Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Home Sweet Home
He has told the medical staff that he does not want to be revived, should they be faced with that decision. At 92 years old, I know he's thought a lot about death, told me stories about friends he's lost, but that must have been a difficult decision to make. Thankfully, he had the strength of will to make these decisions for himself and isn't asking his family to struggle with those questions further down the road.
I think I mentioned it before, but we drove to Minnesota, rather than fly. From Denver to my family's small town home of Red Wing, it's just a little over 900 miles, a trip that's too far for a toddler, but Chunk surprised me. He was great there and back, well behaved and agreeable, if a little nuts by “night-night time.”
There's a strange kind of peace that comes from driving long distances. I've read that there is a quasi-hypnosis that happens to people who stare at the road for too long, but what I'm talking about is more than that temporary state. When I was a kid, most of our family trips were driving trips, usually up to Minnesota, and so I know the trip very well. I can tell you stories about most of the rest stops along the way, point out the best Denny's for pie in Iowa, explain which tourist traps in Nebraska are worth seeing and which ones are okay to simply drive passed. Having made the trip countless times, as a boy and teen, it was strange to take that same trip again as a father. Strange, but natural in a way, like this wouldn't be the first or last time our little family braved the long highways of the midwest.
On the way home we drove through South Dakota and I saw Mount Rushmore for the first time. Having seen photos and the occasional scene from “North By Northwest,” I expected it to be sort of cheesy, but it was surprisingly neat and very tasteful. I can be a little cynical at times (I hope you were sitting down for that particular revelation), but it was a very moving monument and more than just a little awe-inspiring. Crazy Horse is slowly being carved into shape several miles away and should be even more impressive when it's finished.
Denver Mom and I decided that we'd plan a car trip every summer. We're planning on seeing Yellowstone, White Sands National Monument, visiting the Robert Henri museum in his home town in Nebraska, and maybe going back to our old favorite, Bandelier National Monument. Any other suggestions for places we can go?