Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cross Country - Chapter 3

I took this at Haven Beach last week. There's a whole lot of nothingness looking at the bay from this beach. Sort of like the vast expanse of endless highway as a family of five travels across country in a VW bus.

Today I return to another chapter in the Adventures of the Chesapeake Bay Family: The Cross Country Trip of 1977, only this time we will hear from Chesapeake Bay Mother, who endured one month of travel from Virginia to California and back with three bored kids and no felonies committed.

If you've not read the previous two episodes, simply click on the links to the right. If you have read the previous two episodes and are still reading, I applaud your stamina.
The Cross Country Adventure
By Chesapeake Bay Mother

In July* of 1977, our family began a pilgrimage from sea to shining sea in a bilious** yellow VW van, pulling a pop-up tent camper Husband bought for $500. Inside, we were equipped for any eventuality: a huge cooler, porta-potty, metric tools (for adjusting VW valves sensitive to changes in altitude and phases of the moon), cans of oil (for the engine, which craved it), and medicines, including antibiotics, cough medicine, earache oil, sulfur medication--for Husband's chronic colon problem, bandages, iodine, snakebite anti-venom and Valium.***Dr. Kearney, whom Husband took fishing, thought of everything. We would have been a welcome sight in any third-world country with or without a big red cross on the side.

For amusement, the children had flatulence, which they thought extremely funny, and licking one's adversary somewhere on her person as a vulgar form of tag. "Bickering" would be putting it politely.

For most of the trip, Baby Sis was, as usual, sick with a bug. We used antibiotics, but still there were times when you wondered if she might not be delirious.****No excuses for the other two, but conversations went something like:

Oldest Sister: Are we there yet? Are we halfway?
Middle Sis: Qwah. I said qwah.
Baby Sis: Mama, what is apple skin made of?
Middle Sis: Qwah.
Baby: Am I kin to Aunt Marian?
Middle: Qwah.
Oldest: Middle Sister licked me! Make her stop!!

After a few days,it is all background noise.

Chesapeake Bay Woman's Clarifications:
* It was August, but whatever.
**I had to look "bilious" up. It is not a compliment (derived from the word "bile"). And it was NOT a yellow van, it was lime green. We never had a yellow van! But this is neither here nor there...
***Valium? This explains a whooooole lot. Yes indeed it does. Maybe the van SHE saw was yellow.
****Baby Sis was not delirious, but as you can see, Middle Sister was. Yes, she invented the word Qwah and she said it with mucho gusto and she said it often. She'd say it and then cackle as we stared in disbelief wondering how on Earth it was possible that she could on the one hand go to the Governor's School for the Gifted, and on the other be sitting in a car puttering across country yelling QWAH!

Chesapeake Bay Mother has also written something to clarify the Nevada Bathroom Incident I described in my first chapter, and I am very proud to announce to Middle Sister that the incident DID in fact occur in Nevada, Lake Tahoe to be exact.

Stay tuned, especially you, Middle Sis. QWAH!


Mental P Mama said...

Ah the licking of the sibling who dared to cross the imaginary line....and QWAH! I just wish I'd thought of that.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Wha'q, totally wha'q.


Anonymous said...

In similar trips taken by a different family, the children crammed into the station wagon were all convinced parents had gone off the deep-end and our lives were in peril.

This being based on years of lectures centering around parent's childhood memories of travels 'out west'. Current children were convinced these travels occurred in covered wagons and boredom was only interrupted by Indiana attacks.

We 'knew' parents were hoping for another Indian attack as the excuse to give authorities for our mysterious disappearance....they practically told us as much on many occasions as we busyed ourselves staking out backseat territory.

Apparently ALL PARENTS have similar mental deficiencies!

Present company excluded :))

Cool Breeze said...

The two of you should just write a screen play or something.

I can see it now:

"National Lampoon's Chesapeake Bay Family Vacation"

Anonymous said...

I, too, had to endure traveling with two siblings - in a VW Bug. The WORST spot to sit was in the middle of the back seat. There was THE HUMP. NO ONE wanted to have to straddle THE HUMP for hours on end. This seat was notorious for causing delirium in its occupant. As a result, licking ensued. Was Middle Sis forced to sit in the middle seat on this particular trip? That would explain a lot.

QWAH! (I'm thinking that might be a fantastic battle cry for the Blogapalooza)

Unknown said...

I can't laugh this hard before my's a health hazard.

I had to look up bilious and I think I have missed a phethora of opportunities to use that word.
And now, I'm adding Qwah to my vocabulary too because there are occasions when I can't find the "right" word, and I think qwah will do nicely.
Lake Tahoe in the 70's was the best. My sister lived there then.

Anonymous said...

I don't even remember the word, but I agree that it is evidence of my incredible giftedness. Who is MMM over there using my word? Also, who remembered that word, was it you CBW or Chesapeake Bay Mamma?

I love it! I'm going to start using it again. Everyone have a great day. Qwah to the world!

-Middle Sis

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Middle Sis: If you heard it pronounced properly, you'd remember it. It rhymes with the waaa waaa waaa sound a baby crying would make. Only with the "qu-" in front of it. You said it incessantly.

Oh, and you have Chesapeake Bay Mumma to thank for this one. I owe her big time.

Unknown said...

So interesting : ). I can't wait to see what happens next. Any time you are traveling in a VW bus it has to be a good time, that is for sure!

tj said...

...Reading the word "Valium" and suddenly, bilious, flatulence, delirious, "Qwah!", "Middle Sister licked me!" and "Mama, what is apple skin made of?" all made sense... lol... ;o)

...These stories would make a great book or better yet, a movie!

...Blessings... :o)

Anonymous said...

I'm with Cool Breeze on this one. I'd go and see it....over and over again! *lol*

Good Lord, reading that reminds me a road trip from about 13 years ago with my then, 5 year old twins and 2 year old youngest. It's a miracle of modern pharmaceuticals that I ever survived it.

Icey said...

The only person I've ever heard use the word bilious in real life is Mary of my mom's friends Mary and Nick, in reference to a very bright shirt I wore one time. funny how Nick did not find CB Middle Sis's bright yellow very mini-dress bilious at my wedding!

Anonymous said... a baby's waaaa. That makes it even funnier! I bet middle sis remembers it now after your clarification. You can't say it without sounding nasally, so I bet she sounded delightfully obnoxious. Quah to all, and to all a good night.

Karen Deborah said...

No way that I even realized you had never got an award. What would you like? go to my side bar and help yourself. Personally I think you need the JUST PLAIN FUN, and um how about the cute mickey mouse one from Peach. coffee bean should give you the brilliant blogger one think I'll go put a bug in her ear.

ok my word verification on this is
extardia you should write a whole post on that!

Anonymous said...

AAAAnnnd for entertainment, the "children" STILL have flatulence.

By the way, what IS apple skin made of?? I don't think I got an acceptable answer.

Quah to the world!!
Baby Sis