longest drive ever

This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s weekly writing prompt  2.) A long drive…

Life has been a series of long drives for as long as I recall. At the risk of dating myself to a time before seat belts were the norm, I remember laying down in the back of my parents’  Brady Bunch-esque station wagon with snacks, toys and blankets pretending it was a camping trip. Singing songs with my sister Laura, we would play until we began hitting each other (a foregone conclusion on any trip).

we made it to adulthood relatively unscarred.
we made it to adulthood relatively unscarred.

over the river, and through the woods

To Grandmother’s house we went. My family resided in Santa Barbara, California until I was 12 years old. Often the weekends consisted of a drive South on the 101 to Grandma’s house in Camarillo (about an hour away). The trip wasn’t terribly long, but for two little girls, it was torturous.

I am a firm believer that sibling rivalry can create a long drive in any instance. I was insecure and shy while Laura  relished the attention. She would excitedly move into the middle seat so she could poke her head between our parents’ in order to engage in conversation. This simply would not do! I needed order. My space was being invaded by my obnoxious little sister.

Then the squabble began…

me: Mommy, Laura is on my side of the car!

Laura: No I’m not.

me: Yes she is. I can’t move because she is taking all the space.

Laura: You have plenty of room.

mom: put down the armrest and both of you stay put and out of the middle.

let the games begin

Mom thought the problem was solved by creating a barrier with the armrest. Looking back, it was a good plan. What she didn’t consider was how long the dam would hold before we were fighting, hitting and pulling hair. Within 10 minutes, she or I would decide to nap and use the armrest as a pillow.

Bad idea! Once one of us wanted the armrest as a pillow, so did the other. Then it was a matter of who had to squish her head against the back of the seat and who’s head would be falling off the end. In retrospect, they both seem uncomfortable.

The brawl started anew. By the time we arrived at Grandma’s house, I’m sure our parents had enough. Honestly, I don’t know how they put up with it. Tumbling out of the back seat, Laura and I immediately forgot our differences and focused on the visit. The battle was over for awhile anyway. No promises made for the long voyage back home.

tag! you’re it

What is the longest drive you can remember? Were you the driver or passenger? Alone or with a couple of screaming children? Maybe, like me, you were one of the screaming children. Share your stories.

8 thoughts on “longest drive ever

  1. Dyanne @ I Want Backsies says:

    I remember cars without seat belts! I used to stand on the hump on the floor of the backseat and hang over the back of the front seat. That was after graduating from standing in the middle of the front seat between my parents when I was younger. Gahh! (I loosened my front baby teeth when the car stopped short and I went face-first into the ashtray on the back of the front seat.) And we had a feather bed in the back of our station wagon for long trips. It was heavenly to lie back there and entertain myself on trips, and my brother and I couldn’t fight as easily with me that far away from him!

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    1. miriamgomberg says:

      A feather bed? Wow! You guys had everything. I’m glad that the teeth you loosened were baby teeth. It was my sister who stood in the middle while I sat there moping until I couldn’t stand it anymore. Then…Whap!

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      1. Dyanne @ I Want Backsies says:

        My great aunt made the feather bed. After we got rid of the station wagon, my brother and I were stuck in the back seat of the Impala together. There was a strip of vinyl between the two halves that we weren’t supposed to cross (the demilitarized zone). Of course, I was the one whose hand would creep across the strip….

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      2. miriamgomberg says:

        Argh! You are torturing me Dyanne. My sister could never stay on her side for more than a few minutes.

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  2. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says:

    I, too, remember a world before seat belts. A world where children “sat on the hump” or – if you were really lucky – on top of the armrest in the front seat with the grandparents. THAT was for the coolest kids (AKA the oldest or the loudest or the one who was most likely to beat up on the others if put in the back seat.

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    1. miriamgomberg says:

      I forgot about the extra little seat in the front. That was definitely a special treat with Grandma. Do kids still fight in the back? I think now they all just plug into their own games or movies and ignore each other completely.

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      1. miriamgomberg says:

        Whew! I feel vindicated by that. My kids have 7 years between them so the fighting has always been kept to a minimum. I think we all gang up and yell at Sam (the youngest).

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