Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rolling Home by the Moon -- June 2005

If anyone who ever took travel trailer vacations when they were kids in the 50s and early 60s want to take a trip down memory lane, take a gander at this website, Doug's Vintage Trailers. That's where I got this great photo for my entry tonight. This looks exactly like the type of travel trailer my family used to rent for a week every year before my younger brother was born. I can remember riding out to Jones' Trailer Rental on the edge of town with my Dad to pick it up...then watch as he hooked it onto the back of our car, sweating and grunting and groaning and coming up with the strongest expletive I ever heard come out of him, "You dirty bird!!" Then he'd make a big deal out of getting the mirrors on the car set 'just so' and we'd go sailing off to home. I don't remember the preparations so much as the trips themselves. One year we went to Mt. Rainier. Another year to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics. Wherever we went it usually rained. I remember staying at one campground in the Olympic National Rain Forest when it had poured buckets. My poor mom. Stuck in a trailer with 3 antsy kids. There was a break in the rain showers and she banished us outside, telling us to go DO something for a while. "And take care of your little sister!" she hollered after my brothers as we scampered off into the underbrush. Well, they were always stuck with me tagging along and were usually pretty good about keeping me out of trouble but this particular day we discovered a tree log bridge across a little creek. It had just a roughly-built handrail across it and they got across with no problem. I remember standing there, looking at them on the other side of the creek, and thinking "That's FAR!" I was only 3 or 4 years old and I knew I'd be hard-pressed to reach up and hold on to that handrail. The boys stood on the other side, impatiently yelling at me to "Come ON, Sis!" So...away I went. And that log was as slippery as a snake from all the rain and moss and slime on it. Halfway across and....kerploosh! Down I went. The boys looked down at me in stunned silence where I lay in a bed of the gooiest, ickiest mud you ever saw. They exchanged a "Boy, are WE ever gonna get it now!" look, then came down and hauled me up out of there. I was covered from head to toe with this stinky black mud and our trip back to the trailer was a lot slower than our trip AWAY from it had been, haha! When my oldest brother opened the door of the trailer and my mom got a look...and a SMELL...of me....oh my word, the fireworks that exploded out of HER mouth! My mom could swear worse than any sailor on the sea. And she gave us all an earful on that day! The boys stood there in abashed silence as she set me, who was cold, miserable, up on the table and stripped me down bare to try and clean me up. Needless to say, the boys never coaxed me across another log bridge ever again!

My favorite part of our trips was as we were traveling along the highways. I sat sandwiched in between my brothers on the back seat. Dad always drove and mom played navigator in the passenger seat. Both my parents had wonderful singing voices and we'd all get to singing as we drove along, my brothers and I sitting there bouncing against the back of the seats in time to the melodies. "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall." "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain." "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" in ROUNDS!! Wooo hooo, were we TALENTED! My favorite, tho, was an old marching song my Dad would sing from his time in the military. I'm very proud to say he's a Veteran of WWII and served 2 1/2 years in England during the War! This one we'd ALL sing as loud as we could. The words went something like this:

"I've got six pence, jolly jolly six pence.
I've got six pence to last me all my life.
I've got tuppence to spend and tuppence to lend
And tuppence to send home to my wife, poor wife.
No friends have I to grieve me,
No pretty little girls to deceive me!!
But happy is the day when the airman gets his pay
And we go rolling, rolling home.
Rolling home (Dead drunk!!)
Rolling Home (Dead drunk!)
By the light of the silvery moo-ooo-ooo-OOON!
Happy is the day when the airman gets his pay
And we go rolling, rolling home

We didn't have much money growing up...I was given a dime a week for my allowance, a lot of my clothes came as hand-me-downs from family friends. Never went to Disneyland. Never went to Hawaii. Never went out of the State of Washington! But those vacations snuggled in between my big brothers, my parents singing happily in the front seat...I wouldn't trade them for all the money in the world.

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