Stop asking that your wine be 'clean', and start demanding it be delicious.
The Chevy sedan was loaded (literally-with all seven of us), warmed to a toasty 75 degrees. We piled in, Dad’s cigarette trailing smoke, an ice cream pail full of sandwiches at our feet. And then we were off, crunching across the gravel roads, on our way to…somewhere. Sometimes, an uncle’s home a few hours away. Or another family gathering. We weren’t the type of family that took vacations, but we did road trips well.
There was always some arguing over who got to control the AM radio. By the time we figured it out, the station would fade to a crackle, and we’d have to start over. As the ‘baby’ of the family, I’d pester my older sisters. Barb and Brenda would humor me, but Betty liked her personal space. If you touched her, she’d lift the body part you’d touched to her nose and sniff it, like an animal scenting a predator. And Bonnie-Bonnie REALLY liked her personal space: she pinched. Hard. Bonnie was MEAN.
We’d play games, like counting how many mailboxes we passed on each side of the road. When we stopped for gas, sometimes Dad would come back with Blackjack gum. Or a SevenUp Bar, which he said was made to order for us, with its seven sections. He’d chivalrously take the nut. Mom got maple. The rest of us hoped for caramel; jelly, with its disgustingly gooshy texture, was last choice.
But the upshot was this: different from our everyday lives. Different sights, different smells, different tastes. The delight of an enormous blue buffalo at the side of the road. Businesses with unfamiliar names. People we didn’t know, places we hadn’t been.
Last week, I was feeling tired of my Medway to Franklin to Medway to Franklin treadmill, so I proposed an apple picking road trip. Maddy loves baking, so she readily agreed. Is it my fault she didn’t ask where? Two hours later, she looked up from her phone and said, ‘What? We’re in NH?!! Where IS this orchard?’ Me: ‘Um, it’s called Poverty Lane. It’s in Lebanon, just a few more miles.’
Luckily, the beauty of Poverty Hill won her over, with its antique barn and field upon field of apple and pear trees. I talked her into venturing a bit further, to hike Quechee Gorge. And then to poke around Woodstock, with its covered bridges and the antique glories of Gillingham’s General Store.
The trees were a symphony of color: gold, orange, and blazing crimson. The air was crisp. The car smelled deliciously of apples. Senses rejuvenated with new sights, sounds, and smells, we headed home. The gas station didn’t have any SevenUp Bars, so we settled for some gum.