I wasn’t on a boat. I was, however, up a creek. Or at least it felt that way.
Lunch was over and Grandpa had agreed to drive us to Canyonville to meet our “friends” who were to pick us up and carry us the rest of the way to Portland. Grandma packed up some leftovers (I could never get out of their house without taking food for the road) and Brenda and I got in the car for the 40 mile drive to Canyonville. I wish I could remember the conversation that day, but since I had told so many lies all I can remember is the misery I felt.
I picked out a spot on the road with a pull-out and a nice rock wall to sit on and told Grandpa that this was the spot. I knew it was going to be difficult to convince him that he didn’t need to wait with us, and it was. He wanted to be sure we were safe and wanted to meet our friends. I don’t remember how I talked him out of staying, but I remember breathing a sigh of relief as he drove off.
We waited until we were sure he had left the area and then got back on the highway, thumbs out. Within about 10 minutes, a little red station wagon pulled over. The driver was a woman about 40 on her way to Portland — what incredible luck! We were only going as far as Eugene. We climbed in and relaxed for the first time since we’d left Ashland. The miles passed quickly as we shared the story of our misadventure (leaving out just a few of the details).
My car was right where we’d left it, and we were back in Portland having dinner at Brenda’s before the sun went down. We’d pulled it off! Or at least that’s what we thought.
Flash forward some months later. I’m back home in Long Beach, CA and having dinner with my parents and telling them a story about the summer in Portland when my dad asks, “Why don’t you tell your mom about your hitchhiking adventure?”
Stunned, face suddenly flushed, tongue inexplicably tied, I finally manage to say something like “Huh?”
As it turns out, although they didn’t know about Twiggy, Flower, Mia, and Rock; they knew about the trip to Ashland and back, and the ride in the police cruisers, and the story we had made up for the grandparents. I had always known my parents were spooky psychics, but this was too much. I asked them how they knew all of it, and they fessed up that they had gotten all of the info from Grandma.
Oh, by the way, the lady in the red station wagon…a friend of my grandparents from their square-dancing club. That’s when I realized I might not be quite as smart as I thought I was, and would likely never be as smart as Grandma and Grandpa. Or as good at teaching a lesson.