Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What Would You Do for a Klondike?

So what would you do for a Klondike bar? Remember those commercials? “I would stick my head in a polar bears mouth and pull out the baby seal he just tried to swallow, Bill.” The interviewee would say while scarfing down a chocolate covered chunk of ice cream. You would? Would you ride four and a half hours to and four and a half hours back from a little town in Montana where your daughter-in-law’s 94 year-old-great aunt lives just to spend time with your kids? “Do you mean every one of us in the same car? All six of us? Do you mean all six of us essentially cramped up in a car for 9 hours together? In one space? Um, Bill, can I think about that one?”

Nope not my little group we all loaded our happy asses up in the Nagagator, stopped and purchased travel food. Our travel food consisted of Ranch Flavored Corn Nuts, Funions and Red Vines. That’s some good eatin there! First we had to stop by Cowgirl Coffee and load up on Maple Nut Latte’s and Chai Tea in our cute little Cowgirl Coffee cups, because “That is where you get your Giddy-up”. Then loaded down with snacks and laughs we took off towards Stevensville. The roads were clear and the weather was perfect for a little road trip. We drove through the Buffalo Reserve and down past St. Ignatius on into Ronan and even the little berg of Arlee. The road between Kalispell and Missoula is lovely as you skirt the edge of Flathead lake most of the way. You have a view of the Glaciers, the lake, some prairie land as well as the mountains.

I don’t know how many of you have small children who sit in the back and fight constantly but I just want you to rest assured that when they grow up, it doesn’t change. From the back there came a rounding chorus of “are we there yet?” And from the very back seats “he’s touching me, make him stop touching me.” To which I would say, “TM stop touching your wife. Don’t make me pull this car over young man!” Then Falulah would add “he’s hogging the Funions” and Lulu would pipe in “he took all the red vines, make him give them back”. You see its TM’s job to aggravate and pester all of the females in the car to mock and pick and perturb each and every one of them. Then it is the female’s job to report to the front seat each and every one of his actions. Yeah good times.

You see our little group is always up for an adventure. That is how I was able to blindly wonder upon the set of LOST while in Hawaii and watch them film Spider Man III in Los Angeles. That is how we have seen everything from how they mill those great big logs to how tortillas are made in Mexico. Kahuna has the theory that all you can do is ask and all they can say is “no”. Only he doesn’t take No for an answer. Absolutely not. Nope he will ask again until he finally wears down the security guard or event coordinator or person in charge until he and his ducklings are allowed not only admission but a guided tour complete with a question and answer session. You see, he shows such fascination for their work they gladly show him. I have mentioned before that Kahuna has never met a stranger and believe me his children are the same way.
Doodles grew up with her grandmother who was raised in Montana but ended up in Southern California. Doodles Grandmother has a sister, Great Aunt Emma, which lives four hours south of here. Doodles wanted to go see her. We loaded up the SUV and set out for a sightseeing adventure. Doodles hasn’t seen this Aunt for 20 years, doesn’t really remember her but by golly if she wanted to see her the rest of the family happily put their vacation on hold in order to make it happen besides we had never seen Stevensville.

The conversations went from where childhood friends are to what the next semester of graduate classes are being taken or why this biology professor is easier to understand than the other one. We talked politics and religion and the religion of politics. We talked about what the area was like a hundred years ago and what it could be in five years. We talked of contrast and comparisons of Montana to California. We concluded California is like no other state in any way shape or form. We talked of animals we owned and that are gone now. The kids reminisced about their childhoods and how Kahuna would make them breakfast of “An Egg in the Hole” and make sure they had sandwiches and milk money. All of the kids agree what an awesome dad they have.

So you see it wasn’t just a drive to visit a relative it was actually a drive down memory lane. It was a drive of togetherness and camaraderie. It was a drive of love and caring. It was an act of giving. We all gave of our day to give Doodles a chance to see her elderly relative and she gave us the gift of togetherness.

Oh and the gift to me? I got to eat country fried steak at Cracker Barrel. Yeah that was worth nine hours in the car right there, forget the Klondike bar.


Anonymous said...

Aunt Dorthey... not Emma

Gladys said...

Well Hell, I didn't want everyone to know your Aunt was really the one who killed the Wicked Witch of the West and got the Tin Man a Heart and the Lion some courage and the Scarecrow a brain! :)

Queenie said...

I used to dangle Klondike bars in front of my exchange students: do the dishes, get the ice cream. It worked every time. Sounds like a wonderful trip. It could just as easily gone very, very bad. It's terrific that it went well. Glad you are enjoying your family's visit!

Queenie said...

I have just awarded you the Honest Scrap Award! Go to my blog for the details!