Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Volkwagon Summer

A tinny honk interrupted Alfalfa as he and Spanky were dragging a red wagon down the sidewalk. Annoyed I stood up, walked to the television set, and turned off the rerun of "Little Rascals." I opened the screen door and stepped out into the bright summer sun, feeling the hot concrete burn my barefeet as I tiptoed out to the driveway. Sitting in the driveway was a huge orange and white loaf of bread. At least that is what it looked like to me. In reality it was our family's new car, a 1976 Volkswagen Van. This was before VW vans were vintage and cool. It was just a six year old car that I didn't want to be caught dead in. My face flushed with sheer embarassment as my mom honked that tinny horn one more time, smiled her big toothy white smile.
"Climb aboard," she said as she adjusted her sunglasses in the rearview mirror.
My dad was sitting in the passenger seat, looking down into his lap, no doubt reading the instruction manual. I was sure there wasn't an instruction in there that could make a 15 year old girl disappear before
"You have got to be kidding," I said, "This is the ugliest car I have ever seen,"
"Oh come on. Just get in," dad said as he came around the side and opened the sliding door.
"But dad,"
"No buts, just get in,"
I stepped in and slid down on the seat to make sure my head was low enough so that nobody could see me through the window. My younger sister and brother were already in the van. My sister wore a purple visor and sunglasses and had her white box purse in her lap. My little brother sat on his knees and sucked his blue and yellow pacifier. His blonde, curly hair laid a a soft swirl against his suntanned forehead.
"Great" I said, as my mom shifted into reverse and backed out of the driveway. The van bounced as it moved through the neighborhood streets, the blue and white checked curtains swaying to their own beat. My mom then pushed in the eight-track tape and the Carpenter's serenaded us onto the main highway. I sunk lower into my seat, mortified that my parents, who weren't even close to being hippies would bring such a monstrosity home.

...stay posted to Kimberly Jensen's blog for more on "Volkswagon Summer"

1 comment:

Doug Johnston said...

I want that van. I had a VW bug. It was my first car, and when we had our second son in two years, it was time to say goodbye to it. I have been upset about getting rid of it for the last 16 years. I look forward to hearing more about it.