2010 – The Detour
“The L is silent, like in fish,” my mother was saying.
“What are you talking about?” I said trying not to sound annoyed. I wasn’t annoyed, but I have to pay close attention not to sound annoyed so that my mom won’t take my tone as annoyed, even though I’m not annoyed, which is annoying.
“Turn here,” she pointed.
She was riding shot gun and the rain drops had just begun. We were inside Minnesota somewhere. The wipers were intermittently smearing the windshield.
We were on our way to Montana and planning to spend two nights in hotels along the way. I hoped to write a book about my days in Gardiner. My plan was to return to the scene of the crime, so to speak, to refresh memories that wouldn’t stop teasing me and I’d convinced my mother who’d been in mourning for two years over the loss of my father, to help me with the project. On our trip out west we didn’t have an Irish setter in the back seat and we weren’t driving a little red convertible with a black rag and top listening to the Eagles. We were traveling in my mother’s midsized Pontiac. Her trunk was not loaded with camping equipment and a Betty Crocker Cook Book, but with clothes for every kind of weather, packed neatly in suitcases that came with handles and rollers for easy toting, a cooler stocked with beer and several hard Lemonade Drinks that came in beautiful pastel colors. We also had in our possession, charge cards, debit cards, cell phones, a Garmin, an Atlas, a map that was printed off Google with step by step directions to Chico Hot Springs Montana, which was where we’d be staying, including line number seven that read, drive seven hundred ninety miles west and turn left. Oh, and we had On Star, just in case we got lost.