After my father-in-law died we found a suitcase full of letters and notes dating back over a hundred years. Being a genealogy buff I dutifully took the suitcase home and began reading. None of them were very useful or enlightening. They all started out with salutations like “Dear Cousin,” or “My dearest friend.” They were all signed in a like manner with “Fondly, your uncle,” or “With love, your beloved.” Well, nothing to be gleaned there. The contents were as dry as my mouth when I have been mouth breathing all night, filled with niceties and affectionate sayings, but nothing of substance and/or news of any kind. Since some of them dated back to 1851 one would have thought a mention or two of the Civil War would have crept into them. Not. Nary a word. Just sicky sweet platitudes and not even a hint of gossip.
Well, I have decided that if I am going to blog on our great American road trip (GART) I would at least put in the nasty messy stuff along with the good and the glorious. Really, who would believe that three adults spending 24/7 with each other in either a cramped van or a double hotel room a great deal of the time would be without any grumpiness, contention, or discord? I didn’t think you would buy that.
It started this morning, the nastiness. K, our adult daughter, with ADD, Executive Function Syndrome, and narcolepsy was still putt-zing along at our announced departure time of 8am. R and our neighbor were out by the car chatting and I sat on the porch fuming. Couldn’t she just once be on time? And, so I would go in periodically, announce the time, and ask how she was doing. This only frustrated her, caused her to lose focus, and consequently be later and later. Finally, as she was tossing her way too many bags into the car we were a decibel or two below screaming at each other. Her to leave her alone (how typically daughterly) and I telling her she needed to move along and get in the car so we could finally leave (how typically motherly). It was not pretty. I am sure we both wanted to kill each other.
Our bewildered neighbor had his camera and wanted to take a picture of the three of us as we departed. He asked us to pose and K shouted a very nasty sentence that included a word that starts with “F” and got into the car. Our neighbor smiled weakly, waved, backed away, told us to have a good trip, and ran into his house. R and I climbed into the car and the argument continued with me threatening to leave K at home if this was going to be the start of everyday on our much anticipated vacation, and K trying to tell us how hard it was for her to get ready and to plan and execute the tasks necessary to be ready on time. We finally settled down, talked more calmly and sanely about the issues and began to sort out how we might avoid this on our trip. We left an hour later than I had planned. I realized that I need to relax a bit and K realized that “a little late” didn’t mean 60 minutes.
By lunchtime we had settled in and found a lovely rest stop called “South Mountain” in Maryland, and made our picnic lunches – the norm for our trip. It was delightful and we enjoyed our half-hour break. We rotated through the driving shifts except that K’s narcolepsy kicked in early on during her shift and R and I finished up the driving.
It was all interstate and nothing to write home about as they say. We drove 484 miles this first day to Elyria, Ohio over a period of nine and half hours. It wasn’t brutal with us all sharing the load, and tomorrow will be a somewhat shorter jaunt. The weather was mild with clear skies. All in all it was a good beginning, with one hell of a start.