Monday, September 13, 2010

Learning in curves

I find myself once again stuck in a rut when it comes to writing. Perhaps it is a little too much use of the noggin or a severe lack of inspiration, I am not sure which. I had initially planned to run one of the columns written by a Nebraska politician but it appears they had nothing to say either.

So, here goes.

I took my family to Estes, Colo. this weekend. My wife and I both grew up in Alaska and had a strong longing to see the mountains and forests. We figured this would be a great place to go. We left Kimball around 9:30 a.m. Saturday and headed out. It was a fairly pleasant drive with conversation stemming from psychology, to history, to what the latest trend is at the elementary school. Both my boys attend Mary Lynch.

As we passed through Loveland and begin making the climb to Estes, my younger brother, who is terrified of heights, begins to turn white. I ask him several times if he is ok and the answer I got back was a very meek, “Yeah, I think so.” I was sure that we were going to have to stop so he could empty his stomach. Not too pleasing, I know.

At about the half way point, younger brother still not doing the greatest, we hear a very small voice coming from the back seat.

“Guys,” said Aydin, our youngest son, “I am not feeling well.”

“Hold on buddy, we are almost there,” I said, doing my level best to reassure him that we were indeed almost there. In truth I had no clue how much longer it would be.

His timid voice reminded me of a time when I was about 5 years old. My family was taking a cross-continental journey from New Jersey to Texas and then to Alaska.

Along our venture we decided to visit with many family members. One stop was in California to see my mom’s sister. From there we headed to the Red Wood National Park. As we drove up and through the forest my older brother, and typical partner in crime, enemy, best friend, Ben and I were swaying over dramatically to every twist and turn we made. We laughed hysterically. We were having a blast.

Mom and dad eventually pulled over and let us play around the trees. Truly dwarves amongst giants. As the day stretched out our parents decided it was time to head back down and continue on our trek north. Ben and I immediately began to sway with the curves. This turned out to be a very bad idea. About half way down our stomachs made a noise. It was very audible. Well, to us it was. We announced that we were feeling ill.

At this point our parents looked at us and said, “We told you.” And in truth, they had. See, despite our childish glee, mom and dad warned us that we would make ourselves sick.

How would they know, we figured. No other child had done what we were doing. So they couldn’t know. We were wrong on all accounts.

We made it down the mountain without painting the back of our parents seats. However, the ground at the closest pull-off wasn’t as lucky. We learned a valuable lesson that day, swaying side to side on a curvy car ride equals a very upset stomach! Oh, and mom and dad sometimes know what they are talking about. A lesson that should have been applied later in life but once again, well, you get the point.

As for little Aydin, he made it to Estes just fine.