Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis


We were a family on the move always. We moved from place to place but even in place. Daddy traveled for work constantly and, it seemed, at the drop of a hat, we were on a road trip. In the early days, we had a regular 4 door sedan with bench seats in the front and back and a trunk for luggage.

Daddy built a 'floor' for us in the back seat. It was a platform that extended the back seat to the front seat. No cars had seat belts. So we had this nice, big area - covered in soft quilts and blankets - to crawl all over, sprawl all over and fight over. It was actually pretty cool. Daddy drove and Mom rode shotgun. Always.

And we sang. Always. Old standards 'Casey would waltz with the strawberry blonde...' 'Daisy, Daisy, tell me your answer true'... And we sang hymns. Dad and his parents were Baptists with an amazingly rich history of hymns and we knew them and sang them all. Also musicals were coming into their own and even as tots we learned to 'Wash that man right out of my hair'.

There were no fast food restaurants and we really weren't restaurant people anyway. We had a Scotch cooler. I found this picture on Etsy and I will testify to its perfect authenticity.

Mom would make up a trip full of baloney sandwiches. If she was feeling kind, she put mustard on most and made some for me with mayo. All on white bread because that's all there was - mostly Wonder Bread (builds bodies 12 ways, according to the ads).

Daddy was a champion luggage packer. He had car loading tetris down to a science. But he could also pack clothes - suits, dress shirts, ties - for 2 weeks into a small suitcase and cause not one single wrinkle. I used to sit on their bed and watch his packing ritual and it was not only fascinating, it was educational. To this day, I not only can pack without wrinkles, I'm great at lasting days and days with a bag that fits under an airline seat.

One more memory that really doesn't fall into anywhere else... our naked house. Neither of my parents had the first qualm about being naked in front of us. For as long as I can remember, seeing them dress, undress, bathe was common, natural and comfortable.

My Mom was a tennis player and later on we had a house with the washer dryer near the end of the house where we parked. She would often come in, strip and put her sweaty tennis clothes in the washer and then go through the rest of the house totally naked - maybe stopping at the kitchen for a snack or stopping at the den to read the mail. I always knew one of my friends were going to be there one day for this parade but it never happened. We often and causally saw Mom and Dad naked. It was no big deal at all. I was listening to a podcast of 30-somethings not long ago talking about the horrors of catching a glimpse of their parents naked. They were therapy-required horrified. I scoffed.

To Be Continued
Tags: tbc
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