Everyday Generalizations

Traveling Thoughts

Traveling Thoughts

When I was living in Detroit and was in grade school, my family took road trips in the summer in cars without air conditioning. Three children in the back seat and parents in the front seat with no seatbelts. Up to Maine and Massachusetts and New York City and to Washington, DC, and then south to Oklahoma and Texas and across to California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, and up through North Dakota and South Dakota. We went to Yellowstone Park and Mount Rushmore and down along Route 66 and to the Alamo.

We met my Dad’s adopted family in Arkansas.

My Dad was a triplet born in 1911 or 1912 and delivered by a midwife. His parents already had Rufus, Winifred and Faye, and then along came Roy, Remel (“Nemo”) and Raymond.

An acquaintance told me how his father’s family sent his father to live with another family because things were tight during the depression. So I knew that my father’s situation was not special. People just could not keep up with a lot of children.

I think that is what happened with my Dad. The Fullers took him in and one triplet died and I do not know where Nemo went, just that another family took him in. I knew him and his family well because they lived in Detroit when we lived there.

When I met them, the Fullers had a houseful of people. Tiny, who really was tiny and Skip whose real name I never learned and Becky (I think it was Becky) and their parents and the original family, their grandparents. They had a big house with lots of bedrooms and we stayed in their big house.

I recall that Skip caught a chicken for dinner once and the sight of him lopping off its head made me avoid meat for a long time.

We also stayed with my Dad’s sister Faye’s family in Hampden, Massachusetts. My uncle owned an engineering firm and his wife Faye managed the bookstore at Springfield College. She took us to basketball games where she pounded our shoulders when her team scored.

From Massachusetts, we visited Rufus (“the colonel”; Rufus was retired Army and known by his final military rank forever) and his family in Westbrook, Maine. I didn’t eat lobster, but tasted Baked Alaska for the first time.

We went to New York City during a World’s Fair and saw monuments in Washington, DC. We visited Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm when we visited family in California.

We saw Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone Park and Las Vegas and its famous Strip. We saw The Alamo in Texas.

Traveling to Canada was easy since Detroit was right across the river. I loved Quebes and Montreal and even visited there when I was teaching and went to a conference.

But I like staying home.

I was not a good traveler and neither was my father. My mother and her sisters and brothers traveled by car across the United States when they were still living together in Wayne, Michigan back in the 1930s.

My Dad worked all the time because he had no hobbies and working extra at the steel mill at the Ford Motor Company brought in extra money. So, after awhile, he and I stayed home with my cat, and my sister, brother and mother traveled to Florida by car.

My nephew loves to travel and his older children take trips with their parents for special time. My nephew and his daughter who was 7 went to Japan and loved the sights and walking everywhere. His wife and younger daughter favor trips to Disneyland and smoothies by the pool.

Now I travel mainly to visit my niece and nephew and their amazing families in Florida and Colorado. Although I admit I am attracted to the idea of visiting Japan: so many interesting places to see and food to taste and so much walking! I want to live someplace where I can walk everywhere! I hate driving. I am not fond of air travel either.