Road Trip to End the Summer that Wasn’t

Team Sank-a-ray on vaca. Well as close as I ever get to vacation anyway, tomorrow we’re loading up the car and we’s a head’n south. Down to the great State of Alabama where we’ll be unloading the handy middle kid and officially calling an end to the Summer of 13.

As far as summers go, I’ve had better, no doubt about that. Started off auspiciously enough, father died the week before Memorial Day. Then the house got a little crowded because the kids are adults now and they were using up all the good space “existing”.

The kids were al home and they all  had trouble finding jobs. Oldest kid even failed a pre-employment personality test. WTF? How does a Magna Cum Laude graduate with no criminal record and no dependents fail a gawd damned personality test at shithole company like Sears? Turns out, he was over qualified. Because I know everyone in retail technology I was able to track down the guy who wrote the program over at Kronos Technologies that most retailers are using to screen employees. Dude happened to be member of my lodge, my local lodge in Shakopee, how small is the big blue marble?

Sears wanted to screen out people who might want to leave after a short period so they try to weed out smart folks with ambition. Well, that explains a lot “don’t it”. Based on my recent purchases at Sears, it’s mission accomplished on the old sales floor.

Even my friend over at Sears, management type, (and another lodge guy) was a little perplexed that Nate was flagged “risky”. He couldn’t help him out. Good news is he found work at the Gap so he wasn’t underfoot all summer. Unlike his brother.

Brother got hired at the local theatre. Went to an orientation, got a shirt and never, ever, ever heard from them again. Got hired in May and didn’t hear back, despite calling them weekly to get his schedule, until the 4th of July. Wanted him to come in that day. I may not have been the best working role model when I suggested that he tell them to sod off, ’cause we’re going to the lake.

He did find a weird job with a construction and cleanup out fit. Actually was sent into a house in North Minneapolis, full hazmat suit on, to clean up mold. In the basement BTW, human sized cell with a locking door. Cot inside and bloody handprint on the wall. Ring for attaching chains attached to the ceiling joist, and “Help ME” scratched into the window well. “Dad, looked like Criminal Minds”.

Hard to go back to my cube farm when I know my kids have interesting jobs like that lemmie tell ya.

$8.00 an hour to clean up after serial killers. Was a time when I’da jumped. May come again.

So that kid was underfoot a lot, which was OK as he’s sort of helpful. Daughter was also home but not underfoot. She was in room on her iPad from May 30 to August 1st, coming out only to eat and pee. I forgot I had a daughter until August 1st when I pulled the plug on our Wifi. That did it, she was outta her room before her iPad got cold. Complaining of course, but out of her room. She looked a little older to me.

In fairness she also came out to drive with my wife. yeah… training kids to drive is always amusing, girl children… She’s a leadfoot that one, and she hugs the right side of the road like the mail truck. Freak’ing scary. So I’m told. I’ve never actually driven with her as she says I lack something she calls “patience”.

WTF. I don’t lack patience I just know how to drive, and am willing to offer feedback. And when I do offer feed back I’d appreciate you not taking hands off the wheel at 55 MPH to say “STOP YELLING AT ME”. Not yelling, teaching, there’s a difference. Sometimes.

Probably shouldn’t have said “seemed like a good idea at the time moment coming” when she said she’d rather drive with my wife. But you know that filter doesn’t always work.

Well we’re a couple months into practice driving now, I hear tell things are getting better. She hasn’t hit anything yet, something her brothers can’t claim at this point in their driving careers.

We’re kinda feeling like we got cheated outta our summer a bit up here in the North Country. Hasn’t been above 75 or so since about the 4th of July. This is fine for me, I like it cool, matches my disposition, but the family.. lake has been hovering at about 68, not really swimming temps. Now that summers’ over, ‘supposed be 90 all next week. Mother nature, she’s a kinda mean sometimes.

We leave in the morning. Wife and son asked me “what time do you wanna leave .” It’s a game we play. I say 5:00, Wife says 8:00 and we leave at 11:00. No one, other than me of course, I’m ready to go on schedule, can accomplish their personal pre-flight checks in under three hours. Which would be fine except they give themselves 30 minutes.

“Did you build in 40 minutes to look for your shoes?” “DAD STOP NAGGING” Just pointing out that in the last 18 years the average time spent looking for shoes right when it’s time to go is around 40 minutes. Why should tomorrow be any different. Daughter has to straighten her hair with the hair iron thing. That takes an hour. You know she’s Korean right.. no one will ever convince me that it should take a Korean person more than 0 seconds to straighten their hair, unless they have a perm, and that just wouldn’t make sense on a lot of levels.

39 entrapped uninterrupted   hours in  the car with Mrs S. We got us a few books to listen too, Pride and Prejudice, something about chicks swapping pants or something and secret life of bees book. I’m not sure we’re all going to arrive safely in Alabama with those choices. And at some point I’ll get my annual review from her. Good chance to talk about places where I need to step up my game to earn that coveted but somewhat elusive “meeting expectations”. She’s still upset about my helpful hint on the wall project when she asked how many bags of cement I thought we’d need. “One thing about cement” I told her, “you never have enough cement and you never have enough guys.” Shoulda ended right there but I had to say “named Jorge” to loudly under my breath and that set her off like a bottle rocket.

She tool it as an attack on her person for me to suggest that we couldn’t do it.

I’m sure we’ll explore the topic in some detail in the car tomorrow. Also my driving comments and my “line to long at the witch doctor?” comment when her friend suggested her experience at the Chiropractor was life changing.

Lets just say I have communication issues.

We’re taking the Illini-KY-TN route that takes us through Paducah KY. I have a reservation at a hotel there tomorrow night. Not sure which one as I lost the email, but how many can there be? We’re hoping not get lost on the way down this time. Last time we wound up in Cape Girardeau MO , totally out of the way. We’re going to avoid Missouri all together this trip, Iowa too. Mrs S was born in Champagne IL, so she probably knows her way around.

So stay tuned fans. Tomorrow, if all goes well and suicide from listening to Jane Austin for 10 hours, I’ll update you from Kentucky.

’till then, Adios.

4 Comments

Filed under Life

4 responses to “Road Trip to End the Summer that Wasn’t

  1. All in all, your summer sounds … crowded. And I don’t care what the schools say, summer doesn’t end until Labor Day.

  2. After reading this, I am confident we made the right decision about putting the son on a plane for college in Boston in a few weeks.

    As always, your humorous take on life with kids and wife entertains me.

    About the current weather here in Minnesota, I’m so with you. I love these cool temps. Perfect.

    Safe travels.

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