Disaster Disney

While this past trip to Disney went overall very well, we have had some ‘memory making’ adventures traveling to and from the Magic Kingdom in the past. Here are two; laugh and enjoy!

My friend, Sarah White, (blogs: “In Honor of Sarah (House) White” Oct 10, 2013 and “God Sent You” Nov 30, 2014) encouraged me to get the Disney VISA card to earn “Disney dollars” for Disney World during one of our dinners out. I followed her advice and while it might take a few years to earn enough for this family of 6 to go, it has been great.

One year we decided to drive straight there to save on the cost of the hotel and also travel while the kids were sleeping, but someone needed to tell Sarah that. Sarah screamed from the moment she got into the minivan. We tried to tell her we were going to Disney, but she wanted nothing of it. It was my turn to drive and David was sleeping in the passenger seat. As I turned to look out the driver’s side window, something flew by my ear, brushed my hair and landed on the dashboard. I was startled to see it was Sarah’s shoe! What?!?!

I looked in the rearview mirror and Sarah let out a scream and tried to chuck her other shoe at my head.  Seeing it come, I moved out of the way. I took both shoes and put them in the basket next to my chair.

“Well, at least she is out of ammo…” Or, so I thought.

Kendall woke up and screamed, “Hey, that’s my shoe!!” and before I could react, WHACK!! Kendall’s shoe was thrown at my head and it hit its target. It hit it hard! Sarah still not satisfied in expressing her anger, went for Kendall’s other shoe.

Like an army general I barked out to the kids, “Everyone!  Protect your shoes!”

My yell woke up everyone in the car. I will never forget David’s puzzled expression!

“Yes, dear, I thought we all needed a friendly reminder in the middle of the night about the importance of protecting our footwear. I’m really passionate about it!”

Sarah didn’t stop so all the kids had to remove their shoes and we kept them up front with us for the duration of the trip. She would have to find other forms of ammunition…

That was on the way down to Disney. Here is a story about the way back up.

Driving straight through was too much we learned and we decided to drive from Disney to Knoxville, TN and we spent the night at a hotel. The hotel had a pool and we thought the kids would enjoy a time of swimming after being cooped up in the minivan the entire day. They did until disaster struck.

I was in the pool with the kids and then something plopped next to me. I turned to see something falling down to the bottom of the pool. Was it one of those diving sticks?  (They are a pool toy that kids drop in a pool and dive to pick up.) Then I heard another plop right next me and David yelled, “Jill!  It’s Sarah!”

I turned to see Sarah standing on the pool ledge with poop all over her hands. David was sitting in a lounge chair outside the pool and tried to race to her but she got one more piece of poop thrown into the pool before he stopped her.


I got out of the pool and looked at David. He said, “We’ve got to tell the other people in the pool. I’ve got Sarah.”  So that meant me…oh boy.

There was a family also in the pool area with us. They had bought KFC for dinner and were eating it poolside while their children swam. Nothing kills a lovely picnic dinner by the pool like a biohazard!

How do you tell people this? I took a deep breath and apologized for interrupting their dinner. I have never seen people pack up and leave an area so quickly! The kids literally leaped out of the pool!

Then David said, “We need to tell the front desk.  I’ll clean off Sarah.” Okay, that one was a toss-up.  That job wasn’t much fun either! I went to the front desk dripping wet in my bathing suit and towel and explained what happened. Before we even left the pool, signs were up that the pool was closed.

We got back to the hotel room and I was distraught. Are we going to have to pay for the cleaning?  (Thankfully, the hotel said no.) I wanted to leave first thing in the morning, or more like in the darkness of night. I didn’t want to show my face here again.

“What about the free breakfast?” said my cost conscience husband.

The cold, icy, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ stare I gave my Beloved answered that question. As we left early the next morning to grab breakfast at McDonalds we saw men coming in wearing biohazard white suits and walking towards the pool area. I am not joking. I looked at David and mouthed, “RUN!”

Now I laugh, but at the time, I was so discouraged. I wondered if Sarah would ever get passed these behaviors. As my mom says, “This, too, shall pass” and it is true. While I do get a bit nervous anytime Sarah is swimming (though she hasn’t pooped in a pool in years), I am no longer worried about footwear flying at my head.

It indeed has passed, but I also have a loving Savior that has been with me each step of the way no matter what I am facing or what is being thrown my way. He goes before, He has my back. I am surrounded by His love and care regardless of what ‘disasters’ we face!

The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

8 thoughts on “Disaster Disney

  1. Leanne Windle

    This had me laughing out loud at work, even though it wasn’t funny when it happened to you! It reminded me of some other memorable Sarah stories with pools and messes and biohazards….good times, good times! Love you! You are certainly an example with your joy despite the circumstances!

  2. David and Gail Butler

    Very funny Jill ,but then it’s not funny…. Not too much room for pride in the Gregory family!!

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Thanks for sharing, Jill. My heart is with you, and I love how you always put a great spin on things. You are so human through your superhuman journey and it gives the rest of us out there so much encouragement!

    Does Team Gregory have an Amazon Wish list? If so, please post! xo

      1. Will always be waiting here ready if you choose to put one together. I’m sure many people would love to help provide some of those little treats that seem not as important in the wake of all the big needs you guys have. Huge love to you guys, I’m so inspired by your strength and energy.

        Also, a little humor on this note, I used to work with adults with DD and one of our clients was autistic, and we were on an outing. I decide to swing into a crowded grocery store around 5p to pick up a pregnancy test that I needed and didn’t really want to bring home as I was 95% sure it wasn’t worth the conversation, so figured work was a good place to deal with that.

        They hadn’t given us any training on the specifics of autism (in hindsight, I find this shocking due to the very specific needs of the autistic community) well, as I am trying to just sneak in, get what I needed and get out….yup, you guessed it. FULL BLOWN MELTDOWN.

        Pregnancy tests were flying. The whole shelf wiped clean. The other client I had with me starts biting themselves and screaming. Autistic client starts screaming. Everyone is staring. No one is helping. It was complete insanity.

        Of course, at the time I thought I was going to die, but in hindsight it was unbelievably funny, and what an idiot I was to think that was going to end well. Those poor clients! I feel so horrible for them, how traumatic that must have been. Had I only known….maybe NOT the busy grocery store. 🙂

        I’m so impressed with your family and the great teamwork you exhibit together. Thanks for all you share! xoxo

      2. Oh wow! You do know! Yes, autism meltdowns are…well, you just can’t put words to it! Bless you for working with special needs people! I have HUGE respect for those who give of themselves to help others in need. Bless you!!!

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