‘Cause its a Family Tradition

22 09 2011

Here’s what I’m envisioning: rickety 1970’s model RV, boxes and grandma in her rocking chair tied to the top, beer cans flying out the back window, Waylon and Willie blaring from the front windows, which are inevitably rolled down since the A/C doesn’t work.  What has conjured this frightening mental image?  News that my entire family is road-tripping from Texas to my quiet apple orchard in Washington.

Ok, so nothing about my family actually warrants this awful depiction of them, though maybe this says something about my psychological well-being.  My parents did own an old rickety RV that we would use to travel across the southern states in summer time.  And Dad does love Waylon and Willie.  But my mother is a firm believer in recycling and would NEVER let the beer cans fly out the window to litter.  Also, their decrepit RV is no longer fit to travel and they rented one instead.

So here’s what DID happen.  Mom packed up all the crap left in her house belonging to my sister and I.  Dad rented the 28-foot RV and they loaded all our junk, their 2 foster babies, and enough food and beer to survive the apocalypse.  First stop: northeast Colorado.  Here, they added my oh-so charming brother to the mix, who took turns with the driving.  Then they swung through Bend, Oregon, to dump all my sister’s junk out at her house and toss her into the RV as well.  Here they also relinquished my big bro to the Jeep of my bestie Nicole, who then followed the RV all the way to Twisp, caravan style. It took them a total of 4 days to finally make it to my house.

Friends in Twisp WA

Me and Nicole, lounging under the apple trees

When the mule train finally pulled into my driveway and we got the monster parked by the lilac bushes, the whole bunch came stampeding across the yard.  Arms got tangled as we all tried to hug at once and no one could understand anyone as we all tried to say hello and make introductions and ask questions.  The dog was barking, one baby started crying, most of us were laughing or shouting, and we were probably scaring the cattle across the road.

Ah, chaos.  My family is ruled by it.  We cannot get together without it.  Others have mentioned before how weird they think we are for being so close.  Even my siblings and I are crazy close, even when we’re fighting like rabid dogs.  Getting us all together in one place is like hosting a circus.  And I just soaked it all up!

This was the first meeting of the parents and big brother for Justin, who took it all in stride.  I worry a bit about his eye sight, because he didn’t even seem to notice that we’re a bunch of lunatics.  Super fun lunatics, but lunatics all the same!

Bocci Ball in Twisp WA

Bocci Ball!

Getting anywhere is like herding cats with this bunch, so we actually spent the majority of the 4 and half days sprawled in the lawn.  We played bocci ball and suzy sticks, grilled out, drank case after case of beer, and just relished in being in each other’s company.  We got a lovely tour of the orchard from our foreman Lupe one day, who told us all sorts of fun facts.  Did you know the trees lining my driveway are over 100 years old?!  I didn’t EITHER!!  So exciting.  My mom picked as many apples as she could to take home.

I did take them all to Winthrop one day to see the cute little town.  After devouring pizzas at East 20, we spent quite a while at the awesome Shafer mining museum and had ice cream on the board walk.  We also had a crazy wild evening of cards and one lovely afternoon at the Carlton Beach.  One of the babies has an obsession with water and tried to dive headfirst in the river over and over.  Nicole and I had to each keep hold of an arm so he’d stop belly-flopping into the cold water.  Crazy kid. Every time he managed to get his face in it, he would just come up sputtering and laughing, then try to do it again!

Suzy Sticks in Twisp WA

Suzy Sticks! Nicole is READY!

I was pretty stressed most of the time trying to keep everyone fed and entertained and happy, but it was all worth it.  Every time we left the house, I’d point out all the houses along the way that were up for sale.  Unfortunately, my dad hates the cold and my mom isn’t fond of mountains.  But I think she’d have stayed if she could.  In fact, I KNOW she would have!

My brother might even move north now.  Justin and him had quite a lot in common and chatted about job-type stuff (at least I think they did….).  His background and education could probably help him find a pretty good job up here.  Something where he could go off in the woods for days at a time by himself (weirdo).  I think he’d be well suited for the northwest.  Unlike my parents, he likes both cold weather AND the mountains!

I think my parents did enjoy the slightly cooler (though only slightly) temperatures – a nice break from the scorching 100+ degree days of Texas.  And they didn’t have to worry about be caught in a wildfire, as Texas and Oklahoma are burning right off the map.  Mom and the kiddos were unused to being outside so much, since they are pretty much prisoner to the A/C these days.  I’m glad we could offer a temporary repreive from the Texas summer!

So there ya have it.  An awesome time with my fantastic family (Nicole counts as family, too).  We didn’t kill each other, my dad didn’t leave anyone behind, and I bawled like a baby when my momma left.   As much as I love it up here and have no desire to go back south, it really sucks being so far from the kinfolk.  Even my sister is just far enough to not be able to zoom down for a quick weekend.  Dang I need to get my teleporter working!

 

**Sorry, I can’t post more pictures.  The babies are in most of them, and they can’t be posted on the Interwebs.  Safety stuff, you know.  Just know we had buckets of fun the whole time.  😀  **

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