Roy picked me up at the train station and off we went to the wilds of some southern suburb of Grenoble, arriving just in time to meet my fellow traveling companions, get my instructions for sleeping, shower, breakfast and lunch arrangements, and crash into bed as the clock struck 11...
...and 12, and 1, and 2...I was sleeping on a pull-out couch in the living room, under an old-fashioned cuckoo clock. Gads. Actually I was not sleeping at all, but contemplating murder, risking relational rupture for ending the cuckoo's life, while it continued to call out every hour on the hour until a light went on about 3 am. Roy's wife had arisen to set out breakfast and lunch fixings for us--redeeming her cuckoo by this saintly act above and beyond the call of any duty I could think of that sleepless night.
So my 4:00 am alarm became superfluous. I took my place in the shower line as the household slowly rose in the dark. There were seven of us heading out for Willingen, Germany; the goal was a 5 am departure.
We all stumbled around through showers, breakfast and lunch and suitcase packing, finding all our power cords, loading the van, and last minute trips to the bathroom. Then, with final goodbyes to the godly wife and children left behind, we were off, in a characteristic light French rain. And most of us promptly fell asleep. We had twelve hours to go, barring unforeseen accidents, breakdowns, construction delays, traffic jams, or getting lost.