Once Mother learned to drive (well, she sort of learned; her driving was pretty scary) she was off to see her family in Chicago. My sister and I would go along, hoping and praying each time that this visit would be different than the last several. It was only four hours if you actually drove like a normal person. But as we knew only too well, she was far from normal.
When it seemed we had been in the car for hours, Mother would say it was time for lunch. Truthfully, we were only about forty miles from home, which meant the remainder of the ride would be an eternity. She loved pork tenderloin sandwiches and would always pull into “Bob Johnson’s Good Food” for our lunch break.
I often would order the pork tenderloin sandwich as I knew it would be a long time before we would eat again and the sandwich was as big as a plate. I was always unable to finish it, and since Mother never put up with any food being wasted, I had to take it with me. She would have me put it in the back window and I was told to nibble on it whenever I was hungry.
Most people know that pork, sun and hot temperatures in a car are a deadly mix. Needless to say, if I made the mistake and took a bite or two, I paid the price later by spending time throwing up. Mother always said I must be carsick so that she would not be held responsible for food poisoning. She had a knack for making sure she would not allow anyone to ruin her visiting. As I projectile vomited, she would say
Oh, don’t pay any attention to her. She’s just trying to get sympathy.