Day 1

I have never been in this house completely alone.  When Elle goes on a trip, my parents are here.  When my parents go on a trip, Elle is here. 

Well, now Elle is on a trip with my parents.  What the hell am I supposed to do? I mean, actually DO?  There are only so many dishes I can dirty up and wash, so many animals to feed/water/walk, and I’ve got a little over a week to paint a fairly large bookshelf and move out the contents of two closets while studying for exams and writing essays.  So as the Queen of Procrastination, I am amazed that I will have alot of free time over the next 8 days.  The past few times she’s left me, I spent the whole week wondering what to do that I never DID anything!  I’m determined to not waste my week of freedom, but I’ve been home for a total of 4 excrutiatingly quiet hours (although my dog’s incontinence pills causes her to fart…alot) and I’m bored out of my skull.

So I decided to call Elle and see how Day 1 of her East Coast road trip went:

Me: “Hey, kiddo!  How’d it go today?” (in reference to her backseat carsickness and the overall experience of riding for 6-7 hours with my parents – although my brothers and I all agree that it’s not a true family roadtrip until you’re crammed into the backseat with a drooling and puking collie/shepherd mix heaving over the top of your head.  Now THAT’S a roadtrip.)

Her: “Uncle Brian threw me in the air!”

Me: “Huh?”

Her: “He took me to the pool and Nana lost Tiko (Uncle Brian’s German Shepherd) in the woods after he burned her hands with the leash.  Good thing I was there so I could rush upstairs and tell Uncle that Tiko was playing in the woods.  I didn’t want him getting bitten by a pine snake!”

(Is there such a thing as a pine snake?  I dunno…I’ll Google it.)

Me: “Huh?”

Her: “Oh, and I’m NEVER eating pancakes from Cracker Barrel ever again!”

Me: “Why?”

Her: “Those suckers are as big as a suitcase.  TWO OF THEM! TWO SUITCASES! I could only eat like…I dunno, 8 millimeters of that pancake.”

Me: “Wha?”

Her: “The pancakes, Mom!  They were big.”

Me: “Oh.”

Her: “And I fell asleep FOUR TIMES!  I only slept for 30 minutes but I fell asleep FOUR TIMES!”

Me: “Why don’t you ever do that for me when I have to drive 6-9 hours?”

Her: “Because I had to get up so early.  That’s the only reason I fell asleep.”

Me: “Oh, so I need to wake you up early and toss you into the back seat to make you fall asleep during a road trip?”

Her: “No. I wasn’t really tired.”

Me: “ Then why…oh, anyway, I wanted to call you to tell you goodnight & that I love you. Mwaaahh!!”


(I hear a slight struggle)

Nana: “We gotta watch her on the phone, she’ll talk forever!  We’ve only got so many minutes on the cell phone!”

Me: “Oh, okay.  I thought they were…”

Nana: “Okay. Bye!”

Me: “Wait…how’s your hand? Hey, I thought you had free minutes.”

Nana: “Nope.  My hands don’t burn anymore. Okay.  Bye!”


Again, this is only Day 1 of Elle’s weeklong vacation with my folks.  The first stop was Rock Hill, South Carolina, where Uncle Brian threw Elle into the air and Tiko dragged my mother across the parking lot and ran into the woods after successfully burning her hands and avoiding a pine snake bite.  Tomorrow they will spend the night in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with family friends that I’ve known since I was 3 years old.  After that, Elle will take on Washington, D.C. with an entire year’s worth of anticipation – also known as “Ants in Her Pants”. 

Oh, and Big Lincoln?  You’re at the top of her must-see list (along with a panda and Amelia Earhart’s plane).

Good luck, Washington, D.C. 

Oh, and about that pine snake?  The answer is yes.  Eeeeek!


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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3 Responses to Day 1

  1. Chris says:

    Sounds like her sugar level is not lacking 🙂

    I hate being in the house alone when Alexis and the boys go to Florida. Feels like living in am empty museum.

  2. Bryan says:

    Hello, I know this post is old but the photo of the Pine Snake is very interesting. I am researching these snakes and would like to add your observation to our database. Please contact me. I hope this gets to you!

    • Dena says:

      Bryan, I honestly can’t remember if that was a photo my mother took or one I found from the internet. That’s how old this post is! From before my acquiring manners and crediting photographers.

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