Dunga Brook Diary

The rural life through the lens of an iPhone and notes from the field…

Archive for truck

How to get a 19 year old on a plane…and a dip of the pen from Dorothy Parker

How to get a 19 year old on a plane...and a dip of the pen from Dorothy Parker

“The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of the tires. ~Dorothy Parker”

How to get a 19 year old on a plane-

2 months in advance- research best price spring break ticket STL to ALB, double-check dates, click & purchase, email itinerary to 19 yo.

1 week in advance- call 19 yo and express pleasure at imminent arrival, get back confusion, recheck dates together, discover ticket is booked for on month prior to spring break, curse, hang up, re-book.

5 days prior to corrected departure- call and remind 19 yo of imminent arrival, get back confusion, ask teen to please read their gd email and make their own arrangements to STL airport 2 hours away.

3 days before departure- discover 19 yo hasn’t reviewed itinerary.

2 days before departure- 19 yo drops that new/old diesel truck, for which they traded the reliable old standard truck you purchased, needs an electrical outlet at STL airport in order to start upon return. advise 19 yo to find an alternative ride to STL airport.

1 day before departure- 19 drops that no alternative to STL found, drop $170 one way on local shuttle, QCY to STL.

4 hours before shuttle departure- 1 am phone call with 19 yo on the line, he’s found a free ride (with some 19 yo who already went to the STL airport and was rejected and will be returning 2 hours before your own 19 yo’s flight) tell 19 yo to call shuttle and if they will cancel without charge, then maybe. 19 yo calls back to inform of cancelled shuttle.

3 hours before departure- 2 am phone call from 19 yo stating the other 19 yo isn’t flying out of STL after all, and shuttle shut him down when he called, wait on phone while 19 yo books his own commuter flight from QCY to STL.

40 minutes before QCY to STL departure- 7 am phone call from 19 yo, in this call he confesses to discovering diesel truck wouldn’t start even with a plug-in causing the begging a ride from a near stranger to get to QCY airport (6am his time).

35 minutes before STL departure- 19 yo boards local commuter flight in QCY scheduled to arrive in STL 30 minutes before scheduled flight to ALB (via TMP).

departure departure- 9 am phone call from very weary 19 yo who confirms he is in fact in STL and on the proper re-scheduled flight to ALB, arrival 3:55 pm est.

congratulate 19yo on job well done, dream of going back to sleep.

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Heading east with LA in the rearview & iphone photos of red tail lights…

leaving LA

Dunga Brook Diary, remembering July, 2011.

Leaving LA, after 25 years, felt like the right thing to do. LA was a pit stop, a very complicated, very expensive pit stop on my journey through life.

On the road from LA to NY, I followed my son in his truck and took iPhone pictures through my truck’s windshield. Mostly of his tail lights. I admired his ability to drive away from the only life he’d ever known, his childhood friends, the dry heat and the desert he loved, all in the support of my new gold dream.

I’m an old hand at leaving. The first time was traumatic, my dad was transferred from Florida to Illinois in January and I went from a Gilligan’s Island type paradise to some sort of snowy 70’s version of Petticoat Junction. Sans the pretty girls and fun. I spent years plotting my way out, first as a long haul truck driver, which I realized later was the desire to run, be powerful, in charge of my own destiny. I toyed, during a brief summer romance, with the idea of leaving as someone’s wife, the wife of a football coach who transferred from campus to campus in search of that ultimate winning team. But hooking on to someone else’s dream is just not my thing. No matter how handsome the dreamer.

The summer after college, I ended up taking my mom’s powder blue International Scout and moving to a Colorado ski resort for seasonal work. Five super saturated 80’s years as a “ski bunny” in Vail was my max. When a friend moved to LA, I thought, why not try a big city, see what you can do as a small fish in a big pond?

But this cross-country move was different, I was uprooting someone else’s life. Connor was off to college in the fall and somehow I’d justified it in my mind that moving the day after he graduated would be the best timing for both of us.

I didn’t cry during our going away party, packed as it was with every fun friend I’d made from all my varied walks of life in the big city, but he did, tipsy on absconded beer  he communed with his Cali best buds while the band played and we danced. I didn’t cry as we packed, when we drove away. The hours and the miles ticked by.

Across the plains, the skies were a cathedral of thunderheads, rainbows that went straight up and down, lightning that streaked sideways. It was majestic, this threat of weather related annihilation. Nothing happened for hours, aside of the light show and darker skies. Finally, the great release as the rain came.

I cried then, my wet eyes on his quivering red tail lights, the distance vast between us.

The Amish Buggy for Taylor Negron

As big city as it gets

As big city as it gets

In LA, if I wanted to go somewhere by car and it was 30 miles away I’d best leave an hour early, if it was rush hour, which is really rush HOURS…buffer that with anywhere from 15 to 30 extra minutes.

Unless, of course, there is an accident which means all bets are off and you best have a good friend to sext for the next 5 hours.

This scene is the closest to pandemonium a driver encounters in CNY.

This is an Amish man running errands, one must presume. I don’t have many great pictures of Amish buggies, the Amish don’t want to be photographed and therefore I catch them on the run from the driver’s seat with my iPhone. Not the safest thing to do but typically there aren’t any other drivers around and I make sure that I follow all the rules of the road while giving them a wide berth.

My job in LA, for a long while, was in Manhattan Beach. I was in Pacific Palisades. A lovely jaunt up the coast. If you have all day to do it. Morning’s were best, the 30 mile trip took 45. Evenings, when you are so ready to be home took up to 2 hours. Fuck the coast!

Out here, 30 miles is 30 minutes, no if ands or buts.

Priceless.

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