It's Dad's Day and so I thought I would share a favorite memory of my daddy. I don't think anyone loved life as much as he did and he was always trying to make life good for those around him. There was nothing he liked better than a road trip. As a child, I thought our road trips were just a spur of the moment event. Of course, that wasn't true. Daddy always had it planned. He just didn't tell us until it was time to get in the car.
I will never forget our first roadtrip to California. Talk about brave. One man, five females.No video games or personal DVD players then. Mama (who did not love roadtrips as much as Daddy) in the front seat with my youngest sister in the middle. My memory of her is all the way from Missouri to California, she wore a carcoat with the hood tied tight under her chin. In those days, if your car had air conditioning all the vents were in the front and in order to keep the occupants of the backseat cool. it was all vents full blast. She was a scrawny little thing and I guess that coat kept her from turning fifty shades of blue from the freon-laced air. In the backseat was my big sister and her best friend. Daddy was smart and he knew that if you wanted to keep a teenage girl happy, bring another teengirl. I sat between them. Being the days before seatbelts, I sometimes stretched out in the backglass watching the world from a backward point of view. But mostly I sat perched on the edge of my seat right behind Daddy and asked question after question after question. All the way from Missouri to California and back again. And every question I asked, Daddy answered. Mama wasn't too happy with me and when she could take no more, "Why? What? How?" would "slip me a micky" as they say. It was some sort of little green pill that made me conk out. On my sister's lap. Drool and all. Gosh! How did she do it? I guess she preferred the drool to all the chatter.
What memories we made! Every night Daddy would pull into a "tourist court" as he called them that had a swimming pool so that we could play in the water. I suspect he was hoping we would work off some energy after sitting in the car all day. We would have dinner in the attached restaurant, go to bed, eat breakfast in the same restaurant, and pile in the car for another day of seeing America. This had to be an extravagance for a man who made his living as a farmer and I guess Daddy had determined beforehand the way to save money was to provide our daily noon meal himself. Everyday at noon he would find a picnic area or a nice scenic pull-off, get out, pop the trunk and make our lunch. It was Vienna sausage and crackers. Everyday. Those little pink cylinders of who-knows-what made their appearance from Missouri to California and then back. He must of bought cases and cases of the things. I think it is a testament to the fun we had that I really don't remember anyone fussing too much about the repetitious nature of our noon-time meal. But I don't think anyone in my family is overly fond of Vienna sausage. I admit to having a few cans in my emergency stash of canned goods, but who am I kidding? The only way I am gonna eat those wiggly little things is if I find myself trapped in a bunker and none of those little green pills to lull me to sleep.