My sister, Barb, our mom, and my adult niece, Whitney went on a road trip to visit family members in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We also planned to visit our brother Mike in Seattle. Then we would take Mom to the town that once pretended to be Cicely, Alaska in the filming of “Northern Exposure.” It was actually Roslyn, Washington. “Northern Exposure” is still her all-time favorite TV show.
Along the way we had quite a few “Family discussions.” As a matter of fact, after an exchange of less-than-polite words while in Seattle things got icily quiet. Our brother broke the tension by asking cheerfully, “Anyone want to sing show tunes?” I told you before that my family is strange.
I shall share a couple of our conversations while on the road:
Whitney (who is driving on a very curvy mountain road) “Look at this guy in front of us. He crosses the yellow lines on every curve and he’s going so slow!”
Barb “He’s a veggie man, selling tomatoes and corn.”
Me “It’s God.”
Me “He’s saving us. He’s keeping us behind Him and won’t let us pass because He knows we’ll be killed if he doesn’t.”
Whitney “Well, wouldn’t you think God would have a better truck?”
Me “He doesn’t need a better truck.”
Barbie “You’d think God wouldn’t drive a truck with smelly exhaust. Look at how He’s crossing over into the oncoming lane!”
Me “God doesn’t want us to pass Him.”
Whit “I’m not going to pass Him. I don’t want to pass Him. If you say it’s God, I believe you. I’m backing away because I don’t want to be in the wreck when He gets hit head on while Saving Us.”
Barbie “Yeah, back away because His truck stinks.”
Me “It’s not His truck. He’s just borrowing it.
Barbie “God doesn’t drive very good.”
After we make it down the mountain, the truck pulls off the road and we consider asking Him for some tomatoes and corn, but decide it’s a bit much after He’s saved us, and all.
Me “Shouldn’t we stop here and find a place to stay?”
Barbie (who is now driving and therefore has all the
POWER) “It’s still early. Let’s go on to the next
Me “OK, but it’s not early.”
Barb “Well, it’s quite a while until sunset.”
Me “If I have to sleep in this car, it’s your ass.”
Barb “We won’t have to sleep in the car. Hummmm
There’s nothing here either. Let’s go on to the next
Barb “Just down the road a bit.”
Barb “We’ll get a place. Don’t worry
Me “You are acting just like Richard. ‘Just the next town’
‘just the next town’ ‘just the next town’ and then we
finally stop at a town and there are no rooms at the inn
and we have to sleep in the car at some scary road
side rest stop and I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP IN
Barb (in her I’m-calmer-than-you-are voice) “We won’t
sleep in the car.”
Me “Says You.”
Whitney “Did you really have to sleep in the car? When?”
Me “Just every time we ever drove between California and
Oklahoma, that’s all. Every time. Even on our
Honeymoon, remember Mom? He kept putting off
stopping until 7:00 the next morning!”
Mom “I remember you called.”
Me “He kept on ‘One more towning’ me until there were
no rooms. Oh, and then when we moved back to
California from Tulsa, we were in a U-Haul with a
Two-year old and my big belly, containing Rob, and we
slept on the side of the road. He slept on the hood of
the truck and the three of us slept on the seat while
dodging the gearshift and steering wheel.”
Barb “We are not going to sleep in the car. See? Here’s a
town. Ex-cept…there doesn’t seem to be much of a
town here. Eeuuww we do NOT want to stay here.
Let’s go on.”
Me (Under my breath) “I knew it.”
Barb “We’ll get a place. I didn’t know we would be on
such a winding little road. We are in serious mountains.”
Me “nexttownnexttownnexttown. I got dibs on the hood.”
Barb “At least we have the road to ourselves”.
Me “That’s because everyone else is already in
their hotel rooms for the night.”
Barb “I knew you were going to say that.” (In her I’m the
only rational person in this car voice.) …and finally,
“Look here’s a Best Western.
Me “If they don’t have two Non-Smoking rooms, It’s your ass.”
Amazingly enough, we all still love each other!