Friday I got up with intentions of doing school with the girls and getting the house cleaned up so I wouldn’t come home after a long weekend and have to clean.  I also needed to pack for the weekend.  My sister-in-law had reserved a room for two nights over in Eldridge a suburb of Davenport.  I was going over Friday when I got things done, the rest of the family was to meet me Saturday afternoon.

As I started getting around I found that I was to anxious to actually get anything done except pack my things and hit the road.  As soon as I firmed up plans for the kids evening I got on my way.  I asked the girls to finish up the housework and work on their science project before their sister came to pick them up later in the day.

The trip didn’t take as long as usual because I wasn’t going as far as I typically do when I stay over to see Kent. I got to the hotel about 30 minutes before the 3:00 check in.  The lady at the counter informed me that she only had a room on the first floor non-smoking with a king bed.  I told her I had reserved a non-smoking room with two queen beds on the first floor and had called to insure I would get the room we needed.  She said there weren’t any rooms available on the first floor except for the first one mentioned.  I said I guess I have no other choice but to take a third floor with two queen beds.  The one bed was not going to work when the kids came over the next day.  She assured me I could move to the first floor on Saturday.

The floor made no difference to me.  But, my elderly mother-in-law wanted a first floor so it would be easy to take her dog out.  And it was just the principal of the matter, I had specifically reserved a non-smoking, two queen beds on the first floor.  We were paying full rates we hadn’t gone through any discount companies and I thought we should get what we requested since we had been told that’s what we would get. Had I known it would be an issue I would have gone elsewhere.

After all that I went to my room, showered and took a nap.  Once I woke up I checked to make sure all kids were where they were supposed to be and started getting ready to go visit Kent when he called.  He told me I should enjoy the evening and skip the visit with him that night in order to have a little time to myself.  While this seemed difficult to be only 45 minutes away from my hubby and not go see him it sounded relaxing to have an evening away from any expectations or questions for the evening. Anyone with children knows what I’m talking about when it comes to questions…this morning my nearly 14 year old was asking me  knowing it was going to be 89 degrees if she could wear a sweat shirt for the drive home.  I informed her she did not need my permission to look like an idiot.

Although it did pull on my heart to not spend the evening with hubby, I had a relaxing evening alone reading in my hotel room.  Thankfully, I got a little sleep during my earlier nap because I hardly slept Friday night.  I set my alarm for 6:45 am.  I wanted to leave by 7:50.  I hit the snooze until 7:15 and decided I must get up and get ready to go.  Once I was ready to go I made a quick cup of coffee and headed out the door for the 45 minute drive to pick up my hubby.

I intended on arriving 15 minutes early, but that absolutely never happens in my life.  I am rarely early and frequently late.  Fortunately, I was not late.  I was there at 8:58.  I waited a few seconds and Kent came out the door.  Kind of like a drive through and pick up your prisoner.

I had hubby for the next twelve hours.  Kent had applied for a furlough a couple months ago.  Apparently, this is the only Federal Prison that grants furloughs. It just seems bizarre to me that our prisons or a prison would allow someone who has been deemed to be a person that shouldn’t be in society would be allowed to be out for a period of time.  I guess that’s another blog post (why do we have people in prison that aren’t a threat to society?) I haven’t asked if there are longer furlough times. I am only aware of the twelve hours Kent was grated.  I am incredibly thankful that I was able to drive my car right up to the prison and take my hubby away for awhile though.

Nine a.m. hubby walked out in a gray tee shirt, gray sweat pants and black tennis shoes.  Not his usual clothes that inmates make their visits in.  They are to wear their green shirts and pants during their visits.  I had told Kent when he asked me to bring him clothes to wear that I preferred he wear his prison uniform because he had told me before that it brings out the blue in my eyes.  I did although bring him a change of clothes.

Hubby changed into the shorts and tee shirt I brought him, and I drove us back to the hotel 45 minutes away.  Once walking into the lobby we noticed a nice breakfast being offered so we grabbed our plates and filled them up before the food was put away.  Stomachs and hearts full we went to our room and…. then waited for the rest of the family to arrive.

The kids, Kent’s mom and sister all arrived.  We sat around and visited. We went through the pictures on my phone and told all the stories of what’s been going on the past few months.  Time flew by.  We all went out to dinner and back to our room.  We sat around once again sharing more stories and resting in my husbands strong arms that I have longed to have around me.  I had let Kent know we needed to leave the room at 7:50.  It was a 45 minute drive, but I needed to make sure we weren’t late.  Seven fifty arrived way to soon.  Kent said his good byes as the kids took turns taking pictures with their dad. We hopped in the car and headed back.  As usual my attempt to be early got me nowhere.  We arrived on the prison grounds at 8:55.  Kent had changed his clothes on the way back.  We kissed good bye and I sadly watched him return to the prison.

Thankfully, we can see the end.  January 11th, my birthday, I will once again be picking up my husband, although that won’t be the day he rejoins the family at home, he will be two hundred miles closer and just a phone call away.  I will be taking him to the next phase of this crazy story, Fort Des Moines, a halfway house.  I am counting down the days as I am sure my incredibly strong hubby is even more so.