1. Why is it your dog is at his most awesome just before you are leaving on a trip?

2. Afton Mountain after dark in the rain. I never could get the defrost, windshield wipers, and our breathing to a place where I could see out the window. I swear the kids were breathing hard on purpose. We nearly died three times. Only when we were over it did I realize it was my eyes that were fogged over not the window.

3. The country is very dark at night.

4. Next morning I had breakfast with the woman who raised my sausage patties from birth.

5. There was a ping pong table in one of the barns made up of two regular tables that were different sizes and one net strung across both. We spent an hour or two trying to smash the balls into each other’s faces. It really hurts.

6. We accidentally knocked a woman off her horse. Then the horse ran away which made us miss the dog. That would be something he would do. She seemed really pissed at us but the car was stopped and the radio off. He just really didn’t like our car.

7. Later, all three of us decided we hate ostriches. They are really where the dinosaurs went.

8. We do love chicken fried steak. Gravy on the mashed potatoes? Duh.

9. Only two of us think that chicken fried ostrich is a good idea.

10. Foamhenge is aging better than some people I know. One pillar is missing but the kids say that's been gone for a while. I don't remember. Approximately four seconds after I warn my son to be careful jumping
the locked gate, he slashes his elbow open. No way am I taking him for a tetanus shot on my weekend away. The line must be drawn somewhere. We can deal with possible lockjaw when we get back to Richmond.

11. At the pear farm I was dreaming about living on a farm. I was deep into the dream when I told her to keep the change and she said she would apply it to her legal defense fund and my dream died. It is hard to be a farmer. I’m essentially lazy. I don’t know what a legal defense fund is but I don’t like the sound of it. Seems like there would be work and anger involved. I already have enough of that.

12. Then I napped.

13. When I woke up I looked out the window and there was a goat drinking out of the pool and a Japanese family eating ramen. Am I awake? My son shrugs.

14. Gunsmoke looks awesome in wide screen digital.

15. I find a deck of cards in the bedside table drawer. I win the first three hands of Solitare. This is a magic deck.

16. Pepperoni pizza and Pop Tarts from local convenience store for dinner. I see a kid juggle two cans of Skoal. He is about 8. He’s not that good.

17. The next morning we leave. We get to Waynesboro in time for lunch. We enter the restaurant and the first words I hear blasting from a TV above the bar are, “Donald Trump.” Unfortunately we are back in what some people call civilization.


I'm a parent and a writer in that order. Sometimes, though, they get mixed up.

Tom Jeterlist, family tripComment