Sunday, November 7, 2010

Large Covered Wagon

In June, Jim & I traveled to Ponca, NE. We attended a family reunion with my brother & sister-in-law, Dave & Joyce, and their children & grandchildren. (Doug and Mandy bravely organized this affair.)

On the way home, we visited Joslyn Art Museum, in Omaha NE. This piece was in their outdoor sculpture garden: "Large Covered Wagon," by Tom Otterness.

I love the whimsical depiciton of the ox, and the pioneer woman. But most of all, I was amused by the children fighting in the back of the wagon.

It reminded me of childhood trips with our family. I think we generally were well-behaved (really!), but I'm sure the back of our station wagon had scenes not unlike this scene at the back of a covered wagon.

Where did we travel as a family? The trips I remember most were our epic journeys from Pennsylvania to Idaho, to visit Grandma & Grandpa (Dad's parents). Different trips followed different routes, so we saw lots of the country en route, such as Yellowstone Park; Glacier National Park; the Black Hills of South Dakota. I think we saw Mount Rushmore - or am I misremembering?

Dad also stopped at the places kids like, such as Mystery Spot. I don't remember where this was - there are many such tourist traps - but I remember that Dave (tall) & I (short, of course) stood next to each other, and our heights apparently changed...? Ah, the mystery of it all.

Some of our travel arrangements will no doubt elicit horror from today's safety-conscious parents, though I will point out that I lived to tell the tale... We generally travelled in a station wagon, sans seat belts. Mom & Dad had the front row seats, and we four kids held court in the middle seat, and in the 'way back,' generally with that seat folded down to make a flat area. At night, we would stop and set up the sleeping arrangements: we folded down the middle seat, and then Dad arranged plywood boards across the very back, from window to window. Dave & I unfolded our sleeping bags under those boards, with our heads in the middle seat area (not under the plywood; that would have been a bit much!); Paul & Lori slept on top of the plywood. Mom & Dad then drove into the night, and we would wake to find the car pulled off somewhere along the road, with them sleeping in their seats. What a way to travel!

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