A departure from my “Detours”
You know it’s dangerous to think too much, but here I am thinking.
Today, I am detouring “Detours”. I’m going to share something fun I hope.
As I may have mentioned before, my sister “D” and I are best friends. She is far more “spiritual” than I, in a good way and that’s a good thing. She makes up for me missing church and I cherish her emails.
Today, she shared something that put a smile on my face because it brought back some long forgotten memories of us as children.
She started out saying how “even though we need to be aware of what’s going on in the world, we also need the feel-goods, those precious things in life that make us laugh and want to hug people.”
I couldn’t agree more.
She proceeds to tell me how as she was driving yesterday she passed a park and saw a line of children walking, perhaps part of a summer program headed to a nature trail nearby. In the line, a few of the girls were waving at the passing motorists and the motorists for the most part paying them no mind. “D” however responded with a smile and wave much to the delight of the girls, who immediately began hopping up and down waving even more furiously. What heavenly innocence!
I thought how amazing that such a small gesture could mean so much to them. And in “D” s words, “it made me laugh. They were thrilled because someone acknowledged them. That was a feel-good Luvu”
As I was reading of her experience, it reminded me of the many little things that would delight us as children many, many years ago. One such were road trips.
In the old days, long ago there was law no such thing as seat belt requirements. No law prohibiting children from bouncing around loosely in the back of a pick up truck. Long gone are the days when we kids would pile in the back of a borrowed pick up truck, “borrowed” because we didn’t own one, so it had to be borrowed or we were with someone my parents knew and we’d either be sitting and/or standing if it had rails. And, it was not uncommon to see us wave vigorously at passing motorists trying to get their attention, all the while doing our best to maintain our balance. When “D” mentioned the delight of those girls, it brought back to me the warm feeling I would get inside when someone smiled back. In those days, we frequently got wavers and interestingly I remember the profound sadness I would feel if someone didn’t wave.
On long trips, the four of us would often be seen lined up on our knees in the back seat facing the cars behind us and oh the giggles we kids would break into seeing the responding friendly faces. Occasionally, parents could be seen talking and pointing when suddenly their children would emerge from the back and crowd in from behind all of them waving enthusiastically.
Then there was the thrill of the horn blast of a trucker who responded to the arm signal to”blow your horn” . We actually got to see the country. Dad would point out landmarks and tell the history behind it and/or a story of an experience he had there when he hitch hiked across the country as a young man. It was interesting to us.
We’d entertain our selves in many ways. Sometimes we would count cars or see how many different state license plates we could spot. I’m sure we tired our parents out with several renditions of “99 bottles of beer in the wall” (my favorite) and I don’t know how many more of “Old MacDonald” and “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly”, devising so many interesting things to kill the old gal with or how many varieties of animals we’d give good ol’ Mac.
We delighted in reading Burma Shave signs and whoever spotted one first got to read them. Being the oldest and able to lean in furthest over daddy’s shoulders, of course I got to read the most. My brother was next in line. “D” being far younger and not quite able to read as quickly just sat back and enjoyed the rest of us reading aloud. “S”, even though she is barely 13 months younger than I, got to read on occasion. In those days we thought she might be retarded because she was “slow” but she could read even though she wasn’t as quick as us. She was a scrapper. If I said I found it first she’d get in a dither and shout angrily, “nahuh, I got it first!” I speculate now that she has a form of autism, we just didn’t have a name for it then.
Oh, the squabbles we would get into in that back seat. Yes, the memory of them makes me smile.
When we would get too out of hand dad would reach in back with his club-like hands and thump us on the head and tell us to “sit down!”. I don’t recall that he ever pulled over to pull down our britches and beat our behinds. It was interesting that something that would have driven me crazy didn’t bother our parents, who in normal circumstances could be exceedingly violent. Trips for some reason put them in a tranquil mood and they were generally calm and pleasant to be with.
How simple those days were… the days before hand held devices now being used to keep kids entertained. The days when we actually saw the sites.
Some will never see what a beautiful country we live in.
Just so you know, my detour posts are designed to be cathartic to me and no one else. It will culminate in where I find myself today and hope to be soon.
For all practical purposes, I am throwing it (my demons) out into the universe to be done with them. I know it’s a selfish act and a means to an end. Little by little even if you find these blogs depressing I hope it will bring the demons I have quarreled with for years to an abyss I can throw them in. Perhaps my journey will mean nothing to anyone or everything to someone else; if it does then that’s an added plus.