Backseat Blitz

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Our summer traveling in the car
Started out kind of rough.
The squabbling children escalated
Until I’d had more than enough.

They screeched and fought every minute
With intent to harm and disturb
Until I PULLED THIS CAR OVER RIGHT NOW
And sat them down on the curb.

I gave them quite a lesson there
Right by the side of the road.
They thought they might be walking home
From a two towns away zip code.

I let them back in on conditions
Which since then, they’ve mostly met.
Like all siblings, they bicker,
About things they should just forget.

This normal silly bickering, though,
I find easier to survive.
In an imagined car of silence,
I switch to internal drive.


It turns out, I’m not quite able to compose a rhymed English sonnet in iambic pentameter while I’m driving.  I was in the car for 5+ hours today, and while I usually do compose verse in my head on the road, keeping track of the syllables and rhyme structure without writing anything down was too much.  So I let my brain make this, not at all inspired by anything that did/did not happen in the backseat today.

Also…this may/may not be a completely true story.

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Motor Me Home

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O, the glorious Outdoors!
We marvel at your Splendor!
Except for that last camping trip
When you put me through the blender.

Three days at the local State Park,
Should have been a plate of s’mores.
After two days we were done.
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

We lost one kid for quite a while
On the banks of the Willamette.
Frantically searched and called for an hour,
Nightmares running the gamut.

Until I went to get the Rangers
Riding my bike, heart steeled,
And found him in the motorhome,
Giggling at the pages of Garfield.

Okay, that ended well, I guess,
So we didn’t go home right away.
Dad and I had a couple of stiff ones.
Tomorrow would be a new day!

Let’s start that day with pancakes!
The favorite breakfast of the boy!
Oh my god, this version of mix
Is loaded with processed soy.

For most people, no worries,
The texture’s a little different.
We got to call the ambulance
From the rural fire department.

An ambulance in a campground
Makes you instant celebrities.
While he rode his bike that afternoon,
I repeatedly answered, “How is he?”

We spent the rest of the trip
Reacting to everything at DEFCON5.
We were completely done having fun.
We just wanted to get home alive.


It is my sincere hope that this last trip will forever be The Worst Camping Trip Ever®.  If it gets worse, it edges into actual life-altering events.  It’s a bit on my mind as we prepare for the next one.  The campground is by the ocean.  I’m considering requiring life jackets 24/7.

98.8% Is Fine

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The Ancients thought the solar eclipse
Was the wrath of the great I Am.
In modern times, there’s wrath indeed–
In this God-forsaken traffic jam.


Oregon normally has a population of around four million people, not counting Sasquatch.  On Monday, thanks to the solar eclipse, we’re supposed to have an extra million visitors in the state (and not evenly dispersed).  The traffic started yesterday, and the logjam of RVs, rental cars, and out-of-towners will only get worse.  (If you’re wondering why Oregon is especially blessed with solar tourism, we are the closest destination for all of Asia.)

We live just outside the band of totality.  I am NOT driving the 20 miles to be in totality on Monday.  We’re going to hang out with our neighbors, drink up the champagne they don’t want to move to Idaho, and not be in the car for six hours.

Side note:  That little orange dot in the glasses is the sun.  I hope everyone feels like they got their money’s worth afterwards.

The Usurer’s Apprentice

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magical kingdom
spellbound, I don’t notice when…
poof! cash disappears

 Disneyland was the best vacation we’ve ever had, period.  It’s also where the reality of how much things cost sort of goes all wibbley-wobbley.  It’s time to go home when you find yourself in a tub of ice with a phone taped to your hand, sans the kidney you traded for a balloon that was, let’s face it, a really, really awesome balloon, but probably not worth a kidney.

I Forget

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if I made a list
of everything I forgot
it would all be here

Note: I do make lists. If I forget to put something on the list, though, it no longer exists in the universe until I need it 200 miles from home. We are going home tomorrow. All the things will be there, unless I forget some here.