It wasn’t until my 21st year that I boarded my first commercial flight; yet, during my childhood, I still managed to traverse all over Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, Canada, and Mexico, by car.
At 19 I drove with a gaggle of girlfriends to visit another at her college in Utah. At 20 the same gals and I drove south to visit one of my oldest, truest friends, in San Diego. At 21 another girlfriend and I drove all over our home state to snap photos in front of as many Oregon town signs as we could find.
Husband and I took a road trip for our honeymoon. We drove the girls to Disneyland, made annual pilgrimages to Vancouver Island, took a recent trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota, a quick jaunt to Salt Lake City, and countless more, in all directions, in between.
In a few short weeks, the kids and I are hitting the ol’ Oregon Trail for a surgical follow up with Little Man’s team of physicians (ENT, audiologist, speech pathologist, & orthodontist, to be precise). Handsome Husband will hold down the fort, as we have thoroughly depleted his vacation time from work. In light of his absence, I have enlisted the aid of my Sassy Grandma to accompany me on the drive out. We are flying her out from Oregon, one way, to be an extra set of hands, ears and eyes, lest I lose my mind on the interstate. Spokane Bestie and her curly-topped cutie are hitching a ride on our return journey (half way) back to Montana.
Sassy Grandma is a fiery red-head, who still believes that ‘sensible’ and ‘shoe’ have no business in the same sentence. Even if she had to live on bread and water, she would find room in the budget to regularly have her nails and hair done, and purchase her People magazines. (So that’s where I get it!) She is always there for me, generous with her time. She once delivered popsicles to Swine Flue stricken Husband and me at 11:30pm, when we were so sick I couldn’t even muster the gumption to dress myself prior to answering the door. I pitifully hobbled to greet her wearing only a blanket from the couch.
She was a regular car companion when, back in Oregon, I juggled a demanding real-estate career with raising our daughters and keeping a home. I would pick her up and (after a customary first stop at Java Crew, sigh) hit the town with my piles of paperwork. She would hang in the car with the kids while I popped out to procure signatures from clients, stuff flyer boxes, snap photos of properties, and turn in transactions to my office. In hindsight, I probably should have paid her. Oops!
She’s an excellent partner in crime, and I am looking forward to her entertaining us with tales of our wacky Canadian family history. Above all, I am grateful for a faithful family member willing to endure 795 miles (who’s counting?) in a crusty minivan, just to spend time with us.