This past weekend I attended a family wedding. That meant driving 3 1/2 hours into the mountains of NC and across a particularly steep and winding piece of highway known as Caesar’s Head.
I enjoy driving through the tight curves and switchbacks that this road provides, and Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day. The views across the mountains and through the valleys were breathtaking. However, the memories of making this trip as a child tell a much different story.
We made the trip from Georgia to North Carolina quite often to visit family when I was growing up. I never minded the ride except when we got to Caesar’s Head. That’s probably because I was prone to getting a little car sick and so were my sister and brother. I always thought it was genetic, but as I got older I was quite sure it was my father’s driving style that tended to turn our gills green.
You see, Daddy liked to drive fast and he loved trying to straighten out those hairpin curves on that mountain road. As an adult who drives just like her father, I can appreciate the driving pleasure he got from racing across that stretch of road. But as kids, there wasn’t enough Dramamine in the world to conquer our nausea.
Mom was prepared, though! She improvised by providing her own version of the air sick bag provided by the airlines. She used empty bread bags with a couple of paper towels shoved in the bottom for good measure. And they weren’t just any kind of bread bags. They were Sunbeam bread bags. Sunbeam white bread.
There were many trips I can remember having my head inside one of those bags while hearing my Daddy squeal with glee as he slung the car around another curve. Mom would reprimand him to slow down because he was making the kids sick, and if the truth were told she was looking for a bread bag of her own.
Do you know to this day I can’t eat Sunbeam bread? Even the faintest whiff of the inside of a bread bag starts my stomach churning. And Sis and I have compared notes and it seems she has the same affliction; an aversion to white bread and bread bags as a whole.
All these memories came back to me Saturday as I made the drive over those familar roads with Sis and Mom. My Daddy can’t drive anymore due to health problems and I know he misses those opportunities. So, in his honor, I made sure I drove a little too fast through those curves and I even gave a squeal of delight at one point as I rounded a turn.
Of course, it had nothing to do with the fact that my mother was in the back seat clutching her arm rest and looking a little pale. Sorry, Mom. Next time I’ll bring you bread bag.