Someone always throws up.
The summer after my husband got laid off and I got pregnant (in that order), we moved 2,088 miles, from Memphis TN to Sacramento CA so he could take a new job. We added 978 more miles just for fun.
In Yellowstone’s geyser basin, it happened. Camilla Jane, our then-four-year-old, blessed the wooden walkway with her digested lunch. She’d been doing so well up to then. Must have been the sulphur stink.
Who threw up? is often the question that leads me through the hoops of memory, with its idiosyncratic leaps of logic. For example:
I remember being disappointed to throw up on the high thread-count sheets. That must have been the time we stayed in a Doubletree. Doubletree has these amazing cookies that come free with the room, and I probably ate one too many. We had moved over to the Doubletree not because we often went in for upscale hotels, but because Lodging Plan A turned out to be a dump and possibly unsafe. Which means we weren’t in a city that was on our usual route to grandmother and grandaddy’s house in Midland, Texas from Virginia, so it must have been a summer when we did something a little different than the usual.
Keeping a diary would have been easier. I finally did go to Mom to help me fill this in, and it didn’t take her long to look up. She emailed me the details from her diary:
We went through Rocky Mt. National Park today, in the rain and fog.
So maybe the elevation gain, coupled with disorienting fog, triggered my tummy trouble. What matters now is that I can tell my kids next time we pass through Denver: I threw up here, y’all. Back in 1987 it was. The memory loop is completed.
I recently learned that 2009 wasn’t the first time someone in my family moved house and went another thousandish miles just for fun. Dad sent me selections from his mom’s diary of June 1-August 13, 1953. Here are a few from the move (Dad’s notes in italics):
June 1, Monday – Holiday for J.A. He brought several loads in car & painted ceiling in bedroom. Mr. Means fixed baseboard. I brought over clothes & put books in shelves. (Note: we were moving from 5101 Meadowbrook Dr. to nearby 2005 Jenson Rd., Ft. Worth, TX)
June 2, Tuesday – Moving day. Just 4 hours to get loaded & unloaded. Usual mess & confusion. Supper at Murphy’s. Borrowed hot plate from Mrs. Hofman…. Children drew straws for upper bunk.
June 3, Wednesday – T.A. and I cleaned at 5101 (Meadowbrook). Cat came bounding through (torn) screen. Waved & polished floors at 2005 (Jenson Rd.). Molly ate supper with us. She is taking Chemistry at NTAC (now Univ. of TX, Arlington). Helped J.A. pay bills.
July 24, Friday – Calvin put in tile ditch. Took car to Studebaker for carburetor adjustment. Desk came from office. Rain & double rainbow. Packed for trip. (Mr. & Mrs. Reull) Bosses visited, got peaches.
And the trip? Well, it included this:
Oh, and they hit Yellowstone, too, on August 9.
I bet someone threw up, but Grandmother was too nice to record it.