Bloganuary – What is your preferred mode of transport?

OMG Car. Every time. I love roadtrips and have sooo many memories of going somewhere new with a car full of people I love.

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery

Dad took us all around the East of Australia when we were much younger. He and Mom took turns driving a bright orange Toyota with 4 seats and a ‘tray’ attached to the back which was covered. Jay and I used to sit back there and play with toys. Dad did the most driving and Mom had set up a pretty nifty ‘sandwich station’ in the front seat, using the little cabinet on the dashboard as a table, she’d make us all specialty sandwiches (I didn’t want anything healthy on mine – just meat and cheese, lol) and pass them around as we were singing along to the radio.

I loved going somewhere in the car with Dad – even if it was just to the grocery store and back. I have memories of getting up when it was still dark outside to go with Dad to newly built houses. I worked as Dad’s apprentice for one long summer when I was about 20? Dad would wake me early, I’d get dressed and meet Dad in the kitchen. I had bleary eyes and was SO UPSET about being woken so early. Dad was always so happy, bless him. I remember rolling my eyes at how “bloody annoying” Dad was, being so chipper even before the sun was up…but now that we’ve lost him, oh how I long for those days. Just one more day of waking up before the rest of the world with Dad singing in the front seat; his cigarette bouncing up and down on his lips as he sang. I will forever remember the smell of paint and that Dad’s cars were always old and sounded like tugboats rather than cars.

I loved ‘roadies’ with my friends when we were in our late teens. In our last year of high school (it’s called ‘spring break’ in the US and is now called “Schoolies” here in Australia – but back then, it was just school holidays) a bunch of us rented out chalets on the beach – nothing fancy – just plain rooms – and had the best 3-4 days ever, singing, laughing, swimming, getting sunburnt, trading secrets, flirting and falling in and out of love on that long weekend. I loved how excited we were in our cars heading to Scarborough beach, how fun it was to cook together and eat together – shoulder to shoulder – around small tables, stuffing our faces and grinning across at each other. We felt like KINGS in those days. Untouchable. Free. WILD. Happy. I love memories like that.

I loved when my friends and I were in our late teens and everyone started getting their licence. OH THE FREEDOM to go wherever we wanted in our cars. I kept failing my licence and to this day I don’t have it, but I absolutely LOVE being ‘shotgun’ passenger, so not driving doesn’t bother me a bit. I loved leaving Highschool and all walking to different cars after class – all with radios blaring (Wayne had Mariah Carey’s “dreamlover” playing one day and now I can’t listen to it without being transported back to the highschool car park), horns tooting, friends calling out to each other, tyres screeching, red dust as they left…all of us so young with our whole lives ahead of us.

I love travelling about in Troy’s white station wagon. Melissa and I were in the back giggling and writing “help us, we’re kidnapped” on bits of paper and drawing stupid cartoons. I’m thankful Police didn’t discover those.

I remember Micheal saying “listen to the bass on this, Janet” and waving me into his car one afternoon. I had a bit of a crush on him – which I will never admit to outside of this blog, because my best friend Carol had ‘dibs’ on him and I respected that and never made a move towards Michael – but that one afternoon, I nervously sat in the passenger seat; eyes wide as I watched Michael drumming on the steering wheel and singing along to Cake’s version of “perhaps, perhaps, perhaps” played on speakers that shook with the volume. Such a sweet and beautiful memory. Michael is now happily married to Kristy who is 1) another girl from our youth group and 2) surprisingly now one of my closest friends – closer than Carol. Weird how time changes so mcuh.

Strange, I know – but I love plane rides. The longer the better. I used to travel every year with my first husband between the UK and Australia so I could see my family for new year’s. Going from the peak of winter in Liverpool to the peak of summer here in Perth was a HUGE SHOCK every time, but what I looked forward to – was the plane ride. I love that I could just REST. That’s the best part of a long plane ride – you just SIT. You rest. You watch movies or listen to music. You can read for as long as you want and NO ONE WILL JUDGE YOU. No one will be saying “Isn’t it time you did something???” No. You just rest AND FOOD GETS BROUGHT TO YOU, too. It’s awesome. I love it!!!

It is with a huge stone in my heart that I remember countless grainy, tea-stained moments with Dad on the many roadtrips he took us on. I wish I’d recorded them in more detail – mentally and physically. I wish I’d taken more photos, asked more questions about Dad’s life and listened more.

Oh Dad…to have even 5 more minutes with you.

15 responses to “Bloganuary – What is your preferred mode of transport?”

  1. Sounds like you had a great time with your dad. A really nice story Janet, I’ll be skipping this prompt. I do remember when I was a kid, when my eldest brother got his car, he used to give us (my siblings and I) a ride around the block.

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  2. I really love flying, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. It’s so nice, right? Thank you for commenting, Sarah! At least I know I’m not alone xx

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      1. You certainly aren’t. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you’ll get to go on a flight soon!

