A longtime ago I asked my lovely wife, Hula Betty, to marry me and to my surprise she said yes. And to my bigger surprise her family, all ten brothers and sisters, came along as a package deal. Over the years my wife’s family and I have reached a de taunt of sorts, not unlike that of China and Taiwan. They believe their sheer numbers will wear me down and I accept that celebrating diversity starts at home.
Of the ten in this Irish clan, there is one, JJ who has always struck me as my favorite in-law even though we are nothing alike. As number ten of ten, JJ has that uncanny survival instinct of knowing how to tell you to go to hell and you thank her for the ticket. One minute she has you laughing in stitches and the next she is throwing you under the bus because you looked at her the wrong way. And in this dysfunctional, bi-poler, schizophrenic relationship with JJ there has always been one truth. When it comes down to it I have a bizarre respect for her ability to be true to herself and be her own person. She does not expect anyone to agree with her choices or bail her out of the consequence of those choices.
I bring up these family skeletons for two reasons. One, as I start to take inventory for the Alaska adventure I cannot help but tally up the relationships, fuel and mental baggage needed to complete a 5,000 mile adventure in 14 days. B, when it comes to a writer who can take day to day mundane events and spin them into prose flowing as polished threads of spun gold from Rumpelstiltskin’s wheel, there is no equal. You will find JJ at Trauma: The Drama a title which should bring you back to my earlier in-law description.
I encourage everyone wanting to take a side trip on this Last Great Road Trip to head south of the boarder to JJ’s blog. This year it is the Arctic Circle, who knows… next time maybe the Baja and we’ll be sure to drive by (not stop… just drive by) JJ’s place.