Dad Takes Us to Minnesota

Flatside Wilderness Area, Ouachita Mountains, ...Every summer after Lindy and I returned from Indiana, it was time for our annual trip with Dad to Minnesota.  Now it may seem somewhat peculiar to other people that our parents took us on separate vacations every summer, but it was all Lindy and I had ever known and so we did not consider this abnormal. Dad’s trip to Minnesota in the summer was the opposite of Mary’s trip to Indiana.  Dad worked on the farm every day for the week we were there.  Lindy and I helped our grandmother bake cakes and serve meals to the men working in the fields.  It was during those Minnesota summers that I learned to drive a car.  (I was eleven and it was necessary so that I could help deliver the meals to the field.)  This was a working vacation for Dad and Lindy and I tried to follow his example.

It was Dad’s custom for us to leave very early in the morning on our Minnesota trip.    We liked it because it meant our chances of seeing Mary would be reduced.  Dad always made the trip in the car fun.  We would play a game involving the other cars on the road and we would stop for delicious meals of whatever we wanted.  Sometimes I would get a cheeseburger for breakfast!  Traveling with Dad was an exciting adventure!

One year while visiting my grandmother in Minnesota, we received a phone call that my Uncle Gerald was in the hospital in Arkansas.  My grandmother expressed the desire to see her oldest son, and my dad set out to fulfill her wish.

Before leaving my dad talked to Lindy and me and told us we were not to fight and we were not to upset Grandma.  We left at midnight and Dad drove all night while Lindy and I slept.  The next morning Lindy said to me, “Lay down on the floor.  I want to stretch out on the seat.”  I refused and Lindy said, “Lay down on the floor or I’ll scream and upset Grandma.”  I knew she wasn’t kidding (and let’s face it–it may have been pay-back time for some of the many ways I had tortured my younger sister), so I laid down on the floor.  When my dad wondered what I was doing, I just told him I was enjoying resting on the floor of the car.  Sometimes Lindy and I were far from normal.

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