DD 191

 

Terry Pratchett wrote, “Why do you go away?  So that you can come back.”  Write about travel

We began later than I wanted.  My uncle had promised to pick us up at 8 AM, but he didn’t arrive at the front of our house until almost 10.  

My brother and I walked from the porch where we’d been waiting.  We had already said goodbye to our mother twice so we did not do so again.  Our father was still in bed, resting, and I have no idea where my sister was, as was usually the case.

“This is the sorriest car I have ever seen,” my brother said as he sat down into the front passenger seat.  “I’m surprised it is still allowed on the road.”

“I didn’t realize,” my uncle said, “that you were such a hoi poli and required extravagant transportation.”

“Hoi poli,” I said from the back seat, “doesn’t mean snobby people which is what you appear to think it means.  It’s actual definition relates to common people.”

“Is that right,’ my uncle said, turning in my direction.  “Then what should I call your brother?”

“You could call him Toby which is his name, as you know, or if you insist on suggesting that he is above himself, you could call him patrician or elitist.  But whatever you choose to call him, I hope it doesn’t delay us any further.”

“It was Ben Franklin, young lady, who said, ‘Great haste makes great waste.”

“He also said,” I remarked from the tattered back seat on which I sat, ‘you may delay, but time will not.’”

“You’ve read a great deal, haven’t you?” my uncle asked, still turned to look in my direction.

“Whether I have read a great deal or not has little to do with our purpose on this trip which I hope we will begin before it is too late to do what we are setting out to do.”

“Is she always like this?” my uncle asked, turning to look at my brother.

Instead of answering my uncle’s question, Tody said, “There’s nothing left in this car.  The radio is gone and the clock is missing; and the air conditioning, if it ever had any, has been pulled out.  Even the cigarette lighter is gone.”

“What was it,” my uncle asked me, “that Thoreau said about nonessential items?”

“He said, ‘Our life is frittered away by detail’ and that we should ‘simplify, simplify, simplify’ but I don’t think he meant dashboard knobs.”

“Perhaps not,” my uncle said, “but our getting to Yellowstone Park is not going to depend on whether or not I have sold off nonessential parts of my car.”

“Hopefully, it will not,” I said, “but the sooner we begin our travel, the sooner we will find out.”

With no further comments expressing his own ideas or those of Benjamin Franklin, my uncle turned the key in his car’s ignition and the engine groaned to life, as if it were some prehistoric beast thawing from the ice.  But any doubts I had as to the engine’s ability to power the car disappeared at least temporarily as we pulled away from the curb and began our journey.

 

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