Oh, Canada (or Are We There Yet?)

I remember riding in the station wagon (the family truckster) forever. Are we there yet? From Kentucky to Canada, back when you didn’t need a passport.

I had to sit in the middle between my much older brother and sister. Mark listened to Styx on his Walkman. Beth slept. How could anyone sleep in this stifling heat.

There were two bathroom breaks. You held it in. Dad commandment one. If I made a request to stop, I got it paid back at night. We had a schedule to keep.

Every time we stopped at McDonald’s to eat, my sister had to pull me out of my seat. Vinyl and shorts did not go together well. My legs made a suction noise as she yanked me out. You had to do it like a removing band aid so that it didn’t hurt as bad. I had the same meals every day: hotcakes for breakfast and plain cheese burgers for lunch and dinner with fries, of course. Dad would be the perfect dad in public…taking everyone’s tray to them and throwing the trash out. Hurry up in the bathroom. Mark rarely went to the bathroom. I wondered if dad hurt him in there. Like he would know. He has no memory of his eighteen plus years with the family yet he hates me for supposedly being treated better because I was the youngest. Selective memories must be nice

Are we there yet? Are we there to yet? Are we close??? Then, there was Canada! Oh, Canada! Cabins and lakes and fishing and eating out at good places and mountains and bears in the garbage and the prolific walks and picnics before Mom lost her leg, everyone has one- picture of themselves as a kid on the potty- mine was in that cabin, and my Sioux Shaman babysitter (she is a story for another time) and wild and wonderful Canada! Exploring, lazy mornings- unless you were going fishing, nature walks, riding horses. No dad in my bed. Oh, Canada, you were more than a vacation spot; you were a fun refuge.