Merry Christmas!!!

We are currently in Rapid City, South Dakota for the holidays.  It's snowing at 10 pm (has been since about 1 pm) and talk about a 'White Christmas'....!  Nice fluffy white stuff that seems rather innocent compared to the blizzard dump we got in Iowa last week.

We drove out to South Dakota yesterday, but were thwarted by issues with my lug nuts and wheel studs on the Honda Element.  I forgot to get the wheels re-torqued after a tire rotation back around Labor Day.  Started hearing funny noises between Mitchell and Chamberlain while my son Zack was driving.  He claimed it was the road, but I said something was wrong with a tire or a wheel.  Whether or not it was the original torque of the lug nuts or my failure to get a re-torque after a tire rotation, or the heavy load of all 4 of us plus gear, or the cold weather - it happened.  First time in my life to experience this.

We pulled off at Chamberlain and took a look.  We were down to two lug nuts!!!  And the one snapped as I tried to tighten it.  Holy crap!!!  Why oh why the wheel didn't fall off I can only speculate, but praise the almighty that nothing serious happened to us.  Since it was Sunday, we had no choice but to spend the night in a motel next to Al's Oasis (had a very nice Prime Rib dinner in our sorrow) and I hit the Chevy dealer at 8 am today for the repair as soon as they opened.  They put in 5 new wheel studs and gave me 3 new lug nuts so we could continue ($202 dollars later - $131 of the charge being labor) to Rapid City for Christmas.  A big thank you to Harry K Chevy in Oacoma, South Dakota for taking such good care of us.  And thanks to the ladies at Al's Oasis who were delightful to visit with and lifted our spirits about being stuck there.  We were on the road again by 10:30 a.m. Christmas Eve and even stopped at Wall Drug for 5 cent coffee and maple doughnuts.  Tara and the kids - in all of the past 10 years of driving to and from Iowa to Rapid had never seen Wall Drug, so I figured it was time.  

We finally pulled into Rapid City about 1 pm and checked in (a day late) to our motel.  Hit up Applebee's before they closed at 2 pm and then went to the grocery store to stock up on goodies.

Zack and I sang tonight at the 8 pm service.  Zack sang 'O holy night' and I sang 'Panis Angelicus' at a nice service that put us all in a good mood.  

Peace and Goodwill to all for a blessed holiday.

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