The Long & Winding Road Trip

roadtrip, spring break, motel, roadside

A week ago, my two teen daughters, our dog Daisy and I returned from a 2,348-mile Spring Break road trip through Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. We did a similar trip last year, though without our canine companion.

Although a little possessive of the space in the back seat, Daisy was a good travel buddy. Until she wasn’t. That happened somewhere around Trinidad, Colorado, when she developed explosive diarrhea. (I was going to write “a bad case of…” but is there ever a “good case” of explosive diarrhea?)

Thankfully, we all survived to tell about it.

THE LONG & WINDING ROADTRIP

ON SATURDAY, we started out
upon our Spring Break trip:
two kids, one mom, one dog
and one car wisely well-equipped.

I’d packed it with provisions
for both progeny and pup,
anticipating any need
that ever could come up.

I’d piled it full of pillows,
plus dog toys, drinks and snacks,
a stack of books and all three
High School Musical soundtracks.

How well-prepared were we,
with our fully furnished load!
I knew we’d see the miles speed by
once we hit the road.

And sure enough, as 20 clicks
inched off my Google map,
the kids got busy reading
and the dog began to nap.

BUT THEN, just 30 minutes in,
–our mileage still quite low–
I heard a peep from the back seat:
“Uh, Mom? I gotta go.”

No big deal, even though
we’d barely left our town;
just one quick stop and then we
buckled up and settled down.

At mile 68,
our dog announced her need to pee;
at mile 92,
it was a coffee break for me.

A hundred forty miles in
(Woot! We’re on a roll!)
I sheepishly turned off again –
my coffee took its toll.

Convinced by kids to stop for lunch
three hours into our drive,
I also exited for gas
at mile 205.

At mile 289,
of course our dog got sick.
At mile 332,
well, I had to snap that pic.

And so in spite of my intent
to speed on through our travel,
I saw my plans – just like the miles -
reluctantly unravel.

I realize, of course,
that it’s not just the destination
that makes the trek worthwile
when you set off on your vacation.

A ROAD TRIP, though, most likely won’t be
next year’s undertaking;
I’ve learned my lesson all too well
from all of our spring braking.

©2014 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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dog portrait, dog photo

FIRST DATE

©2014 CEStankiewicz all rights reserved

The anxiety.

The awkwardness.

The hope.

The humanity.

Ahhh, the joys of dating. For many of us, they’re but a distant memory. For others among us, they’re still very much a reality…

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FIRST DATE

The call just came – you’re going to meet!
Now:  What to do? Where to eat?
A morning stroll? A picnic lunch?
A dinner chat? A weekend brunch?

What to wear? What to say?
Meet at night? Or by day?
All these choices you must make
are stressful with so much at stake.

You hope you’ll click. You hope it’s fun.
You’re thinking this could be the one.
While on your way, you say a prayer
that all goes well when you get there.

You want this first date to succeed,
so best behavior’s what you need.
That means good manners, smiles and caring;
taking turns and nicely sharing.

You hope there’ll be no tears while dining.
And no tantrums. And no whining.
No fussiness, no arguments,
and please, oh please, no accidents!

It’s tougher than when you were single,
cruising bars to mix and mingle;
it’s hard, it’s brutal – even mean -
this merciless new dating scene.

For nothing sets your nerves aflutter
than meeting with another mother
and her child to know just whether
the four of you play well together.

And afterward it’s just as bad,
for if you liked the time you had,
you’re just more anxious, after all,
because, you know, she said she’d call

©2010 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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Suburban Haiku: Thanksgiving (a guest post)

©2013 CEStankiewicz all rights reserved

(Today’s post, like last week’s, was prompted by my recent Japan trip. I asked Peyton Price, the genius behind Suburban Haiku, to share some of her witty work in the familiar Japanese poetic form.  She graciously obliged, using the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday as her theme. I’m very thankful.)

I love haiku—little poems with seventeen syllables in three lines: five syllables, seven, then five.

The simplicity of haiku leaves space for readers to fill in personal details, seeing their own lives in the space between those three lines. I’m writing about my neighborhood, but you’ll want to know whether I’m spying on yours. (Answer: No comment.)

And it’s so satisfying, really, to boil life’s absurdities down to seventeen syllables. Being a mom is so complicated, and somehow so mind-numbingly boring. The holidays are a perfect example. Are you feeling the pressure yet? Wouldn’t you rather laugh than cry? A tiny haiku can be sweet revenge . . . or just sweet.

SUBURBAN HAIKU: THANKSGIVING

Preschool Thanksgiving:
Moms and dads in tiny chairs
ask “Did you make this?”

The teens volunteer
at the neighborhood food bank
for their rèsumès.

My kids cannot wait
to wake up on Thanksgiving
and see all the ads.

Thanksgiving parade:
A Pilgrim in white stockings
and white Adidas.

Once our guests arrive
I start out with a simmer.
Then I stir things up.

Every November
he sits there stuffing his face
with all our birdseed.

Weekend visitors
finally head off to bed.
Even the cat purrs.

 

Peyton Price lives in suburbia (of course) with her long-commuting husband (of course) and two above-average children (of course). You can find Suburban Haiku on twitter, facebook, the blog, and Amazon (of course).

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The Well-Versed Mom & Tom.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Well-Versed Mom & Tom.