Rainbow

During the last eight days, I have slept in seven different beds.

OK, one night was an airline seat.

Such is life during vacation, especially for those of us who live or work overseas. We often find ourselves cramming multiple visits in over the all-too-short summer months. This year, my family spent the last week of break with my father and his wife. We visited him at his home in Show Low, Arizona and then took in the sights of Sedona and the Grand Canyon. We even saw a “double rainbow,” pictured above. Dad generously offered to “host” the tour, which meant picking us up at the airport, arranging the hotels, setting the itinerary, and driving.

My children have often wished (aloud) for the days in which they are grown up and can get the extra-large Blizzard at Dairy Queen, sit in the front seat, or, God-forbid, drive the car. Well, as my wife and I are always reminded when we visit our parents: You are always a kid to somebody. While my Dad no longer controls my calorie intake (that job has been taken over by my lovely wife), I found myself in a daily fight for the passenger seat of the car. And, despite putting on nearly 1000 miles on the journey, I never once asked him if he’d like me to drive.

The last time my father asked me to drive (while I was in college) was after he was nearly blinded from too much exposure to the sun and a welding iron (which will have to be the stuff of another post). The pain got so bad that he finally let me take the wheel, but he was so sure that I was driving too fast that he routinely had me stop so he could feel the heat of the tires. He was certain I was melting them, and he eventually booted me back to the passenger seat and drove home the rest of the way while alternatively closing one eye to relieve the pain. In the past 20 years, he’s never asked me to drive again.

I haven’t checked, but he’s probably got something in his will that stipulates his ashes are to be transported by Federal Express.