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  3. You experienced quite the adventure with your travels. When I was still in high school, our family traveled from Montana to California for a family reunion. Eight of us squeezed into a Ford Maverick, and we endured the summer heat with our 470 air conditioner . . . 4 open windows while driving 70 mph.

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    1. 470, Hilarious, same here. At one point, dad had what I called the green house on wheels. A full size van, all windows, only the front ones opened and no AC. Oh, and the vinyl seats are so comfy in the heat of summer.

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    2. Oh my word! Those are the crazy things you could get away with back then, hey? Hahaha so good. Glad you’re still in one piece xx

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    3. Oh hahaha omg so dangerous but sounds so fun, as well! Glad you’re still I’m one piece! Xx

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  4. Thank you for taking us down your memory lane. I too remember long rides with my parents. Just reading your post bubbled up memories of my own. Every year we would travel 15 – 20 hours to visit my grandparents in another state. My dad always drove straight though. Stops were just long enough time to get gas and go to the bathroom and then we were off again. So funny how just thinking of these things can take you back, you can hear the songs, you can feel what the temperature was like that day. I loved your description of being in school. On a different continent, your experiences were the same as mine. Jamming tunes, spinning tires, being stupid, and having fun. Thank you.

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    1. I love hearing that your Dad was not one for taking long stopovers. Haha. He sounds like a man with a plan! Get there and no messing about! I love thinking of you as a teenager, blasting music after school with your friends. That’s so awesome. What were your favourite songs/bands?

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      1. Oh man, I went through phases. I had a hard county music phase but in high school, I spent a lot of time with Judas Priest, Ratt, Van Halen, a lot of Heavy metal and country. What a combination. All this while I was in theater and performed leading roles in musicals. Go figure. You, what were you jamming in the school lot.

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  5. I’m R&B all the way, Tommy. Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, Babyface, Toni Braxton, Brandi, All4One…all the boybands ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also love soul and blues…Aretha Franklin, Etta James …legends

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  6. Our family did road trips too. We would drive across country (USA) from one coast the the next and back over the summer. We were fortunate my father could do that as it takes over a month to complete. We did a different route every time to see more of the country. It was amazing, although there were some bits in the middle that were B O R I N G! There are only so many corn fields one can look at before they do not hold interest anymore (the average is about 15 minutes maximum). But it took DAYS to stumble bleary eyed out of the maze of corn (I believe I managed a pun in there! Maize/maze. hehehe I never get to be the one to make the pun). The highlight of our time traversing the endless corn field were the odd bunny rabbit. That part was boring. The rest were amazing.

    I’ll forever remember my mother removing her engagement ring (for the first and last time in her entire life) because somewhere along the line her diamond just fell out. She didn’t realize it for G-d knows how long. I did. We backtracked through the national park and checked trashcans, bathrooms, fields, everything. Couldn’t find it. She admitted she didn’t know when it happened. My sisters and I reacted strangely to it – the three of us acted like our parents just told us they were getting divorced. Neither of my parents paid any attention to our over-dramatization; rather they acted more like it didn’t happen. I think they knew and hoped we wouldn’t realize it. But they said that the ring didn’t matter. They actually did get married and my sisters and I lasted longer than diamonds anyway. Lovely sentiment, but it was a diamond and it’s silly to pretend it wasn’t! And diamonds outlive their owners and are something that can be passed down. To pretend their not is sheer insanity! But it was their insanity. Over the next 30 years, if she ever looked down at her hand and thought “I miss that ring” she never let it show. He never thought about it again; he doesn’t even remember it happening, but admits it had to since the three of us all remember it in great detail, especially the funniest bit: putting my baby sister in a huge trashcan head first while holding her legs so that she could dig around to find it.

    Long plane rides are horrible! I’m not a huge fan of planes in general and you can only sleep for so long. 20 hour flights where everyone has to use the toilet exactly 5 seconds before you get there sucks when you’re doing the pee dance. Most of the flights have subpar food, and otherwise, your hiney falls asleep. But getting there is the amazing bit. Also, it depends on where you’re flying to. I found that flying to Asia is the worst thing ever. They don’t sit on the toilet, they tend to squat with feet on the seat – so your turn involves removing dirty foot prints before you sit. Also, they don’t flush paper products, although you can on a flight, but you can’t in most of Asia, so there’s smelly artwork threatening to touch you in the tiny airplane bathroom just so you can pee. Try sitting on a toilet sideways and leaning forward…. it is amazingly weird and not at all fun. But what you see when you get there is amazing enough to forget how much the planes are no fun…. but then it’s time to go home. I’d much rather teleport lol

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    1. Except for the boy bands (haha), can not hate on that list of artists at all.

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      1. I had to go back and reread my comment as I was wondering how you knew that boy bands (NSync and Backstreet) were a major thorn in my side for the majority of the cross-country journeys thanks to two younger sisters LOL

        I dont’ know much about K-pop. Wasn’t into our boybands, doubt I’d get into those. From reading your post, I have a feeeling you are not much different from me in age (+/- maybe 10 years), but for me, the last “boy bands” I liked were The Beatles, Stones and E-Street LOL

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