manhattan, so I felt even more thankful for my new position. I will be teaching Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, and I start right after Labor Day. Savannah will not be in my class, but she will be in the same school. This is a good thing!

One last bit of news...we are getting settled in here in the "Little Apple." However, the Midwesterners here are hard to conquer. It seems making friends is a slow and daunting task. We are meeting new people every day, but haven't found any real pals yet. This is the hardest part about moving. We have visited several local churches, and even there we haven't met any solid friends. By now we are usually getting all settled in and having dinner guests. I am hoping in the weeks to come friendships are headed our way. It is lonely now that Jeremy is gone and it's just the kids and me. Calling all buddies in Manhattan...friendly family looking for a great peer group. Love the outdoors and home-cookin'. Very social and always adventurous. Notify us at once. Expect a quick reply!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The last chapter in our moving mini-series

We started the day on the right foot for sure! We had Amarillo's World Famous Donut Stop! These are the most delicious donuts in the entire world. We even picked up an extra two dozen to take with us to Grandmommy and Papa. I did notice that my check engine light was still ablaze, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and head down the road to our final destination.

With donuts in hand, we were on our way!

We made it through Stratford, and then on across the Oklahoma state line. We even snapped a quick photo. Then we decided to fill up while we were stopped in good ol' Texhoma.

However, when we pulled ahead, my little bullet would not go over 20 mph. So, just outside of the great metropolis of Texhoma...we were stranded. My mini-van wouldn't even go in reverse. The transmission was done!

Here is a photo for your amusement.

Take note of a few things in this picture. One, you can see the city in the distance. Two, there is a curb...yes, a curb on the side of the road, preventing us from pulling onto a shoulder. If we could have taken video you would have noticed our triangles behind the camper, and our hazard lights blinking.

After two hours on the phone with our trusty USAA insurance company, we had increased our tow mileage to 112 miles, and then agreed to pay the difference to tow the van 175 miles to Hutchinson, Kansas for a new transmission. You see, there is not transmission repair shop within 50 miles of our breakdown.

We then begin the task of UNloading everything from the van, into the 100 degree weather. Just as we finish up, one of those good ol' Oklahoma Sheriff cars whizzes (and without a hesitation in speed) past us. Nice. So, feeling a little overheated and very frustrated, I proceeded to give the local law enforcement a ring-a-ding. I mean, he did not have any light flashing or any siren blaring, so if his job is to protect and serve, why didn't he at least stop to see if we were alright? I could have been dying on the side of the road, and he would have just coasted right by! Being a military wife, I understand the obligations a government employee has, and this guy was not doing his job!

I dialed information and was connected with the Chief of Police in Texhoma. I rattled my spill to him, knowing he was not a part of the Sheriff department, but I did not have their number. He apologized, and I told him we had made tow arrangements for our vehicle that we had now left on the side of the road.

We were now riding in the truck, overheating, with no AC. Again...I have photographic documentation...

Now. the rest of the story gets interesting. Here it is in timeline form...
1. Lindsay gets a call back from the Sheriff department. A woman apologizes. Lindsay informs her that the car is on the side of the road, and a tow truck is on the way from Hutchinson, Kansas. The woman says that is fine and she will notify the Highway Patrol.
2. Windblown and weary we make it to Hutch.
3. Lindsay leaves her cell in the truck by mistake.
4. 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning I load up to make the drive to Manhattan for receipt of household goods. (We were pushing it!)
5. I have 13 missed calls and messages.
6. My tow driver cannot locate our van and has driven to Stratford and back.
7. The Sheriff department has ordered my van be towed to Guymon and it is now impounded. Yes, you are reading this correctly.

Above: My vision of the Law Enforcement in Oklahoma.
Below: The tow driver that held my van hostage.

8. I make a call to the dispatcher at the Sheriff's office. She questions my chat the day before with Nancy No-name that apologized for the irresponsible Sheriff. She wonders how I got the number if I was not from there. I guess calling Information is a new concept to her.
9. The Sheriff does not report until 8:30 a.m. so I am instructed to call back.
10. Basically, after talking with the Chief of Police again, the assistant Sheriff that ordered the tow, and the actual and I quote, "elected OFFICIAL that doesn't answer to anybody" I paid $500.00 in tow charges and my van was released.
11. I hate OKLAHOMA and Sheriff Peoples has no idea what type of storm is headed his direction.

The nuts and bolts of the situation are just this. His department not only neglected their job when we were stranded on the side of the road, but then his department ordered the tow of our vehicle in error. What more could we have done? So, this is probably not the last you will hear of this tale. I have big plans to seek reconciliation. Now, we have a new transmission, and the AC is repaired in the truck.

Don't you just love a happy ending?! What is my famous is ALWAYS an adventure with the Welch's. You can't make this kinda stuff up!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tragedy in our new home...

Not that any of you will find this surprising, but I have been really busy!!! I will post my conclusion to my story tomorrow...I PROMISE!!! You just won't believe it!
On a much more important note...we are safely nestled in our home for the night. However, we had a VERY close call last night. Around 10:30pm we were alerted of a tornado headed our way. We collected the kids an headed for the basement. Turns out, we were less than a mile from the path of an EF4 level tornado that ravaged our "little apple," Manhattan, Kansas. Just a few short weeks after arriving in Kansas, we nearly lost our house and all our belongings. Here are a few pictures of the horror we have witnessed today. We suffered a power loss from 11pm until around 5pm, and walked away with no damage. Please pray for those who lost everything in this terrible storm. I will let you know how you can help if you feel led in days to come.
What is left of our True Value Hardware store
The neighborhood beside ours

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