Our much-anticipated trip to see our children in Ecuador started at 3 am. We drove to my parent’s home in Niles, where we would park our car, in darkness. The weather report looked decent, cold, but not the flooding of O’Hare that we had in July. I was excited, Dave was too.
I’ve looked forward to adventures my entire life. When I was a little girl I helped my sweaty dad jam our giant three room tent into the back of the Impala in the early morning. Our three little suitcases propped our feet as we took the drive out of the city, around the lake, to Northern Michigan, year after year. I was an explorer, reading the map in the front seat when my mom sat in the back to referee my younger sisters. Looking back, our vacations were simple, but hard work for both of my parents. My dad took his only two-week vacation with the girls. My mom cooked every meal on the two burner Coleman stove and made every peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat at every rest stop along the way. One night a vacation we would get a drive in movie. One day we would get ice cream, two scoops. They were frugal and knew that the most important part was being together, hiking and jumping the waves.
It inspired my love of travel, of family of being together.
Our trips were never without incident back then. Sometimes the car would over-heat. I remember my mom losing things…her special watch from her own father, in the piles of white sand. Once she had this unexplained hip thing going on and couldn’t get out of the car. Of course, there was the undertow on the beach that one day. I thought I was a goner; okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic here.
Today, on that trip to park our car, I prayed,
Keep us safe, please get us through the gate without incident.” I have had incidents at the gate. “At customs, please help us get a smiley person, may all our luggage arrive on time, please God, only a few seconds of turbulence, let there be good seats, aisle seats…that’s in case God, there is more than a few seconds of turbulence.”
Five and a half hours later, zero seconds of turbulence… get off at Panama, check.
Get on again… new seat, good seat… check.
Off again at Quito…check.
Customs…kind eyes and low-key civil servant…check.
Em, John, Sammie, Julie….smiles and tears…double check.
Arrival in Calacali…girls in bed…pajamas found…Dave snugged in too…check.
Forgot to take medicine. I scamper down the stairs for water. I crash I roll. I whimper quietly. I cry, Dave softly because of the sleeping girls. I crawl quietly up the stairs. Tears spill.
“Dave, I am hurt, I fell down.” I gulp, “it really hurts.”
“Can you wiggle your fingers?” Only a former basketball coach would ask this.
“Yes, but it really, hurts.”
“Can you wiggle your fingers?” he repeats.
I look at him, I hear him snoring. Sigh…no help there.
It’s just another adventure on vacation, dang, I think..I forgot to pray about broken bones this time.
PS to all of my slicer friends…I did have a wonderful trip…despite a broken wrist. I have enjoyed the March challenge for 3 years. I’m not sure if I will be able to slice every single day because of my arm, still casted. Have fun and I will join you when I can. xo