Yesterday on my lunch hour I had to stop by the parentals to get the house keys and instructions on how to water the plants b/c Ma and Pa are going on a road trip. This is unprecidented! My parents never travel. They are both afraid to fly, my dad's job involved travel so when he was home he was HOME, and they put 5 kids thru college so who had any money to go anywhere anyway? Now that they are, as my mother says, a million years old and finally retired with no kids in the house they are hittin the road, Jack. It is a complete hoot.
Tomorrow they are heading to North Carolina to visit my youngest brother, Mr. NASCAR. He moved to NC about a year ago when he got a job with NASCAR. Thankfully, he has not yet started to wear loud shirts with lots of colors and ads nor does he wear cowboy boots. I think the p's want to make sure he is not anywhere near becoming a redneck and is still the Indiana boy they know and love. Anyway, by the sound of things, one might assume they are off to tour Europe or sail the seven seas. When I pulled in the drive, their car was out of the garage, tossed aside as a piece of junk...while my mother exclaimed, "You have GOT to see this car! We just picked it up!". I was escorted briskly into the garage, the first to view the rental car. My parents have never had a brand new car, much less a brand new RENTAL car. There it was, gleaming under the shop lights of the garage. I ohhhed and ahhhed over the lovely Chevy Impala with leather ("LEATHER!") interior and ("we don't even know how to work this!") in-dash CD player. "Best of all", beamed Dad, "it has a SUNROOF!" I suddenly had visions of my recently retired mother standing up with her head out the sunroof screaming "PAR-TEE!" going down the highway at 55 mph. (Dad always goes the speed limit or a bit under.) These are people who have for years driven a Ford Ranger with manual windows and an AM radio. To them, the Impala is on par with ipods, Tivo, and DSL internet. They are amazed and they feel very wealthy.
After our homage to the rental car, the two of them had me file past the cooler filled with snacks for the road (finger sandwiches, celery & peanut butter,pudding cups, carrot sticks, and a lot of beer for when they get to the hotel), the suitcase, and the stack of books my mother plans to read. "All of this," bubbled Mom, "will fit in that Impala!" It really is cute how excited they are...Mom even said she practiced using the cell phone. She used to yell when she called you b/c "I don't see the microphone on this tiny thing" and then when she went to hang up, you would hear her say, "how do I turn the damn thing off?...Ray, how do I do this?...is it still on or did I already push something?" You had to yell into your own phone to tell her how to turn hers off.
At any rate, the p's are locked, loaded, and off on their Southern adventure! Let's hope for safe travels and happy trails!