September 5, 2009

Missing Autumn

On facebook I've been seeing everyone start their annual "my football team is better than your football team" posturing, and I've realized quite suddenly that Fall should be here. Growing up Labor Day always meant another week on the road. For months we'd discuss locations -Maine, Colorado, New England, wherever our fancy and two or three day's traveling could take us. As Labor Day approached we'd check out travel books from the library and watch the weather reports. At some point us kids would be dispatched to vacuum out the rv and stash numerous boxes of cereal. Then, on a Friday afternoon, we'd put the milk in the rv fridge, put a few pizza's in the oven, and wait for Dad to come home. As soon as Dad had come home and changed we did a last check of the house to make sure faucets and ovens and irons were all off; we'd carry down the pizzas on their cardboard rounds, scramble up the steps into the rv, and wait for Mom to lock the door. I can still hear the sound of the that first twack as Mom pulled the rv door closed behind her, and the rv rumbled it's way up the driveway and out onto the road. Sitting there in the rv, eating pizza, and digging into my library I always knew we were doing something special. It was every trip was like Christmas where each day was another present unwrapping itself from the ribbon of the interstate before us. Every sunrise was an entirely new thing seen from a bouncing, swaying window while licking powdered sugar from my breakfast doughnut from my fingers. Even the rain didn't bother us because it was new rain from a new sky, and watching the storm come up over mountain or lake could be half the fun. When you go to see things it doesn't matter near so much how you see them but only that you do see them.

Unfortunately I can never return to those days. I'm even finding myself increasingly reluctant to wear my old vacation shirts because they are the last tangible memories of a time that was necessarily all too brief. Even if I wanted to though I couldn't go back. The university schedule changed much of our travel schedule. Now that we are growing up and going our own separate ways.... How I wish my memories of these days were clearer. As they are I only have snapshots of hikes and sunrises and late nights listening to old radio shows -often as not thinking about some boy I rather liked. They were good times, and I will be forever grateful that I had them.

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