There is so much we could talk about: the G7 “support” for a fossil fuel free world by 2100, Mr Harper’s visit with the Pope, the Senate’s secret arbitration process, but today we’re going to talk about road trips.
Ms Soapbox and her daughter (let’s call her Missy) are going on a road trip to Victoria where Missy will start her first nursing job.
The trip will take two days because Ms Soapbox loathes being stuck in a car for more than two hours. This is likely a holdover from her childhood when she and her sisters would be trapped in the backseat of an ancient Chrysler until their father’s bladder couldn’t take it anymore.
Ms Soapbox’s parents rarely took road trips. But the few they took were very exciting.
One of Ms Soapbox’s most vivid childhood memories is her father racing around a blind curve trying to overtake a battered truck with Jesus Saves painted on the side. Her mother gritted her teeth and said: “You’d better hope Jesus Saves because we’re all going to die.”
Over the years Mr and Ms Soapbox and the children took many road trips from Calgary to Lantzville BC where Ms Soapbox’s parents lived.
Mr Soapbox, bless his heart, is less likely to scare the wits out of Ms Soapbox than her father was. Nevertheless, it took some time for him to understand that when Ms Soapbox needs to get out of the car, she really needs to get out of the car.
Mr Soapbox is one of those people who packs the car the night before and leaves at the crack of dawn. His objective is to get a good two hours under our belt while traffic is light and the children are asleep before stopping for breakfast at Smitty’s.
Generally a good plan…until the children stuff themselves with pancakes (try telling a child she can’t have a pancake when you’re on the road).
The children would then be strapped back into their car seats with a water cooler strategically placed between them to stop them from bickering. On one trip Ms Soapbox found a lovely antique wooden chair and positioned it upside down between them. They were terrified. They’d overheard their father say “that thing is going to poke their eyes out.”
It usually took a couple of hours for the children to doze off (not surprising given their hearty breakfast of icing sugar and pancake syrup). In the meantime Mr Soapbox would entertain them by pointing out mountain goats (specks on the landscape) and craggy peaks (which one?) while Ms Soapbox dove into the goodie bag at her feet searching for books and toys to toss into the back seat like steaks thrown into a lion’s cage.
When all else failed Ms Soapbox would tell them stories about the Mountain Worms. These are MASSIVE worms that eat rocks and create tunnels which are used by the railways when the worms aren’t in them.
Mountain worms sleep during the day and get very angry when disturbed (by cars like ours). Then the authorities must race up the mountain to fire off rounds from the mountain cannon (which looks very much like an avalanche cannon) in order to keep the mountain worms at bay.
After the “lost screw incident” (don’t ask) Mr Soapbox learned that Ms Soapbox would crawl out the window at 120 kph if he didn’t book a hotel for the night in Vernon or Kelowna.
And Ms Soapbox learned that the only hotel worth staying in is one with a waterslide. Mr Soapbox soon perfected the arched back descent and last minute contortion that ensured he wouldn’t drown the little Soapboxes when he shot out of the plastic tube at excessive speed. At night everyone slept like a baby, even the babies.
This road trip promises to be much less stressful (for one thing Missy will be driving not hollering from the backseat), and when we finish settling her in her apartment it will be her turn to visit us.
No doubt she’ll take a plane like a civilized person.