Friday, July 31, 2009

Remember Road Tripping?

When I was a kid, my dad would take a month vacation off during the summer. Mom would provide us with a list of clothes and things to bring. We would spend a week packing up the trailer getting ready for the dreaded ROAD TRIP! I really did look forward to the trip every year because I was the kid who was always optimistic that this trip would be the best trip ever.

We always seem to plan this during the hottest part of summer and no, we never had AC in our vehicles. That would have been a waste of money! Open the damn windows and smell that dairy air! There was one particular summer that I remember with much horror now. We took a trip across the Canadian Rockies. My dad decided to treat us to a night eating out in a restaurant. My sisters were 16 (Cathy) and 4 (Carrie) , my brother was 3 (Eric) and I was 10. Cathy wouldn't let me read in the car as it made her sick to her stomach and I got stuck sitting between my youngest siblings to keep them from poking each other. No window seat for me, unless Carrie got sick or had a bloody nose (like she did this on purpose I'm sure) then she got to ride up front with Mom and Dad. The whole while she is up there she keeps peeking into the back seat and smirking that she is special. This act went on for many more trips. She was so smug!

So the night we ate at this restaurant was bedlam. Carrie and Eric are running all over the place and Dad is livid. He swore he wouldn't never take them out to a restaurant ever again. (we did finally go out when I turned 18 and I asked if we could have a family meal out, Dad was worried until I reminded him that Carrie was 12 and Eric 11 and maybe they wouldn't spend all their time under the table during dinner). On the way back to the trailer, we almost hit a horse that running loose in the road. Someone else was not so lucky and had hit another horse. I can still see it on the ground bucking in pain. We were all shook up.

A few days later we were camping in a park. We are all outside enjoying a meal when we hear the rattle of trash cans. Bears are in the park. Everyone dashes into the trailer and Dad locks the door. They hear pounding at the door. Everyone is terrified until Cathy realizes that I'm locked outside with the bears! I carried that resentment of being forgotten a long time.

Of course our car broke down in the middle of no where. Dad got a ride to town from a nice Canadian in a heating oil truck. He took Dad there and back. We got to stay with the stranded car and trailer in the hot hot sun for hours.

Another place we stopped was at the edge of a glacier. Everyone was climbing up onto the glacier to cool off. I saw this wet looking rock to step on to help me up. It was a steep step up onto the glacier. I stepped onto the rock and sunk up to my knees in mud. For that last 40 years I have been reminded by my loving family about the time I fell into a glacier. That trip is forever in my memory bank.

Another year another road trip. We had a new car, a Suburban. Again no AC, wtf? Dad did a weird little air cooler that you added ice to, plugged it into the lighter and a fan would blow cool air at you if you were lucky enough to be in the front seat. Unfortunately I was in the 3rd row seats. Cathy and Carrie got the middle seat and Eric and I were in the way back. The place where the windows don't roll down. Why didn't I get to sit in the middle? Because then Carrie and Eric would be in the back together and fight. At least I could read back there as it didn't bother Cathy. Dad loved the Suburban. He put in seat covers to protect it. These were stiff plastic bumpy patterned covers. There were so hot to sit on and when you got up, you were stuck to them so it felt like you were ripping your skin off. And you got the added bonus of the red marks of the pattern on the back of your thighs for all to see as you walked around. Over time the cover got tears in them. These gave you quite a pinch if you were bare legged on those seats.

Carrie was always getting sick on trips or a bloody nose. That girl lost gallons of blood it seemed. So up in the front with Mom and Dad she would go, getting a bit of cool relief from the lame ass air cooling system. Do you think I'd get to move up a seat? Nope, Eric got to, as he would cry if he had to be in the back alone. If Carrie was sick at night, she got to sleep with Mom in the big bed/sofa in the trailer. This forced Dad to sleep in the fold down bunk by the roof with me. Dad was a big guy and he insisted on sleeping on the edge so I was stuck behind him. Trapped! Of course I always had to get up to use the bathroom in the night so this meant that Dad had to drag out of his sleeping bag, climb down so I could go. Needless to say, Dad put a stop to his having to sleep up there after a couple of times. Carrie just had to suffer in her own bed.

