The Remains of the Remains Trail

The grammar checker is already raising objections to the title of this post. Repetitious. Choose a different word: remains: remainder, residue, remaining part, remnant. Too bad, Grammar Checker. Remains of the Remains is what I named this blog, and I’m sticking to it.

Some of you may remember that old George Jones song that goes: Six days on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight. I’m writing this on Wednesday in the airport in Milwaukee. You are most likely reading this on Friday morning. And Friday evening we should make it back home to Seattle after three weeks on the road. Long time. Bill and I are both ready to be home, and I suspect Bella will be overjoyed to see us.

But as we drag our luggage and weary butts through one airport and one TSA screening after another, I’ve been remembering other tours along the way.

Years ago, when I did these tours on my lonesome own, I remember having breakfast on the patio of a fancy hotel somewhere in LA. A young guy, a screen writer, came there that morning to pitch his wares to a producer of some kind, bringing a baby of six months or so along for the ride. I felt for the guy. Being a parent, especially a single parent, is not easy, and for whatever reason, that guy’s child care system had broken down that morning. I remember an insurance appointment in Pe Ell, Washington, where the clients showed up early–while my kids were still in the bath tub. They waited until I got the kids out of the tub and dressed. Then we had the appointment at the dining room table while the kids “played” in the kitchen. The only problem is, they weren’t exactly playing–they were eating an ENTIRE box of raisins. With, unfortunately, entirely predictable results. My daughter refuses to eat raisins to this day. Me, too.

But back to that Hollywood breakfast. The daddy was pitching away and keeping the baby quiet by periodically slipping him Animal Crackers. My kids were grown by then, and it occurred to me that I had forgotten where to find Animal Crackers in a grocery store. That was before any grandkids came along–the oldest of whom will turn 21 in a couple of weeks. When Lauren arrived, I soon relearned how to locate Animal Crackers. Back then, they were still in those zoo cage boxes in the cracker aisle on grocery stores. By the time the youngest grandchild showed up on the scene, and I could buy Animal Crackers from our local Costco in gallon sized plastic jars.

As we’ve been trudging through airports these last three weeks, we’ve seen any number of little playground areas set aside for kids who are traveling. The play areas complete with kid-sized plane rides. Seeing those mechanical rides–they only had mechanical horses back in my day– made me remember the Animal Crackers in that hotel. Suddenly I realized that ALL our grandkids are well beyond being enchanted by those mechanical playground rides and well beyond Animal Crackers, too. Time passes. Faster than we realize.

And yes, come Friday night, I’ll be glad to put my luggage away and sleep at last in my very own bed.

6 thoughts on “The Remains of the Remains Trail

  1. A well deserved rest. Hopefully, you will have nice weather for a while. Enjoyed the book of course, look forward to the next one. BTW, don’t forget about those little boxes, they are still in the grocery stores but Target and WalMart have them on sale. The great grandkids still enjoy them. 3 at 8, 1 at 5. 8 day old doesn’t react!!!
    Kids seem to like their own containers. Their faces as they told me what was a hippo, lion etc were such a joy. So serious and so proud when they got it right.

    Haven’t travelled in quite a while. Problem with aging is that you lose so many of your companions/relatives and the travelling just fades away. Glad to hear about the child friendly airports. Have a wonderful fall.

  2. I had this thought when you mentioned how quickly the grandkids grow up. My 17-soon to be 18 year grand daughter yearns to “grow up”, and go away to college, while if I had my way, would wrap her in a time bubble to be able to continue to enjoy her at this age for a few more years. The same with the younger “grands”. The 14 month old, wasn’t it just yesterday I was holding him as a newborn, and now he is running everywhere, (and yes, getting into everything!) The 2 year grandson, no longer a baby, either. His big sister about to take the big step to kindergarten next month. Whoa, please, slow the hands of time…… childhood seems to by more quickly each day. I do cherish each and every one of them.

  3. Oh you were so close! Milwaukee–I would have had you over for a cold glass of iced tea. We had a flight back to the cool Midwest from Tucson this week. I had a J.A. Jance mystery (Brady series) to read and my husband had one too. Good thing because there were several delays. Good stories make the journey go better, even if there are some unexpected bumps along the way. Got home VERY late at night but stayed up to finish the story.

  4. I’m sure I had a birthday cake each year, but the only one I remember was an angel food cake with white frosting. Mom had colored shredded coconut green so it would be the grass that animals from a box of crackers “walked” on on top of the cake. I don’t remember what age I was, but I can still see them.

  5. Thank you for coming as far East as you did, and for being delightful and instructive in your talk in Bethlehem. I did not guess that you were at the end of a long travel road — you showed no signs of exhaustion or boredom, and I am very grateful for that. Seeing and hearing you was the purpose of my trip, and I am so glad that it was a happy experience — and now I hope that you get some rest!

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