Mother’s Birthday Season, which is actually centered on October 17, started early this year by accident. First, Wife Lila, Friend Anne and I showed up in June. Brother David’s family – David, Diane and Amy – showed up later. Son Adam, with Carly, Graham and Elliot, got into town Tuesday. Son Matt, Sarah and Malcolm rolled in on Wednesday.
So far, I’ve moved to three different sleeping locations depending on the combination of people at the house. Once Mother gets shed of all of us, she’s hopping a plane to spend a Labor Day week out in Austin with the Texas branch, fresh transplants from Colorado.
By the time her actual birthday rolls around, she may want an empty house and peace and quiet for a present.
Graham, 2, loved the firetruck at Discovery Playhouse, so we walked across the street from Mother to Fire Station #4 where he could see the Real Deal.
I wanna be a firefighter
The nice guys at the station have been great neighbors for Mother. She’s asked them for help of a non-emergency nature over the years, but she never had to dial 9-1-1 until recently when she was suffering chest pains. It turned out to be nothing, but she won’t wait so long if there is a next time because she was impressed with how professional the crew was. They not only took care of her medical needs, they made sure her doors were locked when they left.
The firefighters opened every compartment to show him what the truck carried, but what Graham really liked was being at the wheel of the fire engine. He spent the afternoon running around the house putting out fires. (I had to play the part of the fire.)
I don’t like THAT!
Graham reconsidered his thoughts of joining the fire service when the fireman demonstrated the big air horns on the rig. Lights, OK. Sirens, OK. Big, loud horns, not so OK. He was ready to crawl down.
Checking out the Shed in a Box
David, Mark and I assembled a Shed in a Box, a 10×10 tarp-like structure mounted over a metal frame. The directions say that 2+ people should be able to put it up in 2 hours. Well, it took combinations of two people 2.5 DAYS to put the thing up.
Graham checked out the shed and Mother’s riding mower in it and pronounced both acceptable.
Pilgrimage to Wib’s BBQ
No Steinhoff visit to Cape would be complete without a trip to Wib’s BBQ in Jackson.Graham opted for a hot dog, fries and chocolate milk.
He takes his chocolate milk seriously.
Elliot’s first trip
Five generations of us have eaten at Wib’s. This was Elliot’s first visit.
Cars and Trucks
Way back when, I created a mix tape of travel and truck drivin’ songs we used to launch every family trip. It’s been digitized and still gets played.
Here’s a video Matt, Sarah and Malcolm shot driving the Tail of the Dragon. I’ll let him describe it:
Wanna know what it is like to road trip with the Steinhoffs?
We’re traveling down US 129, Tail of the Dragon; 318 turns in 11 miles. Sarah has taken enough Dramamine to kill a pony. My car’s “we’re all going to die” traction-control alarm is lighting up the dashboard in a trippy, disco sorta way.
What a better time to fire up Jerry Reed’s ‘East Bound and Down’ from the Smokey and the Bandit soundtrack, right? Gotta balance the iPad on the swearing wheel, queue up the song and see if we can make it to the end of the track before the fully-illuminated shift knob falls off and we end up with 30,000 pounds of mashed bananas on Dead Man’s Curve.
You can click on the photos to make them bigger, but don’t make them too big. Kids are a lot cuter when they’re little.