Sink or Swim

Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?


It was 1973, late August.  We were moving from northern Michigan (Terry is a Yooper)  to southeastern Pennsylvania.  We had two little boys, aged 4 and 2.

Terry was driving the big U-Haul, and he led the way.  I was in the car, a fairly new and inexperienced driver, with the little boys in the back seat. This was years before our nanny government made us strap little ones into seats that kept them immobile.  I can’t imagine how they would have survived the trip back then.  We had build up the back seat with suitcases and put a mattress over that, covered with blankets and pillows.  They slept, played, and kept themselves pretty well occupied.

In the front seat, I white-knuckled it all the way. I was terrified.  I’d never driven in heavy traffic, or used cloverleaf interchanges.  I’d certainly never been tasked with keeping the vehicle in front of me in plain view while I coped with all the other things I had to deal with.  One child was still in diapers.  The older one was fully  potty-trained, but needed to stop every now and then.  We didn’t have cell phones back then, so communicating was pretty tricky.  I’d do my best to get in front of Terry, letting him know we needed to pull over.  Sometimes there was a handy rest stop.  Other times it was just make do with whatever shelter we could find.

I’d never had to do anything like that before, and I still don’t like to drive in heavy city traffic.  By the time we finally arrived, I was a wreck.  My nerves were shot, and I was barely holding on to my temper.  When I’m stressed, I don’t cry and whimper.  I get mad.  Poor Terry.  He didn’t have a clue how terrified I’d been.

4 thoughts on “Cross-Country

  1. Linda Fode

    Loved your story this morning. Our first son was born September 1973 . I am amazed at the parallels in our journeys & our passions. We are both ‘Word Girls’, mentoring & counselling other women. We both face the urgency & struggles of aging.

    I look forward to having virtual coffee with you each morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My oldest son, Michael was born in 1970. Please tell me you didn’t name your first son Michael 🙂 Yes, we have a lot of common threads, and I too look forward to reading your posts.


  2. Linda Fode

    Loved your white-knuckled driver story. I can relate – I’ve been hit by a train, a garbage truck & a cement truck. Not all in one accident of course. White is actually my middle name.

    How did our offspring survive? Bumper pads on their cribs. Lying down in the back window shooting wooden guns at the police car following us. Now that was a story!!

    Our boys actually played ‘ Cowboys & Indians’ rather then ‘Cowboys & First Nation People’. Have I failed as a Mom- the boys still refuse to be politically correct?

    I’ll leave my rant for my own blog. Keep writing Linda. You make my day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My word! Can’t say I’ve ever been hit by anything at all! But my sons and my daughter also refuse the PC nonsense, and all their kids have played cowboys and Indians. Tsk. 🙂


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