There was one other near-disaster on the trip. Before we left Richmond, we had double-checked our finances and scheduled bill payments. This included refinancing our home equity loan. We had deposited the check to pay off the loan before we left and scheduled the loan to be paid off the next week. This was clearly too confusing for Wachovia, our bank.

On the way up to Michigan, we stopped a little north of Fredericksburg to get gas. My check card was declined. Laura’s check card was declined. Laura went inside and was told we had insufficient funds. We called Wachovia’s automated line to check our balance. It was negative $27,000. If we could have killed the computerized voice telling us we had negative $27,000, we would have. Negative $27,000 seems bad.

Luckily, it was all a teller error and fixed after about an hour at Wachovia. Our balance has been restored to its normal status where numbers like $27,000, positive or negative, are never mentioned.

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