Not everyone dreams of going on vacation with their parents but, I did. And, I was blessed with the opportunity. Turns out, it was one of the best weeks of my life. You can learn all kinds of things about your folks, including the occasional moment that leaves you fighting back not only tears but, laughter.
My mother is a worrier and a passenger seat driver. “How fast are you going? The sign said the minimum speed limit is 45”. That’s the minimum speed limit mommy. The speed limit here is 70. “Well, 70 is too fast”. Well, 45’ll get us killed. “Turn right, turn right. the GPS said, turn right”. What the GPS actually said, was to stay in the right lane. Thank God my daddy had a map and I’ve still got pretty good hearing.
And then we arrived at our first destination, a small town (about 147 people) in South Carolina where you don’t get service for your GPS or your cell phone. So, we’re stopped on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere and, I mean nowhere. There are no houses or businesses in sight but, there is plenty of panic in my mother’s voice. “We’re lost”! No, I say. We’re not lost, we have simply not reached the exact location of our destination…
Next mornin’ we are up and at ‘em at the crack of dawn, headed farther on down the road so we can arrive before dark, which basically meant before supper. I come from a family that likes to eat.. This time the GPS takes us to an airport before dumping us off. But it was an airport in the middle of nowhere. I am beginning to sense a pattern. A pattern that I later find out involved my inability to correctly program the darn thing I was depending on to get us where we needed to be. But that was this time. The previous stop that involved, not being lost but, not really knowing where we were… I would also learn that even though my mama was on vacation, she still gets up early. very early.
While I do like a great sunrise, my mother likes to get up somewhere between 4:30 and 5:15. Now my daddy can sleep through just about anything. I, on the other hand cannot. Once I hear somethin’, I simply can’t go back to sleep. I can lay there for awhile but, sleep is out of the question.
Except for that one morning… the morning I hear a knock on the bedroom door. I try to ignore it, but it won’t go away. And then I hear my name. I am instantly taken back to high school. I never missed the bus but, if it had not been for my mother’s call to get up and get ready I suppose I could have. Turns out, she was simply worried because I hadn’t joined her in the kitchen (before the butt crack of dawn) as I had earlier in the week.
All of this simple stuff may not mean much to some but, to me it meant the world. I learned that my daddy likes to walk around the gardens and grasses. At least that’s what I think he was doing, wink wink. I know from his self admission that he occasionally passed gas while he walked about. This came to light when he was in the middle of his American idol impersonation. Somehow something stopped him mid sentence and he said, “while I was outside passing some gas”… I learned that my parents absolutely love American Idol. They are so cute to watch. And their comments kept me in stitches. They also like to watch The Doctors, which as I joined them one afternoon, I personally found embarrassing to watch with your parents. Note to self, do not watch The Doctors in the same room as your ma and pa.
I watched my parents walk the beach holding hands, picking up sea shells and looking for sea glass. I watched as they enjoyed some overpriced ice cream. My daddy and his salted caramel shake, and my mom’s mint chocolate chip cone. They never stopped smiling and that made me very, very happy.
On our final day at the beach my dad found a piece of… we have no idea what but, it looks like a man and a woman dancing and my mom and dad love to dance. And here’s the sweet thing. My daddy said that he was just gonna keep it in his pocket. It was endearing to watch him pull the tiny dancers out of his pocket, making sure it was still there.
I have so many more things I could share but, I think I’ll save them for the book.
Tori... a Merle girl