After spending a few lovely days at my grandparents house eating wonderful food, visiting and celebrating my graduation, we packed up the pets and hit the road again.
We only had 10 hours to drive that day. We left around 11:30. The gliders were in their pouches after having spent happy days in their cages, eating and drinking and playing. They went right to sleep.
Everything was going great. That is just a clue that trouble is soon to follow. Remember Murphy’s Law? Yep.
Around 3:45, the van started shaking and shuddering just like a few days before (and like on our other trips 😑). So we pulled over and Daddy spent a while checking it out. It was hot inside of the van and I was very paranoid that the gliders would dehydrate or have a heat stroke or something. I gave them all apples which they ate very greedily.
I was sitting directly in the sun in the van and was wondering how much longer the gliders would be able to handle it when a brilliant – and rather obvious – solution came to mind. I opened the door and stood outside until we were ready to go. My brother Dovid was very jealous and desperately wanted to get out.
We were close to Lincoln, Nebraska thankfully (everything else was wasteland). We made it to an auto parts store and spent forever there. The humans got fudge M&Ms and the gliders got more apples and water. 😂
After a few hours, Daddy got the van fixed. 👏 We were on our way again.
We still had quite a while to go, but the rest of the drive was fairly smooth. I gave out lots of apples and water and checked for dehydration. Everyone was good, even Dreamer (who I am the most paranoid about).
It was late by the time we got in. 12ish. We were staying in a huge airbnb. We got the glider cages into the dining room and, through chattering teeth (it was much colder there) I got the gliders their food and water. They were all very eager to get out of the pouches and explore.
I was so tired by the time everyone was situated in their cages. I followed my family up the flight of creaky steps and collapsed into a warm bed with thick covers and nice pillows.
I was almost asleep and drifting into dreams of pepper ice cream when I was startled awake by a loud, shrill noise.
Bark! Bark! Bark-bark-bark!
Two gliders barking. I moaned and shoved my head under the pillow and hoped that it would go away.
It didn’t. It just got louder.
The joey stopped barking but Ilona wouldn’t. After 10 minutes of not dreaming of peppers, I reluctantly got out from under my warm covers and walked across the hard, cold floor and down the huge set of stairs the creacked and groaned with each step.
The barking got louder.
I got to the dining room without falling over anything in the dark (a miracle, because I am very clumsy when tired). I found Ilona huddled in her cage, barking her little heart out.
I was very pleased to see that she stopped as soon as she saw me. I talked to her for a bit and hoped that she had sufficiently calmed down and that the barking would be at an end.
I went upstairs as quietly as I could. All was quiet downstairs except for the gentle sound of glider feet against metal bars and Dreamer on the wheel.
I was at the top stair, elated that I had made it so far. My foot went down.
Uh oh. I paused, hoping Ilona hadn’t heard. Silence.
Another small step.
I was over the stair. Silence, blissful silence, for a few seconds. Then….
BARK! Bark, bark, bark, BARK! Bark! Bark!
I gave up and went to bed and hoped that she would stop. (I should have known better). I wasn’t going to go back downstairs only to repeat the same thing. I buried my head under the blanket.
She didn’t stop.
I was reminded of how my youngest sister has an unending endurance for crying. She can do it non-stop for much longer than the rest of us mortals. Ilona had thr same spirit with barking.
Eventually, after what seemed like forever, the barking ceased and I slept. 😴 And dreamed of peppers.