Sunday, February 21, 2010

Travel Tales


As a postscript to my post earlier this month about spoiling Jada, my friend, after hearing my story, shared one of his, in which his son was set up about as well as you possibly can on an airplane: laptop, headphones, gingerale, chips, and Dad feeding you a sandwich. I tell you, that's how you travel!

Of course, my friend's story was followed by a bunch of us regaling in the opposite kind of story: how hard we had it traveling when we were kids. All of us remember being thrown in the back of some station wagon, and none of us remember buying food in an airport. My tale was of my dad calculating that on a five-day drive through some national parks, we would each eat one sandwich at breakfast and two at lunch and dinner, which, times four people, meant my mom was asked to make 100 sandwiches and put them in a big cooler. And that, plus water, was our sustenance for that trip. Needless to say, cold and wet ham sandwiches with lettuce aren't very appetizing four days after you've made them.

I suppose it is something to be thankful for: most of this spoilage, after all, comes from the fact that we are wealthier than the preceding generation, and they are wealthier than their parents. Austerity was a necessity; today, convenience reigns. Still, after this last round of stories from generations past and present, us dads recommitted ourselves to a little austerity. After all, our kids need some stories to tell their friends once they've become parents themselves.
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