I do remember these trips with fondness tho. It was good and at times bad. And the great thing is that I have forced my own kids to partake in the occasional road trip. Not as long and not as far away. It's a child rite of passage. The ROAD TRIP!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

When did my home town become Dante's Inferno?

Whoo Hoo! it only got up to 97 degrees today! Yesterday it was 105. Tomorrow it might drop 10 more degrees. This is incredible. I live on the wet side of the mountains in Washington State because I have webbed feet. I truly don't mind the rain. I like how green things stay all year long. I have a moss problem in my back yard because it is usually a bog area. Do you know that when moss dries out it turns orange? So my yard is yellow (the tuffs of grass), orange (the moss) and green (the f-ing dandelions!!).

My house has old aluminum windows so that means drafty in winter and wtf hot in summer. Someday we will upgrade.... Anyway, we are trying to stay cool. I spend a lot of time looking in the freezers. The cool air is so refreshing and I didn't really want to cook all that food anyway. I figure I can take the turkey to bed with me. I got in trouble at the grocery store for checking the expiration dates on the frozen veggies. Hey there were a lot of them, I had to practically climb inside the door! And I was so going to pay for all that beer I drank. I thought it was great place for a picnic, the beverage aisle at Fred Meyer. I went to the movie theater today just so I could sit for 2 1/2 hours in A/C. It was worth the price of the ticket for that. And I hadn't seen Harry Potter so that was a bonus!

My poor kitties are taking a beating in this heat. I have been giving them lots of water and trying to reassure them that it's not my fault. They have been giving me the evil eye for a couple of days now.

The one true haven is our bedroom. We have a window A/C unit that I forced Rob to buy a couple years ago when I started the menopause. I told him that if I couldn't sleep then neither would he. He ran right out and got me that unit. Today is thanked me over and over again for making him buy it. I guess you can't even find a box fan much less an A/C in the area right now.

So maybe I will melt off a few pounds during this weather event so it will all be worth it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Is Crisis the new High?

I know a couple of people who seem to thrive on crisis. I think they get joy out of having turmoil in their lives. They also seem to get some kind of pleasure out of the suffering of others. They are very quick to jump on some one's bandwagon and make judgments from what they hear from others without ever considering there maybe another side of the story or that the story they heard was perhaps enhanced to make the teller feel better about their actions? Even when they know the other person or persons involved, they might still accept what they were told at face value. Maybe it's just me, but just because someone says it's so, I don't always believe it. I tend to think that the person spreading the story has some agenda because why talk about unpleasant situations with those who didn't need to know about it in the first place?

I'm not perfect, far from it. But I like to think that people are basically good and as adults, we should be able to find solutions to problems without alienating each other. I tend to turn the other cheek alot and let things slide when I can't make things better. I was told recently that I'm always trying to pat things down and find a way to make everyone happy. I got the feeling they felt this trait was a bad thing.

Maybe I'm just a fucking Pollyanna and that's why I keep turning the other cheek until I get kicked in the ass. Should I go around expecting the worse to happen, expect the worst from people, look for a disaster around every corner? I'm just clueless I guess. I've either got my head in the clouds or up my ass.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman's got to hold on to

I was up at the butt crack of dawn this morning - that's 3:30am, to take my hubs up to meet his friends for a 2 day bike ride. The STP (Seattle to Portland) is a 1 or 2 day 200+ mile road trip for fun. I get the pleasure of taking him on Saturday morning to start and then drive to Portland on Sunday to drag his sorry ass home again. I've started taking Nicole with me so I have someone to talk to on the ride there and back. She gets to do some taxfree shopping at the mall so its a win win situation.

