We’ve made it to Danville, Pennsylvania, home of the Beaver Library.
388 miles from home, but we haven’t covered any new territory, so we’ve yet to acquire a genuine sense of adventure, although neuroticism abounds.
In the hours just prior to our departure, I noticed my daughter’s “to go” pile rapidly swelling with an assortment of toys and security items.
“We’re not moving,” I reminded her.
“Yes we are. Anything over a week isn’t a vacation. It’s a mini-move.”
I cited examples of families who took vacations for longer than a week.
“Yes, but they went to a single location,” she answered. “We’re just spending a month pretending we’re homeless. This is major. We could die.” She disappeared to room to post morbid farewell bulletins to her friends on myspace.
It wasn’t until we were pulling off our street that we discovered the teal ice cube trays.
“Why, daughter, why?” my husband asked. Having narrowly escaped having to make the first leg of the trip with a small box of his belongings wedged between his feet, discovery of the ice cube tray 4-pack wasn’t met with enthusiasm.
“We’ll need them. I know we will,” she answered.
We passed a Winnebago on the highway and my husband remarked that his work associates had suggested he rent one for the trip.
“Where is Winnebago? Is it far? Why can’t we go to Winnebago?” Daughter piped up from the backseat. As is so often the case, she picked a single word from the conversation and used it as a building block to develop an alternate reality. I’ll pause the narrative long enough here to remind readers that this is the same daughter who just turned sixteen.
“How far away is Winnebago?” she demanded.
“About three seconds,” my husband said, as we approached another camper.
“Autism is so popular,” I lamented moments later, as we passed yet another vehicle sporting the puzzle piece patterned awareness ribbon. “Why isn’t there a hypochondria ribbon?”
“There is,” my husband quickly assured me. “It’s invisible. Just like your diseases. We have some all over our car.”
“If I get too bored, I’m going to use my ice cube trays to play Mancala,” our daughter announced. “I’ll use gumballs for the pieces.”
It’s now her mission not only to use the ice cube trays, but to employ them in as many ways as possible.
Tomorrow morning we’re heading for Chicago, by way of Winnebago. If you’re traveling west on route 80 feel free to give a honk or wave. We’ll be in the blue SUV plastered in hypochondria ribbons.