Posted tagged ‘family rides’

“Squeaking squirrels squandering away their square shares!”

September 16, 2018

Today is another lovely day with warmth and bright sun. The breeze is so slight the leaves barely move. It is a quiet day but then most days around here are quiet. A dog occasionally barking is about the only sound. I have nothing on my dance card today. Yesterday a friend came by and we had cocktails and appies on the deck. Henry even visited. It was a wonderful way to spend the late afternoon.

I woke up close to eleven this morning. Henry got me up at seven to let him out, but I went back to bed. Seven was too early, too middle of the night to me.

When I was a kid, Sunday rituals were sacred. Mass was first then it was hanging around the house until dinner, usually around two. If I went anywhere beyond the backyard, it was on a whole family excursion. Every now and then we’d go for a Sunday ride. I had one back window, my brother had the other, one of my sisters was in the middle of us and my other sister sat in the front seat. Cars in those days had full front seats from one window to the other. The shift was on the steering wheel. Some of the rides were on back roads. I remember getting excited when we’d see a farm with cows. I remember stopping for ice cream. That was the best part of the ride, even better than the cows. My favorite ice cream for the longest time was chocolate chip then mocha chip then mint chip. The pattern is easy. Give me chocolate. My father’s favorite was vanilla, but he never ate just plain vanilla. He covered his ice cream in Hershey’s syrup so thick there was like a river of chocolate surrounding the vanilla.

The spawn chewed the outside string of lights again. I’ve given up. I’m flying the white flag. That is about the fifth strand done in by a spawn of Satan, a rat with a puffy tail, a squirrel. I went hunting for a solution. The only one I found was to cover the strands with PVC piping. That seems like a lot of work, a lot of measuring and cutting to fit the short spaces between the lights. I’ll just stay in the dark.

“Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole!”

January 13, 2014

The trip to Boston was uneventful. Bridge work slowed me down a bit as did work on Route 3, but it was still a quick trip. When I got home, I realized this one trip had mileage equal to four weeks of local travel. I have to get out more. While driving, I did notice the shadows of birds as they crossed over the road; I watched two hawks riding the thermals over the tops of trees and I saw a sign with the name Ichabod on the back. That one gave me pause so I drove along and pondered. Is there a person named Ichabod who wants a transient piece of immortality? Is a reader enamored with Washington Irving’s character and wants us to remember him too? How about that new TV show called Sleepy Hollow? Was this a free ad? After a while I forgot to think about it and just kept driving.

When we went on family drives, I always had the window behind my mother. The highways then were far more interesting than the interstates are now, and we liked the ride for the views on each side of the car. We could choose from all sorts of restaurant as MacDonald’s had not yet staked its claim on American highways. Small motels and cabins dotted the sides of the roads. I remember their signs boasted air-conditioning and TV’s in every room. The cabins looked so small I wondered what more than a bed could be fit inside, and they were built close together side by side sometimes in a half circle connected by a dirt road in front of the cabins. We never stopped in one. There were too many of us. We did stay in a cottage once on the shore of Lake Ontario. The cottage was huge and we could see the lake from the porch. Lake Ontario went into my memory banks as my first Great Lake. I remember being surprised by small waves hitting against the shore. I thought only the ocean did that.

I was hungry driving home today, but my choices were limited and all off the highway. I almost talked myself into a coffee and donut at Dunkin’ Donut’s but decided I could wait. When I got home, I made a sandwich. It was okay, but I decided I should have had that  donut.

“If you’ve seen one redwood tree, you’ve seen them all.”

October 17, 2011

It’s raining slightly, but still it’s raining. The paper got it wrong. The prediction is for rain tomorrow so I don’t know if that means two more days of rain despite all the rain we had last week. I swear this is Mother Nature’s way of erasing all the memories of summer. She gives us nothing but dreary days, and we start to expect them. Fall becomes winter far too quickly.

Today I have to go to Boston where I haven’t been in a while, other than the airport. I used to go all the time, but I’ve become a country bumpkin. Now I gripe and complain when I have to drive to Hyannis, a trip taking about 15 minutes. I don’t know if it’s age, retirement or just being comfortable here at home and on the Cape. Once I get on the road, I’m okay with the travel, but it’s getting the incentive to move that takes time. Today I have a doctor’s appointment, just a regular one so I have no choice.

When I was a kid, any car trip of great length was pure agony. Three of us were crammed in the backseat of a car which had that big hump in the middle of the floor. The windows never let in enough air, and I was prone to car sickness. We elbowed each other and whined about space and who was violating our space. I couldn’t read in the car and we had nothing but looking at the scenery to keep our attention. We’d play state license bingo, twenty questions, and I spy with my little eye but interest was difficult to maintain. How much can you spy in the same car for hours? We seldom stopped. My dad believed that any trip anywhere could be made in a single day. He groaned about bathroom stops and lunch never took much time, always at a picnic bench with the lunch my mother had made.

The only trip I remember with sightseeing was the one to the White Mountains. We saw the Old Man of the Mountain, now a memory since his collapse, went up Mount Washington and toward the end of the day stopped to the Flume. It was late in the afternoon and we got the last bus of the day to the Flume which meant we had to walk back to the car. I remember how cold it felt on the top of Mount Washington and how the road seemed far too close to the edge. The old man did look like a face, but he didn’t impress us all that much. We were kids, and he was a rock. All I remember about the flume is a bunch of walkways and some waterfalls. I can still see the tarred road we dragged ourselves on to get back to the car.  And, yup, we did all of that in one day.