I had the best parents a kid could have - although it took me a few years to figure that out. I also was a "daddy's girl." We used to travel a lot and go places. I especially loved driving back to Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana where my dad's big family lived. I loved those car trips - we would take the "southern route" going and the "northern route" coming back to California. It was always such a thrill, on our way back home when the air conditioner on the car would finally konk out, right in the middle of the Nevada desert in August. Oh those Sierra mountains were a welcome blessing after a very hot car ride.
We would visit historical landmarks along the way - probably - why I love American history so much. I remember drinking different brands of soda - having to reach into a cooler to pull out the bottle. (no cans) I remember eating hot chili over cold spaghetti in a roadside diner near Cincinnati Ohio. I mean, what was that? I remember one funny time when we were at Heavenly Valley at Tahoe and we were sledding and some guy came down on a toboggan - hit us, and almost ripped my mom's foot off. Boy Dad was mad - and I watched as he marched over to the laughing inconsiderate punk, and hit the guy in the nose. Blood spurting out. I was shocked. Then dad rushing over to us, saying, "We have to go." Uh oh!
I remember one New Years Day, Mom and dad went out and Dad had a little too much to drink and threw up in his nightstand drawer, right where he kept his loaded gun. We all thought it was funny. Dad did not laugh.
As a 4-5 year old, I liked to sit on the edge of my seat - holding on to the back of my dad's seat (NO we did not have seat-belts or car seats) I would in a soft voice, mimic the sound of a police siren. Used to freak my dad out. - Then there was the time, Dad got me back - and he was pulled over by the cops, and he had me cry and beg the officer,
"Please don't take my daddy to jail." It worked.
Ah the time my Mom was bitten on the foot (what is it with her and her feet?) by our pet Rabbit, Thumper. I laughed at that and got in trouble. (We also had a chicken named Henny Penny)
In our family, we used to laugh at the weirdest things. Like when someone would throw up and make that gurgling noise from the bathroom. We'd all laugh - until it was our turn. We were all very polite as well. When we would as a family, be sitting out in the living room, watching TV, if one of us left to go to the bathroom, we would announce it. I thought that was the norm - in all families. Was embarrassed a little when I made that BIG announcement after meeting my in-laws for the first time.
And lastly, how could I forget my FEAR of taking baths with my little sister.
I sure miss my folks - the way they used to be and all the good memories I have of growing up. After we moved out and they were on their own for a few years - they were no fun anymore. They lost that magic - the ability to laugh at oneself.