What About This? By Wayne William Cipriano

Well, the kids are coming for a visit and Rosalie is ECSTATIC! Me, not so much.

Sure, I’m eager to see them and we always have a lot of fun when they are here. And it’s always good to have other new opinions on whatever the topic of discussion happens to surface as we sit around the kitchen table. And, of course, there is all the cooking and baking in preparation; goodies galore sometimes just left on the counters or the table where anyone can get to them.

Ryan has hinted that he’d like to do some farmwork while he is here. That is, as you can easily imagine, just fine with me! There’s a corral to repair that Ryan helped build last time he was here, some roadwork as well. You don’t want to work them too hard, so they want to come back, but you don’t want to leave the false impression that our ranch takes care of itself. A lot like a ship, a ranch may appear squared away, but the closer you look, the more you find needs attention – and you are NEVER finished!

Renee` is coming by herself to spend some time alone with Rosalie (and with me, of course, she hastily interjects) while Ryan takes care of some stuff, then he’ll join us.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? The reason I’m not as happy about the visit as everyone else revolves around what happens when the visit comes to an end. Not the regular competing emotions you often feel: sadness at their leaving; happiness that things go back to “normal”. Not even the crater-like depression that Rosalie will experience whenever any of the  kids split – because that’s not going to happen this time. Why, you ask? ROADTRIP.

While Ryan has to fly back to work, Rosalie and Renee` decided a slow auomobile run from here to Massachusetts is just the thing needed to draw them even closer together (as if that were possible).

As I understand it (and I cannot escape the feeling that my complete understanding is not a very high priority here), they are planning a week or two on the highways and byways, moving in a generally easterly direction, stopping at every wide space in the road to party with whichever locals they may run across – eating too much, especially the junk food Renee` declares is an absolute necessity on such a trip, sleeping late in seedy motels, laying out in the sun next to (but never entering) the dubiously hygenic swimmng pools, stopping to wonder at all the roadside attractions like the world’s largest ball of twine, the two-headed Gila monster, the one-man band playing twelve instruments, and, of course, visiting Stuckey’s, as we all must.

I suggested it might be a good idea for me to travel with them, you know, having a guy around for the heavy lifting in whatever guise it may appear – but my idea was met with truly thunderous silence. They’ll be sorry after a week or so when they realize how much they miss me.

Won’t they?