Sunday, March 18, 2012

When life gives you an El Camino you make lemonade!

Way back in 1980something, before cell phones, internet, and pagers my brother Ryan, sister Christy, and I headed out to the wild west. Our trip to Wyoming led us across the vast plains of South Dakota along a dusty desolate stretch of interstate known as I90. All the damned way across South Dakota, I might add. It's a long way. Really. Also, our driver had horrible taste in music. There was no Madonna, Prince, J Giles Band, etc. Just Paper Roses, a little bit of Conway Twitty, and some song about how some people back in 1814 took a little trip.

With our dad at the wheel, the three of us had been wedged into the front of a tiny El Camino and began our own private trail of tears. It wasn't as dramatic as the original Trail of Tears, looking back on it, but if I remember correctly we didn't exactly like each other much back then. Still, when pressed, we were capable of making a little fun when fun was needed. My grandma always said, "When life gives you an El Camino and bad music, you make lemonade." Maybe those weren't her exact words, but that's how I like to interpret it, and it's my story so I'll tell it how I like!

Alright, back to the 80s. Just off I90, right after you cross the Missouri river, half way to Wall Drug, just past Chamberlain is Al's Oasis. Now you might be thinking, "Angie, an Oasis is something you find in a desert." Well, unless you've been through South Dakota you can't possibly understand. In my experience there are only 2 other places where an oasis might be more useful.

1. That long ass stretch between Utah and Nevada on the way to Vegas. I call this, Holy crap why is it so dark and does this interstate have lines at all?

2. The stretch of I80 and I76 in Nebraska/Colorado between Ogallala, NE and Denver. I call this, Radio Free Nebraska.

So there we were, at Al's Oasis. I've included the link because you'd never believe it if you didn't see it. We'd been on the road a good 5 hours, we hated each other a little more than normal, and the idea of a hot meal and the ability to stand up right felt like heaven. In we went. After our burgers and fries, we browsed the little mercantile store and our father reminded us that we should probably call our mother and let her know we were safe thus far. We dropped our change in the pay phone and called home.

Please know that we meant no harm. It's just that, like I said earlier, sometimes you have to make a little lemonade. When my mom answered the phone we thought it might be entertaining to say, "Um, is Christy there?" The dead silence on the other end of the phone was funny for all of about 10 seconds. Apparently it's uncool to freak your mother out by telling her you lost her 5 year old. We know that now.

Friday evening, as my car traveled the interstate, over the river, past Chamberlain, half way to Wall Drug... we pulled off the road. I couldn't resist snapping a picture with my ultra modern, non-80s communication device.  As I searched for my sister's number in the contact list I couldn't stop giggling. "Hehe Looky where I am!"

The buffalo burger was still overcooked. The lettuce was still shredded, the flavor was still lacking.... ah the good old days relived. Does it get much better than that?


On a parting note, a huge thank you to the people of Lower Brule for honoring my friend's mother in such an amazing way for her funeral service. Additional thanks going to my friend Joe for not letting me fall apart in a puddle of tears when my car died on the reservation. Thank you to Guy 1 and Guy 2 for helping us get the car taken apart and put back together and running so we could get home.

Before you go... we have new Whose Boobs pics! Jump on over to Bloggers for Boobs and see what's going on! Huge kudos to all who have entered so far! Let's raise our shirts and raise awareness! Much love to you all!




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