While we were driving at 3:30am this morning Rob and I started talking about small towns and their school systems. He was saying that he is staying in Winlock tonight and they only have one elem, one middle and one high school. This got me thinking about my first steady boyfriend I had when I was 16. He lived a one horse town and was bussed to a 2 horse town for school. All grades were housed in one building. His senior class had 6 students. I came from an inner city high school, we had almost 400 in just our class.

I met Steven at our vacation property. His grandparents had a place there and we met at the lake. It was a last minute summer romance. We decided to stay in touch via the mail. This was a long long time ago, before the Internet. It was snail mail all the way. He lived 50 miles from me, I didn't see him but about once a month or so. But as a teenager I gained ground with my friends as I had an actual boyfriend and none of them did. I was not a very nice girlfriend to him tho, I flirted with other guys, went to parties to hit on guys. I liked having the idea of a boyfriend, just not the responsibilities involved. Summer came and we headed out to our vacation property. My dad was retired so we spent pretty much all summer during the week out there. Dad didn't like the weekends there so we would go home for them. This was not good for my social life at the lake. All the good parties were on the weekends. I had made some girl friends out there so I started staying with their families on the weekends. At least that was what we would say. We would end up at someones empty cabin sans parents and get very drunk. One of these weekends I lost my virginity and it wasn't with my boyfriend. OOOPPS! My boyfriend I hardly saw as he was working most of the summer. He did finally make arrangements to come to the lake on the eve of our one year anniversary. I was so over him at this point and wanted to break up but thought it was too harsh to do it in a letter or on the phone so I just continued to have a good time and keep stringing him along until the big day. I plotted out the breakup, discussed with my girl friends what I was going to say. I so broke his heart, he cried. I was disgusted at his weak behavior. I was a cold hearted bitch. I loved it.

So I'm telling this story to the hubs this morning and he just looks at me like, WTF! I said, I had to break up with him, I was starting my senior year, I didn't want to be tied down! I asked him if he had ever plotted for weeks to break up with someone. He said, OMG no!

I then told him it wasn't nearly as satisfying as when I got rid of my first husband, the Sperm Donor. Rob just shook his head, kissed me goodbye and road off into the dawn's early light.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 5th of July

It's the day after Independence Day but where I live the celebration lives on. Although my town has an ordinance that states "If it goes up or blows up, it's illegal" this doesn't seem to matter to most people. We tend to stay home on the 4th to protect the house from fallout. Our town buts up to the Indian Reservation and those illegal fireworks, well, they do a "booming" business. They have an area near the firework stands for you to ignite your fireworks as taking them off Indian land is illegal. Some people use this area but most try to get them home. The cops sometimes sit at the exit and just stop cars as they leave and take their fireworks. This happened to my friend's husband. He had the fireworks on the seat next to him so he had to hand them over. He was coming home from his job as a fire fighter so he should have known better. He said that he would get to burn those fireworks at some point as the cops ask the firemen to destroy them for them.

So last night the bang bangs started before it even got dark. I tried to wrestle the cats into the house as they tend to freak out from loud noises. Only one came running in. As it got darker the air got thicker with smoke. My neighbors behind me started lighting off their rockets and I watched them soar towards my roof. I had to close all the windows even tho it was very warm because I couldn't breath- asthma. My lungs were very tight from the smoke. The celebration went on late into the night, we finally got some sleep.

I was up at 7:30am, kissed my hubby goodbye (he went on a bike ride). I poured a cup of coffee and went to sit on the deck. Bang bang goes the blasts! Happy 5th of July! All day long there has been sounds of sulfur, er, summer. I'm so glad my neighbors are so proud to be Americans!

I used to like setting off fireworks until I burned off all my pubic hair in a bottle rockets gone very bad scenario.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Police work can be very violent!

My husband, the cop, sent me this clip. Just another monday at work.