An unfortunate roadtrip

Unfortunately we have a bit of bad news to start this post with. Nikki’s grandfather collapsed on Tues due to a sudden cardiac arrest. He has been in the hospital since. Multiple tests and scans have shown that there is no chance for recovery. The exact cause of the arrest is still undetermined. However I assume it’s the same thing that kills so many celebrities: Cardiac Arrest. At least that’s what the media reports.
Some people think I’m rude for making jokes or pretending like thing don’t bother me, but that is just my way of dealing with death (or near death in this case).
It’s unfortunate that I have only met Bud once. However the stories I have heard prove that he is a great man who loves his family unconditionally.
I will never forget the first time I met Nikki’s grandparents. Nikki warned me that when her grandfather got off the plane he would check to make sure I had all my teeth. Sure enough he walked off the plane and after hugging Steve, Linda, and Nikki he then looked at me smiled. A short side note… This guy is huge. 6’4″ 250+lbs. Hands the size of a dinner plate (at least that’s how I remember them). This is a man who commands respect when he enters a room. Back to the story… This giant man reaches out this giant hand that engulfs mine as we shake Hands for the first time. It was at that moment when our eyes met, he looked down at me and said “Smile.” Sure enough that man inspected my mouth to make sure I had all my teeth. Don’t worry I did.
The few days I have spent with him were fun. Lots of laughs many stories were told. That weekend was the first time I can remember seeing my father-in-law absolutely hammered. We were at Steve and Linda’s house. Nikki and I had left the neighbors house when the grandparents did. We were all getting tired but Steve and Linda were having a good time so they stayed a little longer. Grandma Berger and I were sitting on the couch watching TV with Nikki in the recliner when there was a knock at the door. It was Linda and Jerry (the neighbor) bringing a very inebriated Steve home. As Steve stumbled into the house he stopped at the back of the couch long enough to identify the TV show and screamed “Iron Chef” before stumbling into the bedroom and passing out. Grandma was so shocked to see Steve in this condition. Apparently she had never seen Steve this way.
Grandpa was quite the hot shot in his younger years. He was a champion stockcar driver and local celebrity up there in Sioux Falls, SD. In my favorite picture of him, he is standing in front of his racecar. I don’t exactly remember what the model is but it’s purple with a yellow and blue stripe. When we get home I’ll scan it in and put it up here.
So back to the original story. Since bud is in the hospital with little chance of recovery we are making a trip out to see the family. Initially I thought we would be going to South Dakota. Bud and Marlene relocate to Arizona every winter so good news is instead of driving 3 days to South Dakota it’s 16 hours to Phoenix, AZ.
So off we go National Lampoon style. 7 of us piled into a ’95 Honda Odyssey. We are driving through the night. Myself, Nikki, Skyler, Chris, Lisa, Lars, and Linda. Steve is already there with the rest of his family. So this van seats 7. The book says seats 7 comfortably which is a bold faced lie. We are taking turns driving so each of us is equally uncomfortable. Right now it’s Skyler, Chris, an myself in the middle row. Chris and I are not small people and Sky is in her carseat. The leaf-springs are sagging almost to the point of failure. The only comfortable ones are the kids in their carseats and the passenger.
While the reason for this trip is a sad one. It is definitely going to bring us hours of laughter, plenty of stories to tell, and some much needed time with family. Once I have some time I will set up a separate page just for the roadtrip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>