Thursday, July 24, 2008


By the time I entered the 10th Grade in high school, we had made seven cross country trips in a station wagon with four kids, two parents and all the camping gear a family could stuff in a small space and load on top of the car. My parents were either noble or nuts. I never did figure out which.

Here's a photo of the four of us at the Grand Canyon. My mother loves to remind us that we fought over comic books that entire trip. She swore she'd never again allow us to have comics in the car. Then she found out how much pain a kid could inflict with a hard back book. 

Trips would have been easier if Daddy had been more willing to stop occasionally. Once he put his foot down on the gas, he hated to lift it up again. Heaven help you if you didn't take care of all your business at the gas stop. We still love to tease Kenny, the youngest, about the time he said he didn't have to use the bathroom until about a half hour down the road. Dad pulled over by the side of the road. 

"Just go behind the bushes!" There might be an expletive deleted in there, but you don't need to know that, do you? 

"But I've got to go number two, Daddy." 

"Too bad, kid. Use the bush. We just left the gas station, and you said you didn't have to go. They had clean restrooms. Now you've got a bush."

He used the bush. Then he stepped in it before climbing back in the car.

Ellen, who always got car sick at the least provocation, proceeded to throw up not much further down the road.

Daddy stopped at the next gas station. It was a long stop. The car got cleaned and aired out. At least we weren't fighting over the comic books.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Ri said...

This is great! I love this story . . . especially since we are currently on a road trip. Our kids have it made! Air conditioning, comfort, food, music, games and DVDs! Why oh why is there still any complaining????

Sharon and Marvin said...

We too have memories of throwing our kids in the back of the wagon in their PJ's before the sun came up. Then a few hours later we would stop for them to change clothes, eat breakfast and hit the road again. Lunch time was spent at a park so they could run around and then back in the non-air conditioned car...with the windows rolled down. After finding a camp ground, we would put up the tent and enjoy dinner and smores.