The Long, Grey Stretch - My Family Travels

In May of 2007, my family endured a long, horrendous trip. It was hot, crowded, and uncomfortable. The trip was not planned, scheduled, or on any agenda whatsoever.

It was a vacation that would start and end in a very crude fashion. It was a cool, late spring day in the heartland of America. Our crew of siblings had been notified by our parents to sit down at the table.

Our father explained to us that our Grandmother had become very ill and had been admitted into the hospital. He then explained that we were going to travel to Indiana, in order to see her and help the rest of the family cope with the tragic situation. The only stipulation with this is that there were eight people in our family, and we only had one vehicle to use. It only fit six people.

Family friends offered to take care of our animals while we were gone, but we had to bring our biggest dog since he couldn’t be without our family. So we all pack what little things we could fit in the back of the pick-up truck, then we headed out for Northern Indiana.

We left Kansas at seven in the evening and endured our trip with all eight people. The truck, being only a crew cab fitting six people, was packed so tight the occupants couldn’t move one appendage to save their soul. The drive took a total of thirteen hours.

There was no possible way to find sleep in that situation. It was eight o’clock in the morning when we arrived at my grandmother’s house in Indiana. We then proceeded to evacuate the truck without a care for anyone who might get in the way of our escape route.

When the stretching, moaning, groaning, and yawning was finished, we unpacked the truck. After the task of unpacking was accomplished, we, unfortuately, had to get back in to go see our grandmother. When we arrived at the hospital, we visited our grandmother and was informed she was going to be okay.

Things were now starting to look up. So we all pile back into the truck and head for grandmother’s house. When we reached the house we went inside and caught up on some much needed rest.

Needless to say it didn’t last very long. Some of our overly excited relatives raided the house and woke all of the sleeping family up. They insisted we come over to their house and have a grill out. I guess it was celebration that Grandma was okay and that they hadn’t seen us in three years.

Everybody gets in our relatives’ vehicles and leaves, except me. I stayed to check some fluids in the truck and make sure it was running okay since the ride it just toughed through wasn’t exactly its routine driving. After I finished, I started the truck and started to drive to their house. It was only a two mile drive. All of a sudden, the truck shuts down and decides not to function. The trip could not get any worse than it was becoming.

The truck brokedown on the shoulder of the road but was soon repaired. I then arrived at their residence after two hours of manual labor performed on the truck. During the cook out, my brother decided it would be comical to make a fool out of himself. As he was doing this, he hurt his hand. He then had to be examined by a physician. Once that was all finished and he had his hand wrapped, we decided to call it a night and go back to Grandma’s home.

The house was very small and there were not enough beds to accompany the whole family, so a couple of us were given the unfortunate task of sleeping on the hardwood floor. The next day, Grandma was released from the hospital and was doing fine. I was not doing so great due to the fact that my back felt like it had been weighted down with an anvil.

Our plans were to go back this day since we were not prepared to stay any longer, but my parents soon realized that we did not have enough funds to make the trip home. So Dad went and filled in a spot with a relative, which took a couple more days of lying on the hardwood floor in the immensely hot house. Once the funds were raised, we said our goodbyes and started our ride back.

We left Indiana at eight o’clock in the evening and I was the denowned soul who had the ninety pound dog on my lap. This particular ride took fourteen hours since the dog had to stop in order to, well, that’s understood. When we arrived home, we noticed that our friends did not take care of our two dogs and three cats that were left back at home.

The house was a total disaster and could have been labeled a state of emergency. It was early, and I had much lack of sleep and when we arrive home, I spend my time home cleaning up animal droppings. This trip was not one of my favorites.

The pros: it was nice to see relatives, we got away from our town, and we made sure our Grandmother was okay. The cons: a very unforgiving trip, the truck breaking down, having a large animal on my lap for half a day, and the house as a result of poor animal care from trusted friends. My synopsis for this trip in case of the next tim we travel to this destination: catch an early flight my friend, it is only a hour and thirty minutes!

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