Monday, April 9, 2012

Road trip with Bruce Springsteen

Me - six years old, under the pecan tree on Emile Street.
Confession: I've always been jealous of people who take annual trips, or have annual reunions, or such. Our family has moved around the country enough that it hasn't been easy to pull that off. However, last year my mom and I started a new annual tradition - her at 77 and me at 55, or something like that (does anyone else have trouble remembering how old you or anyone else is?). We headed down to Jasper and Pineland and Nacogdoches, finding all the places she grew up as a child. We saw her school, where my father proposed, where my great-grandmother is buried. It made for priceless memories, one of which is stopping to buy 'striped watermelon' on the side of the road - her supper choice. Smart lady - it's hard to improve on that.

We're leaving in two days, from Dallas and heading down to San Antonio. I have big plans to stay on the Riverwalk, ride the boat with her, see the Alamo, and sit at a sidewalk cafe, eat something mexican, which will include chips and guacamole and a margarita. Or maybe we'll call that supper in itself!

Next day we're heading down to Kountz, Texas - staying in a chicken coop converted into a two bedroom cabin. I'm confident charm will cover a multitude of sins. Plans are to spend time on the porch swing, going through old photos and letters and such. We're staying in the Big Thicket and the BB owner told me to be sure and get there before dark, or we might be lost forever!

We'll commute from our chicken coop into Beaumont for two days, looking up at least three of the houses I grew up in. One house welcomed all six of us kids, newborns straight from the hospital, although we actually bought that same house three times in six years. We'll also go see The House on Emile. It's taken on capital letters in my heart and I can't wait to see it. Last time I was there I was six years old, missing my front teeth.  Living there I learned to tie my shoes, watched Captain Kangaroo and started first grade, played dolls on the lawn with my sister, Barb. Sweet, sweet memories from that house. We'll check out the house I was a teenager in - 7170 Click Drive. Memories of skipping down the street, arms locked with Pamela and Patrica and Carolyn while we sang Daydream Believer as loud as we could, lying on my stomach weaving necklaces of clover, playing Hide 'n Seek after dark with the tree in the front yard our  home base.

After that we'll head back to the lake. She's bound to be a bit pooped by then, and we'll soak in some R&R time here, with a pontoon ride squeezed in too. Possibly, probably more guacamole involved. Then back into the metroplex to visit with all her great-grandchildren and grandchildren who live there, before I put her back on the plane to Denver.

If the trip is as successful as I'm hoping and praying it will be, she'll go home and sleep for a few days before she feels caught up on her rest. That's the measure of a great road trip!

None of us has the promise of tomorrow, even if we know where our eternity will be spent. I've already told her we're doing this as long as both of us can, and she can spend her plane trip back home thinking where she'd like to go next year. It's a dream of mine for all the girls in my family to join us on just one trip with my sweet Mom. Perfect would be a beach somewhere with her wearing a floppy hat and us all laughing til we shoot something out our noses.

Back later with photos and stories.

P.S. Her only requests - some Bruce Springsteen for the drive and seeing the Babe Zaharis statue in Beaumont. My pleasure!

1 comment:

Susan (Mayer) Donald said...

Just stopped by to see how you & your Mom's trip was! I know how precious that Mother-Daughter time is!!
Susan D