Here we are, September 2012, in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, waiting for our new fuel pump, waiting for bank transactions so we can pay for it.
There we were, 15 years ago in Jasper, Alberta, with 3 grandchildren and a transmission that gave out on Friday afternoon before Canada Day on a Tuesday…
Sabrina had entered adolescence with a vengeance and was taking it out on Jason in particular, but anyone else in her path. Denise, at 10, seemed more impressed than intimidated, so it was 2 females to 1 male or 3 youths to 2 elders which reminds me of Cousin Mabel reading to me, when I was about Sabrina’s age but less rebellious, Rudyard Kipling’s “Song of the Banjo”:
In the silence of the camp before the fight
When it’s good to make your will and say your prayers,
You can hear my strumpty-tumpty overnight
Explaining ten to one was always fair.
Suffice it to say we all survived and each of the three phoned us later to say, “I’m writing a report for school—could you send me more stuff/photos about xyz?” which made us feel it was well worth the hassles.
We had started south from Jasper, and as we passed a slow RV on a steep hill our van began struggling. We pulled off into a picnic area that happened to be handy (Thank You, Lord!) and after we stopped, the van wouldn’t start. The picnic site had bear warnings (Sabrina and Jason talked about running away through the forest), pit toilets (the girls were outraged)—and a telephone. We ate lunch and waited for CAA to bring a tow truck which returned us to Jasper in time to discover, just before everything closed down for the long weekend, that it was indeed the transmission.
If you have to be stranded for 5 days with 3 adolescents, Jasper, especially with Canada Day parade, First Nations dancing, pancake breakfast in the park, and photogenic Mounties, is a good place.
Moral: Grandchildren on special trips are best one at a time!