It’s all so crappy, moving is crappy

Summer 1999, age 12

Driving Cross Country From a Twelve-Year-Old’s Perspective

Thought I’d throw it way back for a travel blog this Thursday, so I pulled out my journal from the summer of 1999 when my family moved from Oregon to Vermont. We drove across the country in our Jeep Cherokee in five days. One of my favorite things in the world is rereading my old journals from when I was really young, because they are hilarious. Kids are so funny and you never really know what they are thinking…well I wrote down what I was thinking, and it’s pretty weird stuff sometimes.

What kind of ideas popped into my head:

“We saw three antelope. As far as you can see any way there are hills of grass and cattle, small brush, and spotted with weird trees. You don’t see houses very much, everyone has so much land. There was a working oil well. I can’t wait until there’s just flat plains of grass and plants. It’s funny to picture a huge T-Rex running around out here, this is where they found his bones.

I am not sure we actually saw antelope…but I did think about dinosaurs. Who doesn’t?

What I thought moving meant:

“We drove 215 miles from 3:00pm to 8:00pm. Soon we won’t be Oregonians, right now actually I’m just an American, or a loner. It sucks.”

Driving to a different state means you immediately lose residency? No…

I was extremely descriptive as a kid, this is how I described the drive:

“The sun is peaking out from a mass of dark gray clouds, onto the damp earth creating a never-ending rainbow. The clouds part and let the sky’s blue eyes open onto the cold ground. Tiny spots of blue splatter around like spilled paint on an empty canvas. A cool mist rises from the slippery highway and settles over the tall green trees.”

“We’re on our 4th day and in Minnesota. Right now it is flat and you can see to the end of the world, a few trees block bits (trees planted by settlers a long time ago). Purple and pinks spread over the horizon and slowly fade away. The sun secretly rises behind the clouds. Now it peaks out from the masses of purple clouds, orange and ready for the new day. To my right hills are beginning to form and to my left just flat prairie.”

There is a pattern here…trees and sky. Pretty much what you see from a short kid’s height.

I thought I was so deep and insightful.

What I noticed about the car we were in:

“Joseph and Megan are trying to become comfortable in our five seat Jeep that reeks something nasty.”

I fail to note that it reeked from my inability to properly digest all the fast food we were eating…#wasntme

How I described my annoyance with moving, by complaining:

“We are in Indiana and in a crappy hotel in a crappy town. It’s a tiny town, really ugly and dirty. This hotel reeks and it has no pool or nothing!! Today we drove through Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois. Chicago is crappy…there are so many toll booths, it’s dumb we have to pay to go on that road and we have to pay for other roads too and they’re crappy!”

No, this isn’t some city girl complaining about a small town. I grew up in the countryside, not even in a town, in the boonies. Any town was bigger than where I grew up. Easiest way to express how much you don’t want to move? Call everything crappy.

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  1. Paige harlow on December 21, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    I love your poetic descriptions. You are a poet at age 12 and a writer! Thanks for the memories. Love Mom:-)

  2. Rose L on August 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    LOL My family used to go back to Missouri every summer to visit relatives. My dad would tell us to watch for jackalopes and the one who saw the most would be the winner (never asked what we would win!). I remember counting hundreds of them, but as I grew older they seemed to be few and far between.

  3. mplanck on August 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I love this peek at the past as you detail a peak experience in your young life. My goodness. You were already a better writer than I was at your age. I was writing stories that tried to mimic Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer! I especially liked your look at the plains when you tried to imagine a T. Rex roaming about. I take secret trips to the past myself some days and then think (as I set my

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