I know that someday you'll find better things.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer of The

2011: Summer of the Never-Ending Move
Hyperbole it is not, because I still have two sealed and mysterious boxes in the corner of my bedroom. Perfectly packed and mysteriously unlabeled, I have challenged myself to see how long I can live without the contents.

Or without knowing the nature of the contents.

How could something so unnecessary to daily life (for 691 days, thus far) have warranted the precise packaging?


2012: Summer of the International Road Trip
If we're aiming for accuracy, I suppose I should revise this to 2012: Summer of the (slightly) International (but mostly interstate) Road Trip.

During the final week of July, we embarked on the single grandest and longest journey our family had ever attempted. This trip also has the distinction of being the only one of its kind we will ever attempt.

It started as well as it could. We'd hired a driver to bring us to the airport. He was probably cursing his fate when he came to pick us up-- Mia was getting over pneumonia and Hannah and I were both getting over bronchitis. We were not good company. How Russ and Caleb escaped the germs is beyond me.

We flew into Boston where we were met by my parents. We then drove through New Hampshire to York Beach, Maine, and stayed with them in the campground for I don't remember how long.

Next, we headed south to Connecticut. We stayed in Putnam for another indeterminable amount of time before departing--in the middle of the night-- for Niagara Falls.

I honestly don't know why or how that seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Then it was through Canada, which turned out to be disappointingly similar to Texas, except for the speed limit signs and gasoline prices, both of which were extremely confusing. Further detracting from the mystique, there's significantly less hoopla at the Canadian border than the Mexican one.

Not that I've been to the Mexican one, but I've heard the stories.

The next destination was Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where we stayed for I have no clue how many days. Since irony is at the heart of almost every family adventure-- at least for our family-- it is appropriate to mention that while we stayed with my parents at the campground in Maine, we had access to every creature comfort from home, but during the Michigan portion of the trip, which included an actual house, we were essentially camping.

There was no electricity or running water, but there was a porta-potty, and a proper latrine if you were willing to walk down the road to the boat launch.

We were willing and enthusiastic.

Eventually we drove south through states I'd never been to: Wisconsin and Iowa-- lush, beautiful, hilly, and green.

We stayed in Russ's hometown of Moline, Illinois for several days before heading home by way of Memphis, as every road trip worth its salt should include a trip to Graceland.

All of mine always have. Why break tradition?

Was the St. Louis Arch before or after Graceland? I cannot remember, but it sure made an impression on Mia. She was obsessed with all things Missouri for the better portion of this past fall, checking out encyclopedia-esque books from the public library and the school one, and sneaking on to google maps on my phone whenever she could.

Finally, it was through Arkansas and back to Texas, where we returned to two busted toilets and a broken pool pump, but it didn't matter.

We were home.

There are conflicting reports on how long we were actually gone. Some say 17 days, others say 21. I say different amounts each time I'm asked, depending on which part of the trip I happen to remember first.

72 days, 89 days, 43 days...


Here we are, mere weeks into Summer of 2013, and a new and horrible theme has started to emerge:

Summer of the Incessant Questions.

If you saw this exchange on facebook during the summer solstice, consider it forewarning. That was just the tip of the iceberg.

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