Monday, November 28, 2005

The Fam

I've learned through many years of writing, no, trying to write, that when The Urge hits you, its best not to ignore it.

So a Note to (and about) my family. Not the most technologically adroit bunch, but they are definitely the People I Would Choose to be in a Landlocked State With (See: This Summer) and The Only People I Would Ever Fund a Party For (Check) and The People I Who Would Know what the term "Family Hell-Bus" means (Check, and who would find that phrase actually funny) Plus, we've had some pretty good times in the past - just ask my mom about Erin, Amy and I and the following: "Aaaa-Chooooo! I'mb sorry, I can'dt helpb it" repeated 15 times. Or what W.M.I.M. means.

However... SOME of them (this means you, Miracle-Ear/Lentil Bladder/Woman who Cannot, at any cost, Sit Down) will not suffer the torturous, International Inquisition that is The Internet. Consequently, I write a lot of letters. And am therefore in a great position to say how much Work goes into writing a letter - far, far less than sitting here for ten minutes and plunking in whatever my tea-addled brain spits out. I mean, there's the envelope to be designed, the paper to be custom-sized, the cool pen that actually works to be found...not to mention the stamp. Wait... what's this, you say? Postcards? Pre-sized whaaaa???? Apparently I failed to mention we're Norwegians, and anything that is not Made of Wood must be viewed with deep and abiding mistrust and suspicion.

Another nice thing about this way, I can allow a great portion of the thousands of words I have in my head to come out in picture form. So I wonder, does all of this logic make a wee mite, yea, a flea speck of difference to those who know I simply cannot stand to be out of contact with them for to long of a time? I know not. The only thing to do is to watch and wait. And hope that soon a wooden computer with seven or fewer large buttons, voice controled type-pad and a built-in headrest for Napping (Dad, Uncle Steve) a cleaning attachment (Mom and Auntie) and a Nail File (Amy and Erin) comes out. And quick! I'm sure Mac is working on it as I type.

And D and L begat Maya, and yea verily she was Quite Stubborn.

THE FAMILY HELL BUS - Part Deux of this entry

So - much of the last entry likely makes no sense to anyone but my family... so allow me to relate the tale of the Family Hell Bus.

The family Hell-Bus, (F.H.B. for short). Growing up, Erin, Amy and I were totally unaware that other people did not load up the van with luggage, rip out the middle seats, add toys, books and enough health foodstuffs to (almost) feed us for two days or so, and Drive to the Domain of the Grandparents - Oregon. We thought this was what everyone did for fun.

The actual drive managed to be bearable, starting with the waking at 3 am and driving through the dense summer morning darkness, waking up to see the sunrise and stamp around, messy-haired, in the cold of the morning. By seven or eight in the morning, we'd have discarded our dusty-maroon colored sleeping bags and would than spend the next few hours trying not to move or touch each other.Tepid morning air turned to milky heat. After that, there were hours of steam and boredom, the road straight, a book-on-tape murmering in the background of our attention. Generally, we were in Dunsmuir or Paradise (tiny hamlets outside of Mt. Shasta) eating a late breakfast by eleven. We'd pile out of the car around three or so, stiff legged and tired from sleeping to much.

But I digress - what I'd meant to tell you about was the actual vehicle, and how it came to be the F.H.B. You see, there is an unexplained phenomenon that only happens in Toyota vans. I call it the "Barrier of Silence" factor. When children are in the back area speak in a normal volume - their parents canNOT hear a word they are saying. I've tried it -repeat yourself as loud as you like, those 3-6 feet are a sound barrier. Unless, of course you say something that you don't WANT them to hear. In that case, the Barrier of Silence lifts and the parental units hear you loud and clear.

Generally, my dad would drive, because having my mother and her flawless driving record behind the wheel was entirely to much of a strain on his delicate nerves. He'd drive for hours, asking for coffee, gum, neckrubs, red-eyed and increasingly tired/irritiable till my mom forced him to let her drive. No matter what state of advanced sleep deprivation he was in, he'd be wide awake the minute she buckled her seat belt.

Twitchy as a turkey before Thanksgiving, he'd advise, watch her speed, be on the lookout for stray cows, meteors, signs from above that she was a crazy Woman Driver and that he should not ever sleep. After an hour or two of this insanity my mom would (probably) roll her eyes and say, ever so sweetly, "Honey, you're not sleeping - do you want to drive?" Once my father drove 22 out of 24 hours, stopping only for gas, coffee and pee breaks.

Strange that I hate being in the car, isn't it? Maybe someday S and I will have our own version of the family hell bus - Us, Fynn and some other cat, meaowwwwing in the background while Echo & the Bunnymen play.

Of course, we won't hear them.


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