Monday, June 25, 2007
Rolling, rolling, rolling...
One of the purposes of this blog is to get down on paper (the special internet paper) some memories of Jim so they don't get lost in my swiss cheese brain.
This picture was taken on our last trip together. It was to Jim's brothers home. Some of the best times during our marriage was when we were taking trips. I come from a family that lived a fair distance from family so on holidays there would be the trek to visit Grandmother or Aunts and Uncles or such. An 8 hour drive with 4 kids is always an adventure. Oh and remember this was before DVD players and ipods and heck, FM radio or cassette players in the cars. Dad had to make up things to entertain us or he would go nuts.
So with Jim and I, the long drives were fun. I taught him the things that my Dad taught us kids. The Army songs, all the other military songs, musicals, word games, license plate games, road sign games and the best one, how to read in while a car is moving. I still have people amazed that I can do that. Oh, I almost forgot the 'crossing into a new state song'. You see the 'welcome to Pennsylvania' sign and have to sing "Pennsa, pennsa pennsylvaaaania, oh pennslyvane i a, ho ho!' and just insert any state in to that template.
Jim loved the alphabet sign game. We would play that on the long drives along the turnpikes. His farsight beat me all the time. He was a serious player, but would also try to say that a letter was actually a different one and I just read it wrong. You know "Delaware 34 miles' was actually 'Qelazare 34 miles'. He didn't realize that I had been playing this game for years and with siblings. No sliding Qelazare by me. There was fun in these trips because as we played the games his eyes would light up and the laughter would fill the car.
One of the fun trips was thru Pennsylvania and the Amish Country and some areas that I had travelled as a child but never seen thru adult eyes. My Mom was Pennsylvania dutch. And yes would say stuff like 'throw me down the stairs the coat'. We went to Paradise PA where my way distant relatives Adam and Eve Hocker are buried. We went to visit Roadside America, in Shartlesville, PA, the world's largest indoor minature village. I remember going there as an 8 or 9 yr old and be so fascinated by this warehouse sized building devoted to a train. Jim was equally fascinated and pleased.
We often went on Sunday drives. These were the best. If it was a nice fall, spring or summer day and the cows were fed, dogs walked and chores done, we would jump in the car and go for a couple hours of driving, north or west or east to see thing and to spend some time. Our travels often got us lost, often had us playing scissor, stone and paper about what CD to listen to next and often found us at restaurant to take a break and have some food. Quality time like that can't be beat.
There also seemed to be a 'ritual' to us going. First one of us had to suggest it, and that varied, then there was the getting the house ready - as I said, dogs fed and doors locked and such. Then, inevitably there would be some argument about something. It was always something really really stupid and yet the first ten minutes of most of our trips I remember as us sitting in silence, sort of sideways glaring at each other and not talking. It was a pattern that I recognized and even as I did, I couldn't seem to stop it from happening.
The travelling thru beautiful colors of leaves in the fall and the green of spring was very relaxing to both of us. We would listen to music, discuss events in our lives, where we were headed in them, goals we had and work out problems. I loved getting lost on back country roads with Jim.
I also loved listening to him sing along with the CD's. It may take some nudging and some cranking of the tunes, but he would eventually give in. The Bee Gees, the Village People, the Beatles, Toby Keith, Credence, Diana Ross or countless others were on his song list. Jim and I had Toby Keiths version of 'Mockingbird' down pat and would sing it together. Jim was nice and would even let me sing along to Footloose, Blues Brothers and Meatloaf on a occasion. I learned to like the Beatles thanks to Jim and listening to him sing the songs. There was one song that he always sang, and said that Paul McCartney wrote/sang? and said that our friend John always debated him about it and said no Lennon sang/wrote it? I can't remember which was the right answer.
So rolling along the highways with Jim. Good happy memories.