(My sister on the left and me)
When I was around 9 my family took a summer vacation to Nashville, TN. We had one of those luxury vans that were popular in the 80’s – windows with curtains, back “sofa bench” that folded out into a bed, TV, refrigerator. We were COOL!
I have a sister 3 years older than me and a brother 5 years younger – yes I am “Jan” in the middle for you Brady Bunch fans. This was back in the day when seat belts were a mere suggestion and some people even cut them out of their cars. We were traveling with our parents and my grandparents – Papa and Granny Anne. The adults had the front two seats and the two captain chairs in the back. That left us kids in the super-awesome pull out couch in the back. The 3 of us played, sang, watched TV, and generally annoyed each other.
The part of the trip that is most memorable for my family is the journey back from TN to NC. It was quite a long drive back to eastern North Carolina and we were on Interstate 40 most of the way. Meaning the drive looked pretty much the same along the way = boring if you are 9.
At one point while still in TN we stopped at a rest stop on the interstate to use the bathrooms. I did not get out of the van since I didn’t have to go. My sister got out and I am not exactly sure who else did as well.
Everyone got back in the van and we started pulling away, well minus one – my older sister. I thought, “Maybe they are playing a joke on her.” None of the adults asked where she was. They just got in the car and started driving away.
We got back on the interstate and began driving. We were about a mile down the road when one of my parents asked where my sister was. I said, “I don’t know. I guess you left her at the rest stop.” They FREAKED OUT!!!! I mean not just a little bit, but really FREAKED! They got so mad at me and were asking why I didn’t tell them. In my 9 year old mind, I didn’t think it was my place to look out for her – she tortured me most of the time anyway. Isn’t it the parents’ job to go “one, two, three. Yep, we have all our kids,” before they drive away??? Yes, my 9 year old self is still trying to justify this.
What was worse is that the interstate had a concrete barrier down the middle and there was not another exit for the next 10 miles. Therefore, my Daddy got out of the van and ran the mile or so back to the rest stop while my mother drove until we could find an exit.
Best part to me is my Papa thought it was hilarious! He kept giggling and snickering. It was like the best entertainment he had had in a long time. His laughing also helped ease some of the tension in the van – which was greatly needed.
When my Daddy got back to the rest stop, my sister was sitting on a picnic table waiting. She was okay. Just REALLY, REALLY ANGRY! REALLY! If looks could kill I would be dead from the way she looked at me all the way back to North Carolina. I think it was several days before she would even speak to me.
Even now, if anyone mentions this trip or this story, my sister becomes irate. No, I mean PSYCHO and talks about how I left her in Tennessee. Wait a minute – I don’t recall driving the car – I WAS ONLY 9 YEARS OLD! Yes, yes, I am justifying again. I know it was partly my fault (sigh).
For those of you who are reading and now instantly hate me,……. I understand. If you want to “unfollow” my blog now, I will not hold it against you. (I once told this story to a friend and I think afterwards she was sort of scared of me.) I promise, I really am a nice person!! If you do decide to break up with me now, please leave me a comment saying goodbye. I will miss you. Before you go and never read my blog again, please know that my sister sought her revenge multiple times over for years and years until she went to college. Rest assured ………. I paid.
So today my sister is my favorite for……well, you know.
Avery 0/-1, Brooke 0/0, Kate 1/0, My favorite sister : ) 1/0
P.S. – I really do have AMAZING parents (plus my mom reads my blog AND is its biggest supporter!!) Didn’t mean to parent-bash : )