Thursday, July 21, 2011

This Post Actually Was Written by Boy#1*

Hitting the road in the '77 Suburban, ca. 1995
I remember the first time that one of our children really traveled alone--when Boy#1 took off for here.

There's a fine line between "I'm so proud and excited that they can actually pack their own suitcases!" and "What on earth are you doing? What sane mother would even let her child drive to Small Rival Town 15 minutes down the road, let alone fly off to someplace halfway around the world?" And then, as if I wasn't stressed out enough (That leg problem last week? Probably just a long-delayed side effect.), One's flight was delayed by a flat tire on the plane, meaning that instead of getting to Hong Kong on time according to plan, he'd have to find his own way to the university.

Long story short, he made it there and back in one piece. As did Boy#2 when he traveled here, Boy#3 when he traveled here, and Boy#4 when he traveled here.

So when Boy#2 called last night to say he'd been delayed on his way here here but had finagled $500 in free flight certificates and a free hotel room and was trying to get bumped today so that he'd get enough flight vouchers for a trip to Europe, I wasn't surprised.

The Boys have a tendency to have their travel delayed in odd ways. When Boy#1 took off for Hong Kong, he was delayed by a flat tire. When Boy#3 went to Giant Metropolis with the band, well, they also had a flat tire. So it came as no surprise when Two called last night and said his plane had been delayed. Why? It had caught on fire. (And no, it's not all that reassuring to hear him say, "Well, at least it was on the ground and not in the air.")

Really, this was just a continuation of a long family tradition. On our first real family vacation, when Boy#1 had just turned two years old and Boy#2 was barely older than the milk in the refrigerator, we borrowed a pop-up camper and set out for Ohio. Worst decision ever. Between a schedule that would have killed the pioneers and one of the worst heat waves in decades, we vowed that this first vacation would also be our last. We kept that vow. For one year.

But eventually we lost our senses again, and purchased a pop-up. That green canvas wonder was our faithful companion and home away from home for trips across the country. Unfortunately, high on the list of memories associated with traveling with it are all the breakdowns we endured. We threw tread in New Mexico. We broke an axle in Colorado. In South Dakota, we put stickers on our suitcases from mechanic shops and dealerships across the state.

Finally we retired our faithful '77 Suburban which had carried those many miles, and replaced it with a practically new (to us) Suburban (air conditioning in the back seats--pure luxury!). Shortly after, we replaced the faithful old pop-up with a new (to us) pop-up, with air conditioning. Laura Ingalls Wilder would not have been impressed at our hardiness.

So what was the first thing that happened? Before we even got out of Small Town, the new pop-up decided to prove it could top the old one in orneriness, jumped the hitch at Busy Intersection, and almost killed us all.

So today, as Boy#2 tries to find a non-flammable plane to travel on, I have to remember: He learned to travel dangerously from the best.

*I'm serious: Boy#1 wrote this. I am a little scared by how exactly he impersonates me.


  1. When Kurt's were living in Bangladesh, Carl was on the Hi School debate team and he got to travel with his team to Kenya. When he arrived, his suitcase was ripped really badly. He complained to the baggage people and they, as he put it, tried to buy off the "kid" with coupons. He asked to see he Manager. When he walked into the Mrg's office, he realized the guy was Persian like his Mom and he greeted the guy in Persian. Kurt said Carl walked out of there with a brand new leather suitcase, nicer than any that Kurt has. lol We decided that he'll do ok on his own. Altho last weekend he went to a concert in the Calif. mountains and I noticed after his comment "party animal", some girl responded with "ok party animal, I think I have a bag of tent pegs, a cell phone, and small change that are yours". lolol Sure glad someone is looking after him on occasion. :)) Carol

  2. Oh, there was another part to his story. Carl and Doug's Tara are the same age, and while Carl was flying to Kenya, Tara was going from Chapman to Beloit or Concordia to judge earthworms with the FFA. Tara commented that there is something very wrong with this picture. lolol gotta love 'em.

    By the way, tks for your encouragement for Amanda. She did give a presentation to the Rotary. I haven't heard whether it brought her any new business or not. I did visit a good friend in Abilene who runs the Merry Maids and was telling her that A. was looking for a lot with water for a community garden, and she said they could use the space behind her house and for occasional produce, they could use her water. Sandy Abeldt is from Hope, and her family had a large sheep operation. Her Dad and his cousin outlaw who also had sheep, Mr McCosh, would get to sparing in the sheep barn during fair week and have us all in stitches. Oh they were special people. Her folks are gone now and so is her brother and his wife, so she's become Mom to her 4 nephews, altho the youngest is 19 and they all live on their own. She's so funny and our girls love her and have always called her Aunt Sandy. Twill see if this works out. Amanda has done an amazing job with her apmt with stuff she found stored in Doug's grain bin and just sitting on curbs and from friends. Nice stuff, not junk at all. The stinker. She has an eye for it. Carol