This is seriously the month of road trips. Last weekend we went to Ohio for the Rutgers vs. Ohio State game.
This past weekend my mom, my sister and I loaded up the car and headed to Wisconsin. This trip was about family and love.
I March my cousin Tara (who married my cousin Justin) was in a terrible car accident. I found out about it from my cousin Sarah (her sister-in-law). Originally I was told it was bad, but not horrible. Her two children were in the car with her and both of them were ok. I was relieved to hear that, but being so far away I told her to keep me updated on Tara. I wouldn’t find out until that night how bad it was.
The car was hit broadside by a tanker truck on a rural road in Wisconsin. Both vehicles were traveling about 50 miles per hour. Tara’s car was propelled into a field and she had to have a flight for life helicopter take her to the hospital. Tara suffered multiple injuries including, but not limited to, a scalp laceration, several fractured and broken vertebrae, two punctured lungs, a laceration on her liver, a broken sinus, fractured ribs and bruising everywhere. Due to the damage in Tara’s neck she was classified a C5 injury, functioning C6. In lehmans terms, she was paralyzed from the chest down. Tara has movement in her neck, shoulders and biceps but no movement in her triceps or hands.
Tara spent 3 months in a rehab facility in Colorado. She learned how to put in and remove her own contacts, how to do a lot of her own makeup and was feeding herself. Now, back at home with her family, Tara does everything herself. A lot of stuff she still can’t do. She can’t cook, because her body does not feel heat and her kitchen is not made to help her.
Which brings me to the reason we were headed to Wisconsin…..
My aunt and uncle, along with Tara’s parents, were working on a benefit to raise money to help them remodel their home and buy medical supplies for Tara. Because Cheryl and I have such awesome co-workers we were able to get a lot of donations and were able to put together 8 beauty baskets of products.
So on Thursday night we leaded up the car and headed out. We left around 6:00pm from New Jersey and were planning on driving through the night to be in Wisconsin the next morning. Cheryl drove first and we had dinner around 8:30pm in Bloomsburg, PA.
Driving at night has it’s pros and cons. It’s nice because there is barely any traffic, but lot of trucks flying past you in the dark. You also have to watch out for animals like deer on the road. Cheryl and I wound up switching off every 2-ish hours so we could alternate sleeping.
We got to Chicago around 5:30am and it was CRAZY! There was so much traffic and it was so early!
We got to Wisconsin around 7:30am (their time) which was around 8:30am here. Since I was out of vacation days I had told work I would be working from home (aka Wisconsin) so I signed online as soon as I got there. It was ok, my sister had to do the same thing and my family was running around getting ready for the benefit all day.
We went to the benefit around 6:00pm (it started at 5:00pm) and we had agreed to help them with whatever they needed. I was in charge of the cork pull.
It’s actually something I have never heard of before, but it’s pretty cool. You have a bunch of wine bottles (all different types and prices) with numbers on them. Then you number corks in a bucket and people pay $20 and pull a cork from the bucket. Whatever their cork says they get that bottle of wine. I got people to buy all but 6 of the 50 bottles. Success!
The benefit was at Tara’s dad’s country club. A lot of member were there showing support as well as a lot of my aunt and uncle’s friends. My aunt and uncle were the main ones getting donations for prizes. There was a raffle (like a tricky tray), a silent auction and a live auction. The prizes were great and they appreciated us bringing even more! My uncle used to work for Miller so there were a lot of beer related prizes.
FYI I won the grill :)
The event was a huge success. I can’t imagine how much hard work went into it and I was so glad my cousin Tara was able to stay for almost the entire event.
If you want to learn more about Tara’s story. Here is the website and video below.
The next day Cheryl and I decided we had to keep up with marathon training since we have been slacking. We looked for routes online and I found one around the Milwaukee River that looked popular so we headed there.
Well this running trail was actually a trail trail. Like in the woods….
Well I am not big on trail running, especially the falling and hurting myself possibility. So we headed back after 2 miles and drove down to Lake Michigan to run there.
At first the run was really nice. We weren’t right on the water at first and it was a beautiful day. The closer we got to the water though the windier it got. Running in wind resistance is tiring. Neither of us was feeling running. I kind of wanted to spend time with my family since we were there for such a short time. We headed back at 8 miles so we did around 10 total, but not the 18 we were supposed to do.
That night we went to dinner with my aunt, uncle and cousin. I love spending time with them when we see them since it’s not often.
The next morning we loaded up the car with beer, cheese and our benefit prizes and headed home. Literally in Wisconsin less than 2 days, but it was totally worth it.
We left Wisconsin around 6:30am and got home at 10:00pm. A whole day on the road. This is why teleportation needs to be invented….