Road trip, Runza, Raccoon and Remembering
Tap-tap-tap...is this thing on?
(and North, but it wouldn't fit)
It has been a vacation-a-palooza this first summer of non-salaried employment. Weird, right? Letting Special Agent carry the load has freed me up to do a lot of touring around, sometimes even with him. I seriously need to stop laying around by bodies of water (both nature and man made) and get to work on something.
Oh well, blog it is. Except - I got nothin'.
Except a lot of crackberry photos and a deep tan and this lonnnng post. I decided that I would let my beloved crackberry tell the tale of the directions I have been going during my hiatus from blog-land. Its a little long winded - please to forgive.
A photo montage, yo. In two parts.
I swear, NO more pictures from the Dominican Republic. The Southern portion of this tour is over.
Let's get started, shall we?
A few weeks after my return from the South, I drove my Mother across several states to say goodbye to my Uncle Hugh, a really special man.
|Dear Uncle Hugh, I'll miss you.|
My mother had just bought a new car and she and I and the baboos hopped in for a thrilling 20 hour drive across scenic Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. My Mom's new rig was well equipped with a movie player, so traveling with the kids was like traveling with deaf-mutes. Nary a word came from the backseat until I turned the car off and stopped the CD player. I occasionally channeled Clark Griswold, pointing out not very interesting landmarks.
But no one was listening. (Big Ben, kids...parliament...)
I pointed things out to my Mom, who played along nicely. Even though she has been traveling to this area for at least 40 years.
|Ahh....the open road. Yes Oprah, I was driving.
Look how straight and empty the road is!
We are a LOT of bad food on the trip. Traveling the open road is not conducive to healthy eating. By the time it was over I was craving salad. And that never happens. Except taco salad. Yum, taco salad...
|Someone INSISTED we eat a "Runza burger" when in
Kansas. So we did. We gave it a thumbs DOWN.
|This would APPEAR be the same shot as before, but look!
Lots and lots of 'em.
And lots of 'em.....
And...well, you get it.
|This was lunch in the Midwest. Not kidding. I stopped at
a roadside clinic for a coronary bypass and liposuction.
Once in Illinois, we went to my Granny's (My Dad's Mother) house to dump the baboos and I off, so my Mom could help with the arrangements and see her sisters who had also traveled in. The Baboos and Granny and I had a nice time catching up and showing the baboos all of the things I enjoyed when I spent time in the area each summer. Most importantly:
1. Lightening bugs
|We don't have these in Wyoming,
what a shame.
2. Blue eagle-flavored* sno cones
|*Not really flavored with eagles.|
The next day we attended a few informal events in honor of my Uncle, including a moving, if not pulverizing-ly hot service with military honors. I did not know most of those in attendance, or had not seen them in many years, but I was very proud to say I was Hugh's niece...to 25 people who, after I left said "who the hell was that and why is she so dressed up?" I did a lot of nodding to strangers who knew me when as my heels sunk into the wet ground and I fanned myself like a crazy person in the stifling heat. The baboos looked like they might pass out. Wyoming kids are not built for humidity.
In short, we did not "blend".
While at a post-service luncheon at my Mother's childhood church (church ladies put out good grub, yo), a 50 year old group photo from the church surfaced. I enjoyed seeing the faces of my grandparents (who have been gone since the early 1990's), my Mother, Aunts and Uncles. Strangely, none of the family of 8 was standing together in the photo. I believe they must have all rolled out of the service, crammed together on the lawn and had the photo taken. And then I dream that they ate a huge lunch. I might be having flashbacks from my meal in the Midwest...
|Grandpa Arlo, center.
He looks serious, but look closer. There is a smile in there.
|My Mother, on the left. Sassy as always.|
|Grandma Mary, looking a bit like she was in charge. :-)|
|The back yard where I used to collect lightening bugs and mosquito bites.|
In the City Limits!
|Baboo and Davy Crockett II and his small owners|
|I had exactly the same look on my face.
And raccoon stink all over my black dress.
I felt lucky to get to spend a lot of downtime with my Granny Mae, my Dad's mother. She turned 92 in July, but is running at about 75, I think. She still lives alone and (gasp) even drives her younger neighbors to the doctor.
|Dear Mae. I love you. These will be my hands someday.|
|Yes, I took a photo during church. So sue me.|
|This is a FAMILY restaurant, ahem.|
|I have never seen such a comprehensive "don't pee in the pool" sign.|
|I had to see what "classy restrooms" looked like in a gas station
and I must admit, I felt like a debutante while I hovered.
|More of this view...zzzzzz|
|More oversharing signs, this one for a bathroom in a miniscule town
somewhere on a detoured highway in Nebraska.
|Some pretty views...I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.|
|Some NOT as pretty.|
Road warrior, out.