Friday, November 30, 2007

Della and the Dealer

I'm driving home from work last night and a dreadful Hoyt Axton song comes on the radio. Ugh! I remember this song. Every weekend when we made the long drive down to the spot on the Chesapeake Bay where Dad's cabin cruiser was harbored, he would sing along to the country and bluegrass stations on the radio. This song was one of Dad's favorites. Every time it came on he'd belt out the words in his deep baritone. I'd always cringe every time he got to the chorus, repeating it over and over again with Hoyt as we passed mile after mile of kudzu covered telephone wires.

Every so often we'd sing a bit with him as we passed the odd roadside stand selling sweet white corn. Sometimes we'd stop along the way and he'd buy an ear for each of us to nibble on in the car as we drove. Sometimes he'd pull into one of those little dry goods stores with rusted out cars abandoned in front and a suspicious looking dilapidated shed with a sign over the door that said "Antiecks", and he'd get us each a soft serve custard in a cup.

Mom sat quietly in the front with little sister, nursing and soothing her to sleep. Oldest sister would wait patiently for her turn to drive the station wagon towing our little ski boat and daydream about the parties back home she would miss this weekend. Middle sister would moan and groan and try to fight the waves of nausea that came from terrible motion sickness every time we took this drive. I'd alternate between telling secrets to my dog (who always ended up with more room than me in the back of the wagon), and trying to think up ways to get middle sister to barf.

For me, this was always a highlight of the weekend if I could actually pester her into blowing chunks. That and every time we drove through the stench of skunk, and everyone rolled up their windows to sing Dead Skunk in the middle of the road... at the top of our lungs. I especially liked the part about "...the blood and the guts are gonna make you swoon...", since it often got poor middle so sick (especially riding with all the windows rolled up), she simply had to barf. Ah! a two-fer! Hilarious!

The drive was long. The work prepping the boat to go out was hard. The time on the open water was short. The nights in the harbor were long. The memories of those weekends was sweet.

Last night as I was driving home from work, a Hoyt Axton song came on the radio. I turned it up and sang along with it.

Today I give thanks for my parents who never thought we had too much togetherness.