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Mother of Tumbleweeds


The time had come for us to make our trek back home. After ten days in the RV the boys were arguing over who got to sleep on the floor, where they didn’t have deal with sharing a space that really wasn’t meant for two.

I kept offering to drive but Jer was determined to have the commanders chair. In central California where the land is mostly flat, he began to feel tired and I finally convinced him to take a nap. I’d never driven anything so big but how hard could it be? The wind was whipping through the air and I could feel the pull on the big vehicle but that wasn’t what concerned me most. I’d never seen so many tumble weeds in my life and they were rolling across the road like a stampeding herd of buffalo. What should I do? Run them over? Swerve to miss them? So far, I had done okay and I think Jer finally had fallen asleep in the back, where all the motion is felt. My fate was about to change. The mother of all tumble weeds waited to jump the fence as I headed towards it. At least six feet in diameter, it looked like Groot’s overweight grandmother had come to take me out. I thought to swerve and did for a second but realize there would be no missing it. This rolled Jer back and forth, before he hurried to the front. He began to lecture me on how you never swerve into another lane and continued to unintentionally humiliate me further by using my poor choice as a driving lesson for our daughter. Holding back tears, I noticed a car to our right trying to get my attention. Jer strongly urged me to ignore them. There had recently been road rage in California where someone had been shot. I kept my eyes straight ahead and eventually they pulled back. When I moved to the left lane, they came up on the right side trying to get Jer’s attention. He opened his window. Apparently, I had won the battle against the giant tumble week, but we were in jeopardy of losing the war. They told him quickly that the weed was affixed to the front of the RV and if we didn’t get it off, it could start a fire. He thanked them and we pulled over. Embarrassed, I didn’t get out but the boys did. I saw their eyes widen in awe at the attached gigantic enemy. Jer bent a thick barbecue spatula trying to get it off. I don’t remember how he eventually was able to remove it. I only remember that the kids couldn’t stop talking about it. At the time, I didn’t think it was funny at all, but for the kids it became one of their favorite stories to tell of the whole trip. Maybe we didn’t need Disney Land, just a strong wind and one large tumble weed to make a memorable vacation.

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