Sunday, April 10, 2011
Vacations, Part Two...
This was one of the places that I enjoyed most on one of our trips. This would have been about 1955. We were at Petrified Forest. Aunt Annie, my daddy's sister, is standing on the left. She went with us on a number of trips. For years I thought she went to help keep us heathens rounded up but she really did love to travel. Whenever we would stop to stretch our legs, eat a bite by the road or take a bathroom break, in our walking around the area if Aunt Annie saw a little cactus or another kind of plant she would dig it up and stash it in a corner of the trunk or where ever she could find a little spot so's she could take it home and add it to her garden. I think she planted the seeds of the joy of growing stuff in me way back then. It just took a lot of years to come to fruition.
My baby brother is next to her, then my sister and me were sitting up on top of the petrified stump.
My mom, me and Ben, the baby brother, throwing rocks at a stop. I think this was at Painted Desert. We all would take every advantage of stretching our legs. Imagine being in an early Fifties car, probably about this time is when we had a '52 Hudson, and there being seven people in the car. I remember being on my knees in the back floorboard and laying on the back seat to take a nap. I slept really good that way and I didn't fall over against my brother or sister and get rudely awakened. My daddy was in his element with telling us all about what ever place we were visiting. He and momma both loved teaching us about different things in life but daddy, particularly, loved being outdoors and seeing all the different places. It was one of the major reasons why all us kids hoped to live until we were old enough to drive. Our daddy was the original rubber-necker, looking at birds here and trees or flowers over yonder and scaring the beJesus out of anybody in the car with him. We joked about mom and dad having six of us kids so at least some of us would live long enough to drive them where ever they wanted to go as they got older. I think it took momma all of one trip whenever we got a new car to make an imprint in the floorboard where she would try to brake whenever daddy was driving.
Another photo in the Petrified Forest. Ben and sister Sue standing in front of a huge base of a tree. It was extraordinary to see these incredible trees that were once wood and had been laying around in this world so long that they were turned into rocks. I have been fascinated with stones since that time... not enough to become a geologist but to enjoy and appreciate all different kinds of gemstones that I enjoy using to make jewelry. They don't even have to be expensive stones, just the beauty of them, the different colors you can see in each rock... this intrigue was born in me in the stones we saw in the Petrified Forest.
Here's my Bro, Walter, my middle brother posed for this photo somewhere in the southwest... I think again at Painted Desert. Unfortunately these photos I found while I was scanning a box of pictures was neither dated nor were there any captions of locations. I know that on this trip we managed to stop at the Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon but I'm doing the educated guess thing at some of these pictures. An anecdote about the Bro... he was being a smart mouth about something, teasing one of us other kids and mom reached back to the backseat to backhand him to get him to straighten up... he ducked and
Sue got it right in the kisser. What you need to understand is momma would never have slapped any of us. She wasn't opposed to bustin' our butts but she, as far as I know, never slapped any of us and the backhand that was directed at Bro was one of those off hand, half way knuckle thumpers to get his attention. Mom was almost embarrassed when Sue got it. Of course Bro and the rest of us got a big laugh and Sis wasn't hurt, just surprised.
These are but a few of the things that I remember about one of our trips. We had more adventures when we would go to California because when we went to Tennessee for reunions we had friends and family in Arkansas to stay overnight with and then we would stay with one of our aunts and uncles. There were lots of stories to tell about family reunion trips but I just got started on the trips out west so that's where this post took us. The main thing to me was it was undivided, for the most part, family time. I've always had more fun with my parents and my siblings than most anybody else. I've taken trips with friends and significant other people in my life but for rib tickling, rollicking fun and teasing and good times... for me it was all about family.