we are soon to go on a trip and will be staying with friends. we have stayed with these friends, like a good number of times. they seem open to having us. eager to having us even. but every time we pull into their drive and five humans, who all seem much larger than the last time we were in their drive, spill out of the car the same thought runs through my mind--oh these nice, poor people. marty never thinks this way. neither does our hostess. but then when the first driveway-exchange anthony has with them is:
do you still have the popcorn machine?
uhhh. yes, we do.
is there already popcorn in it or do i have to make some?
uhhm. ya know, i think it has some in there, possibly from the last time you were here.
ok. i'll see if it's still eatable but if not i'll make some new stuff.
here michael will pat anthony on the head and smilingly say, "i see ole anthony hasn't changed". i smile in agreement and look around taking in the lovely scenery, certain this is the last time the dearmitt-walter clan will be invited to this zip code again.
but each year the invites and feelers go out. below is marty's email to the family this year.
Your BnB received great stars on Yelp!
Comment after comment mentioned your great red couch, a dog named Sadie, a backyard trampoline, and popcorn available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus 2 great hosts who charm you with their conversation and show tune songs.
Our family would love to stay at your place over Spring Break 2017!
We are hoping that there is room for 5: 2 "cool cat" adults, 2 teenagers with lengthy locks of hair, and one ten-year-old who thinks he is 13.
Although last year, we found Sydney, NE so alluring that we stayed for 48 hours to explore its treasures and local AAA-rated auto shop, thus delaying our arrival by a full day. We bought a new van shortly after that experience so we are hoping we can avoid a replay.
Let me know where to send the deposit.
Marty Walter & Troy DeArmitt
the mention of sydney refers to a car breakdown we experienced during last year's road trip. this debacle led to the purchase of a new car (chonicled here). but ten days before our super-trip, there was a slight incident with the new van. it was bella's 16th birthday. she and marty were arriving home from school and had anthony and some friends in the back who were coming over to play. while marty was backing into her spot in front of the house, bella, excited to run in and check on the state of her steak dinner, threw her door open which, while the car was still moving backward, caught the edge of a largish tree trunk in our font lawn. before the sick bending of metal reached marty's ears and marty's brain was able to signal her to brake, the damage was done.
neighbor jeff, as i was out with aleo, helped marty bungee the door closed with the help of the headrest. marty threw a bike on the carrier and headed to the body shop her go-to mechanics referred her to so they could start assessing things as soon as possible so we had a hope of getting the van back in time for our trip. when bella told me what happened, as marty was off to the body shop, she said she had good news and bad news. always taking bad news first she told me about the van. when i asked what the good news was she meekishly said, it will make my 16th birthday more memorable in the future. i can't deny that as it is sure to go down in the growing list of dearmitt-walter family lore.