“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.”

These words, spoken by philanthropist Jack Ma, were just what I needed to hear after a trying couple of weeks. I am in the midst of tackling some home renovations and repairs, and because I have a background in construction, I am acting as my own contractor. As with any renovation, some things are going very smoothly, while others are not.

As the Labor Day holiday approached and a few projects went from bad to worse, I knew that my planned trip to New Braunfels, to spend the long weekend with my children, was just the break I needed. I loaded my car down with coolers, snacks and floats and headed to pick up my handsome son, Carter, who was going to ride with me.

I have always loved one-on-one car rides with my children, especially now that they are grown, because quiet, uninterrupted time to talk with them is a pretty rare commodity. As I made my way down the highway, I could feel the tension of the preceding weeks melting away. I took this quiet time to remind myself that the irritations in my life truly are small ones and that I am certainly far more blessed than I deserve.

It was at this exact moment, while driving 75 down U.S. 59, that something hit the front passenger side window of my vehicle with such force that, in an instant, the window not only totally shattered but half of it was now in my lap. There I was, driving at highway speed with the impact still thundering in my ears, eyes like saucers, mouth agape and covered in glass trying to grasp what had just happened.

I got off of the highway near El Toro and, because it was pouring down rain, I pulled up under the overpass to gather my thoughts. In that moment, the temptation to melt down into a full-blown pity party was very real and felt very right, but I knew that was not going to get me anywhere — literally or figuratively. I quickly called my wonderful friend and insurance agent, B.J., and between the two of us, a swift and efficient plan was hatched to not only put me back on the road in the right direction, but also to bring me home on Monday with my car as good as new.

All in all, the window disaster put us about an hour behind our scheduled arrival time, but the hilarity that ensued as Carter and I made our way to the car dealership in Selma with packing tape as a window will live on in family lore forever. In our case, Ma’s words were exactly right. With the car drama firmly in our rearview, we spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the sunshine, bobbing in the cool, crisp waters of the Comal and Guadalupe rivers, feasting on Inferno Pizza, singing at the top of our lungs with Jack Ingram at Gruene Hall, grilling steaks and playing games at our riverside condo. It was a fun and relaxing weekend full of memories I will cherish, even the ones covered in glass.

On trips like this, I love having breakfast made in advance so we can all enjoy a leisurely morning. Red velvet cinnamon rolls can be made ahead of time and travel well, and they are easy and delicious.

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Katherine Compton is an active mother of two grown children and a Realtor. She loves cooking almost as much as she loves living in Jackson County. Katherine can be contacted by email at whatscookingkatherine@gmail.com

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