thanksgiving again

back before i was a teenager the month of november meant two things 1, we were a month closer to christmas and that was the Sun of the kid universe around with all other things revolved and 2, i would get to see my whole extended family at my grandparents houst at thanksgiving.  when i was a kid the excitment of that holiday started even before we got to the grandparents.  It began on the ride there.  Do you remember family roadtrips?  The front seat was for the parents and the rest of the car was for the kids.  But this is back in the olden days, you know, before SUV’s came euqipted with dvd players and satelite radio and video game systems.  This is when you had to occupy your time as a kid by playing games of ispy or punch bug or licence plate bingo.  or maybe you drew with your etch a sketch.  or maybe you brought a book.  something you got the day before from the scolastic book club.  not me.  reading while driving was like a reciepe for throwing up.  and my father really woudln’t have any of that.  especially when he bought, the car.  I guess all fathers have new car pride and my dad had pleanty.  back when he bought a crystler town and country.  It was pure detroit iron.  back when a car door weighed as much as a compact today.  When i was little, it seamed like it was 50 feet long.  and i don’t remember it being bright and shiny like most new cars but we never had a new car.  To me, even if it was new, it woudl have looked used the day we brought it home.  it was ordinary.  This, was defeenily not the car, for fun. 
no flash not a lot of crome.  it was the minvan of it’s day. i guess that how it is with family cars but it was espcially so with ours.  no glamor in the car.  inside was the color of a carmel apple and the seats were made of that  kind of vinal that remained ice cold during the winter and motlen lava during the summer.  according to crystler, the town and country held 6 passengers.  but seamd a little consertive for a big car like that.  remember it didn’t get miles to the gallon it got feet to the gallon.  the town and country was so big that you could raise a famliy in it and i think that’s pretty much what my parents did.  so, on days like thanks giving when we’d all pile in and head off to my grandparents in “the country” it was a matter of saftey and quite franky sanity.  just like in international politics good borders make for good neighbors.  No war has ever been more heroing than being stuck in a long car ride with screaming fighting kids.  Mom he’s touching me, I am not, Yes you are.  all the while my jabbing into her side.  Of course, my dad drove.  back in the day when you could suggest that driving was a man’s job and no body ever tried to sue you.  my sister sat in the back but as for me, i headed to the best seat in the house.  now that suv’s have taken over the world most kids dont’ get to experice the ride from that space in the way back of the car.  the place where luggage usually went.  it wasn’t a regular seating area but it was the only place i ever want to sit.  expeically on long rides.  my back was to everbody so i was obilvious to the chatter, talk on and off the am radio.  instead i was treated to the grand view of the back of the window.  my own little reverse windsheild.  watching the world roll away from me as our car sped forward.  it was a little cramped but the view was well worth being scrunched up for a few hours or so.  you got to watch people driving in back of you.  you’d see other cars in other lanes with other familys going to other places.  it was a privite view of a never ending road movie.  more better than the most expensive IMAX feature could ever hope to be.  plus it was away from my sister.  tht space was a little oasis of privacy on those road trips.  a place to drink it all in. think my own thoughts.  let my own dreams run wild.  and then comming back from the ranch, the ride home.  i’d grab the same spot in the back with the lull of the moving car and a stary sky would have me sleeping in no time
so here it is, almost thanks giving once again.  and i’m preparing myself.  there will be football games discussed and  i wont know waht anybody is talking about. there will be more food cooked and consumed in my family than in many small nations, and we forgo piling the kids in the car for another long trip.  but maybe next year, we’ll leave the dvds at home, maybe we’ll play ispy or punch bug or licence plate bingo.  because who knows, maybe it will be just as much fun when i was a kid.

One thought on “thanksgiving again”

  1. It won’t…or am I being too cynical?

    My road trips were spent listening to Michael Jackson cassette tapes and watching the scenery, oblivious to my family and sister. My rich cousin had a tiny CRT TV with a VCR in his parents’ van. It was considered the height of luxury.

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