Maybe you watch “Naked and Afraid” on television like some of us do and aspire to have an acceptable Primitive Survival Rating. It’s a nine point scale with 9.0 being the perfect score and indicative of the most prepared, fit, knowledgeable, and skilled survivalist. The winners of these challenges also seem to be very good at working in teams and cooperating. Obviously experience is helpful.
How prepared is Patty V’s Route 66 Team for surviving the challenges ahead? I asked for some stories from the gals to sort of “strip us down” a bit and reveal our potential.
Patti shared immediately. I got a juicy email filled with family dysfunction which I can relate to…a blogger’s delight!
So I was the fourth of five girls. My parents moved from Ohio to Florida in 1956. I think Dad must have bribed Mom to move to Florida by promising an annual pilgrimage back to Ohio to see her sister and mother. By 1965 we were all seasoned travelers. Summer arrived and found Mom making a bed for “the sleepers” in the back of our station wagon. Everybody had a bed pillow, a blanket to share, and there was a cooler full of sandwiches. As the time arrived to get in the car, mom would say, “Okay girls, come get your carsick medicine. Karen, you know sitting in the backseat makes you sick, and girls, if Karen gets sick you probably will too. Now this might make you a little sleepy, but better sleepy than sick..” Sleep we did. All the way to Central Ohio. They would wake us at bathroom stops for a bite to eat and for a “booster” of Dramamine (mommy’s little helper). Bob and Maxine were fantastic and loving parents. We slept quietly and peacefully and were never, ever carsick.
Note to Jean (our trip medic): please stock medical kit with Dramamine and possibly give Bob and Maxine a call to confirm dosing?
And Patti and I shared a chuckle over another story that we had in common. Raising children at the same time in different states we were driving our own kids on roadtrips in the late 1990s back before televisions in headrests…Oh yes! Independently we were pioneers of the strap-a semi-portable-tv-to-the-armrests-of-the-driver-and-passenger-seats method. Pop a VHS tape in. Rinse. Repeat.
The only problem with this amazing engineering was that at the time the speakers were in the BACK of these tv’s and therefore our back seat sugar plums enjoyed their cartoons visually while we parents (up front) were subjected to overly loud sing-a-longs..
If you raised kids in the 1990s I don’t have to tell you how important BARNEY was at the time. That purple guy was a part of my parenting TEAM. I mean,
I love you.
You love me.
We (probably would not have been) a happy family.
Without a great big hug and a kiss from him to me.
Barney gave us SANITY.
Personally, I think Bob and Maxine were WAY ahead of us with their Dramamine Technology. Their parenting books are available on Amazon.
Patty V also reported promptly (and also in need of therapy) that she had a tale to share…
We used to have a Starcraft pop up camper and would sometimes go on long weekends around Illinois and Missouri. It slept six…we had six in our family, so there was no spare room in there! We would set up camp and then go exploring. We’d find the pool, trails, snack machines, and my personal favorite…the game room. Every day we’d get a few quarters to play games. When we were out of quarters…that was it! We had to wait until the next day…that just wasn’t good enough so I had to think of how to get more money. I ended up loosening a couple of molars, pulling them out and getting a lucrative visit from the tooth fairy even at the campground!
I recently made a trip alone from Florida to North Carolina to bring my daughter home from college. In theory, in the age of GPS, you can pretty much guarantee that you won’t get lost these days. Yet I added three hours to my eleven hour trip by guiding myself and ignoring the built in technology. Worse still, I didn’t get to enjoy the South of the Border Signs that highlight your drive north through South Carolina because I wasn’t on I-95 yet (still slogging through northern Georgia way too far west). Pedro says: “Maps are neat-o, Grab a burrito!”
I wasn’t a weiner that day.
And how will our Road Trip Team do surviving OUR adventure? Well, we have some road experience, but… We can’t catch rats with gravity activated traps and roast them over our self-made fire. Sorry, just saw that “Naked and Afraid” episode, it’s still in my head, can’t get it out.) Will we work like a team and construct a good water purification system? Will we be too grumpy to coordinate effort or possibly be eaten alive by insects? Obviously Julie can’t be involved with navigation. Patty might slow us down if there are gamerooms at truck stops. Who will wake up the “sleepers” in the back? Will someone keep track of our reading glasses? Surely we can make Jean be in charge of reading glasses since they fall under general health and well being.
Let’s face it. Those folks on TV have twenty one days to survive. How hard can our ten day trip be? Thus, our score indicates that we are a road-ready group.
Roadtrip Readiness Quotient: 6.2 on a 9 point scale. This number will go up to 8.2 on a 9 point scale if there are Starbucks opportunities each morning. And we don’t even have to be naked to accomplish our mission.