Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Family Bonding

Watching my family communicate on this trip is like watching a group of senior citizens at a swap meet with walkie talkies. If you've never witnessed this phenomenon, take a trip to Quartzsite, AZ in January. The city is overrun with "snowbirds", those that come from the colder states such as Minnesota and Montana and camp out in the desert through the winter. They spread out through city with their RV's, trailers and tents, half of them selling things like rocks, tools, jewelry and other treasures (crap) and the other half shop them. It's not unusual to see a senior citizen going down the aisles on a riding ice chest or a woman in a sequined sun visor pushing her dog in a custom made stroller. Every so often you'll see one of them hit the w
alkie talkie, "We've got quartz on the aisle with the BBQ corn!" of course the inevitable reply... "Where's the BBQ corn?"... or perhaps "Switch to channel 10 I can't here you" "Ten Four". Yes they actually say ten four.

In the instance of my family it's mostly my mom trying to give advice and be helpful, but a lot of the time it just serves to confuse my dad whose doing his best to keep us on the road and headed in the right direction. The problem is if my mom points out something that my dad already knows then he's annoyed. Yet if she hadn't pointed it out and he hadn't already realized it then they're both annoyed. Of course it doesn't help matters that my brother and I occasionally try to help clear up the confusion and usually just make it worse. Nope best to stay silent unless asked for input.

Other than that we're all doing well. Dad is almost in his relaxed state... meaning he only checks his emails about 10 times a day and is restraining himself from calling in to the office. He has taken a sabbatical from his usual break-neck pace and is in no real hurry. I'm sure it hurts his soul a little when he realized we've only gone about 150 miles in a day. He and Geoff have been troopers where the trailer is concerned. I'm sure hooking up sewer hoses is not as glamorous as most would imagine but they do it without complaining day in and day out. Mom has taken over in the reservation department making sure we are staying in one beautiful campground after another. At the moment we are sitting in a beautiful valley in Montana surrounded by amber waves of grain... seriously... and three senior citizens in a tent trailer who are walking around in flannel pajamas. It's better than the lady at the last campground who forgot to close the window of her tent last night and apparently likes to sleep in the nude.
People in this part of the country are ridiculously kind. I'm still getting used to people waving at you for no particular reason and today I even left my laptop out on the picnic table outside our trailer with only a brief thought that someone might steal it. This thought was quickly dismissed as I eyed the senior citizens next door. I thought one might have been staring at it enviously though I doubt they could see that far. Today I walked into a place I thought was an internet cafe and actually turned out to be a place that sells internet modems, when I asked if it was possible to send an email the guy said sure you can use my computer. He didn't even charge me anything!

Yesterday was spent helping Geoff set up his new apartment. I got to set up the kitchen, an activity I actually love doing. I believe I might have a slight case of OCD when it comes to organizing kitchen cabinets. I turn the soup can labels the same way and make sure the lazy susan holding the pots has a large enough turn radius to access the lids. We found out exactly how thin the walls were... still hoping it was someone practicing their pogo stick routine. I also convinced Mom that black out curtains for the living room are a must. It was difficult to explain how I knew the importance with out self incrimination but I got the point across. I am now reassured that he and his room mate Mike will be well prepared for their upcoming year.


Garrett said...

Hahaha. That's exactly how we are when we go camping...Pretty much the same pecking order too. My mom books the campsite, my dad and I set up and tear down, and my brother does the OCD thing. :P

Unknown said...

Nice writing Kat...keep it up.Thanks for awakening some childhood memories...