I landed in the city of forest fire smoke, wide streets and drought for weeks or months… Boise, Idaho. The City of Trees it is famously called. A bit difficult and out of the way to get to from Hawaii or anywhere and so different from my home in Paradise.
Mom was there on time to pick me up at the Boise airport. She is a young eighty seven years and yes, she still drives! There is no one on this planet that will be able to convince her to give up driving so don’t even try. She must have been wearing her hearing aid because we made it safely to her house across town. I asked to drive, you know, to give her a break, but she wouldn’t hear of it! “Caryn, I can still drive! It’s the one thing I can still do!”
This trip was going to be different. Each year I travel from Paradise to visit mom and my many family members on the mainland but this year was the big road trip! I gently broke the news to mom that I would only be staying with her one night as I was leaving on a road trip to Chicago the next day. She tried, as my mom always does, to sound supportive and happy for my upcoming adventure, but I am sure she was hoping I was going to spend more time with her. Last year I took her on an eight hour road trip to Utah to visit her older brother , age ninety four, who was healthy and happy during our visit, and who has since passed away peacefully in his sleep. Grateful we took that road trip, I will forever be, as that was the last time I saw my beloved uncle in this lifetime.
“You are doing what?” mom shouted, her hearing aid possibly not in. ” I am going on a road trip with my daughter and my ex-husband” I replied. Mom was clearly unsettled, unsure of whether to support me as she always does, or to ask how I could be contemplating two weeks in the same car and hotel rooms with her ex-son-in-law. I assured her I would be fine, and that the trip would be great for everyone involved. She shyly asked, “you mean you are staying in the same hotel rooms?” as if I was contemplating the moral disgrace of the century. You see, we are divorced and now “single persons”, who in the church norms, should not be sleeping in the same room, for reasons of impropriety. Never mind that we were married for thirty years, know each others bathroom habits, and that our adult daughter was going to be sharing the same room with us to save on costs.
The next day arrived with the expectation that Mr. C., my ex-husband , would be arriving about noon. I hurriedly told mom I needed to borrow her car to do a quick errand, and was out the door, to speed across town to the mall, where a glorious choice of “Woman Size” clothing awaited my perusal, an experience lacking sorely in my little corner of Paradise. I snapped up several “clearance ” priced summer clothing items from Macy’s and made a pit stop to See’s for my “free sample”, doesn’t everyone go in there for that? We don’t have a See’s in Paradise, so this trip into the black and white heaven, sampling, and purchasing is my annual ritual for sanity. I was back from my “errand” before Mom really noticed I was gone, so suitcase packed again, I was ready for Mr. C’s arrival.
to be continued…………………