Believe it or not, Ben, Samey and I were able to get into the uber-stuffed Highlander yesterday afternoon and leave Seattle for San Francisco. Exhausted. I struggled with the Yakima Roof Pod which knocked me off the car and flat on my back with the lid to the pod on the ground next to me, deeply bruising my side as I fell, but finally almost everything fit. I was eager to leave but left so much undone... I did as much as I could as far as packing and arranging affairs and house things but, if you know my house, there was much to do and little time to do it. I basically started in earnest only after we were able to get Marcus, Max and the boat launched. I think Jugurtha and Samira will be comfortable there as they house-sit for us for the year and I got the house to where I felt better about leaving it behind. Harder than I expected or ever realized. I am exhausted. The kids were excited to get going and "go see Daddy", finally. after days and days of me being frazzled sleep deprived and NOT being the best of Mommies. The drive was fluid and easy. We stopped for a potty break south of Olympia and I noticed that there were plastic bag corners sticking out of the sides of the pod and found it strange (I used big black plastic bags to pack so I wouldn't have luggage to store on the boat once we arrived). I knew the pod was pretty darn full but I had checked the locks, sat on the pod to make sure all the "clicks" happened but decided that air must be getting in somewhere and blowing the plastic out of the sides. But I still felt uncomfortable about it. Rightly so. About 60 miles north of Portland that pod opened up and jettisoned my full bag of clothes for the year and Ben's full bag of clothes for the year and one of Max's diving flippers out into the air like confetti, spreading them all over the freeway at high speed. I was incredulous. I pulled quickly over to the side and screamed at Ben to stay in the car with Sam as I ran back. I watched in horror as one of the 50 trucks sped by, one of them crushing Max's flipper and one of them dragging one of Ben's shirts by on its undercarriage. The clothes were EVERYWHERE. I ran along the shoulder picking up what I could. The wind from the semi's blew some of it to the shoulder. Some good Samaritans stopped behind me and helped me gather up what we could. But the bulk of it remained spread out all over I-5. Both lanes. And then a car saw what was going on and stopped for us, blocking one lane, and then a semi-truck stopped in the other lane and we effectively stopped all traffic on I-5 for a good 4-5 minutes while we ran all over gathering up all the clothes in our arms (the bags were exploded). I was grateful to that couple who carried everything in their arms with me and not a little unhinged. Remember, I was close to insanity and exhaustion before this even happened. We threw all the clothes at Ben's feet and on the front seat next to me and closed the pod with what was still in there and continued on. It took me a full hour before I could calm down and stop coughing and feeling noxious. And I didn't feel I could trust the pod for quite a while, either! I couldn't wait to get to our good friends' Cristi and John Bishop's place in Multnomah Village in Portland.