After reading this week’s Theme Thursday homework, depression set in. The topic: My biggest vacation disaster.
Despite being on this planet for nearly 4 decades, my life’s been sheltered. I haven’t visited as many places as I had planned; therefore I haven’t had many disasters. Writing about the time an old boyfriend and I drove a thousand miles to Graceland on my school loan money crossed my mind, but I’m not particularly into bashing exes…even if he did cheat on me at a Boy Scout camp. Yes, I said a Boy Scout camp.
So, I delved even further into my past.
At age 12, my parents decided that my sister (then 9) and I were old enough to be shackled in a car. We began taking vacations every other year to the same place. We left our two street, population 283, muskrat-infested Dorchester, NJ and headed to more populated New York.
These trips have been compiled into what I now consider my biggest vacation disaster in both quality and quantity.
How could visiting a wonderful place as New York, the greatest place on Earth (sorry Paris) be disastrous? Oh, no, no, no. This isn’t a post about New York City. I’m talking about Portville, New York. And although census reports claim that 3952 reside there, the only people I saw were my grandparents.
After packing clothes-filled grocery bags into the trunk, my family would embark on the glorious 7 hour drive.
My father was prepared. Not only did he bring snacks and fill his thermos with coffee, he brought along the empty Maxwell can to fill up with his urine. Why get out and pee on the side of the road when you can do so in the comfort of your own vehicle? This saved time. My Dad would occasionally make stops so the females could empty their bladders and so he could empty his can.
We ate at truck stops with stuffed animals on the walls. This gave him the opportunity to share his unique sense of style with the tri-state area. His belt never prevented his butt crack from invading the outside air and he frequently wore his Red Neck hat and his Life’s a bitch, then you marry one t-shirt.
During these painful car rides, I was caged in the back seat with my sister who always took up more room than she was worth. Having her feet reclining in my lap was not enough. She needed to occupy my auditory space. Not knowing the words to the songs on her Walkman didn’t prevented her from sharing what she thought they might be with me and everyone else in an eight mile radius.
My father perfected placing his armpit directly in front of the air conditioning vent providing my sister and me with an olfactory treasure.
My father viewed his vacation/sick/personal days as time to accomplish many tasks; a view I’ve unfortunately found myself sharing. While at my grandparents on vacation my Dad relaxed by cleaning the gutters, painting, fixing my grandfather’s car, and weed-whacking. Anything that would keep him out of that house and away from his parents, he did.
While there, my sister and I:
-tried to go to sleep while Lawrence Welk played at maximum volume
-slept in an uneven bed
-walked down the road
-partook in delicacies such as German potato salad, goulash, and instant coffee
-made a music video for Guns and Rose’s I Used to Love Her
-dug up bones in the pond behind the barn (not human)
-watched my grandfather’s pants hit the floor
-went for rides because we hadn’t spent enough time in a car on the way there
-climbed the mountain in front of the house
-climbed the mountain behind the house
-climbed the other mountain
-plotted each others death