This is a true story of an average family driving fifteen hours in one day to get home! Perhaps, many of you can relate?
- The acronym, OPP, is used in this story. It stands for Ontario Provincial Police.
My father, the consummate road warrior, meant business. Radar detector standing sentinel against prowling OPPs, the new Peugeot rolled along at a fantastic speed. The sun was bright, but Ontario’s November weather strained out any cheerful radiance. Sitting behind my father, I depressingly stared out my window.
The highway was featureless. Signs gauging our progress, in kilometers, only confounded me. Two hours complete, the return home from visiting family in Detroit was still thirteen hours further. This ride was always grueling and tedious. Only one planned stop, mid-way to pee and inhale food, proffered any sort of relief. My father tackled this drive as he did home improvement, chores and workouts. Unpleasant tasks were dispatched as quickly possible, preferably, all at once.
My backseat companion was my sister, Rachel. She was four years my junior. She sat behind my father’s girlfriend, who was amiably trying to make the best of the trip. An agreed upon invisible barricade separated me from my sister. Any perceived violation of the treaty was promptly called out.
“Move over! You’re on my side.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Your pillow is touching me!”
My father never tolerated bickering.
“Quit it! Both of you. It’s a long ride. You’ll just have to make the best of it, so zip it!”
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