Every time I packed a suitcase something was up. We didn’t go on vacations or visit relatives for fun or a need to be connected. The last time I had been told to get packed up, mom, my sisters, and I, had stayed in a motel in Hannibal for a week. When we came home there was a half finished swimming pool in the backyard.
The swimming pool wasn’t a good thing. My sisters and I were excited, but mom didn’t want it. Even though dad had commissioned the pool, without telling anyone, it was decided that we would teach swimming lessons to pay for it. I was the only one old enough to tech swimming lessons, and I didn’t like the water.
Now my sisters and I were going to Aunt May’s house. Mom didn’t like Aunt May, I was the only one that was allowed to stay with her. Aunt May was coming to pick us up, I knew this had to be a big deal. I wondered if my folks were getting a divorce. I was sure I couldn’t get that lucky.
I could hear my sister, Lisa, screaming from her bedroom. She didn’t want to go, she didn’t like Aunt May either. Mom was laying it down, she was going to go and she was going to take care of Cheryl. Mom never talked to Lisa like this.
I headed downstairs as soon as I saw Aunt May’s New Yorker pull in the drive. It was obvious that Aunt May wasn’t going to visit before we took off, mom wouldn’t let her get passed the entry hall. I was told to go get in the car. I sat right down in the front seat. Lisa always got to sit in the front seat, she got car sick. I knew mom would be too preoccupied to notice with actually getting Lisa in the car. I was right, she screamed, she fought, she kicked, but somehow mom got her in the backseat and managed to shut the door.
Without much in the way of conversation Aunt May got in and started the car. I pointed out that Cheryl was still standing in the driveway behind mom. Aunt May left the car running and collected her. Mom didn’t seem to notice, she just stood there waving.
Aunt May lived about 150 miles away. This was going to be a long trip. I knew Lisa would not shut up and now she was kicking the back of the seat. We had just got out of town when Aunt May stopped the car, right in the middle of the road, turned around, and told Lisa that she was going to put her out right there is she didn’t knock it off. It was effective, Lisa quit kicking and shut up immediately.
When we started moving again, Aunt May asked me if there were any good radio stations. By good I knew she meant rock and roll, so I tuned it in, and she turned it up loud. Maybe the trip wasn’t going to be so long after all.