On our first trip together, we covered only a few blocks in a neighborhood of two-story white wooden houses in Columbus Ohio. I was pushing my sister Paula's stroller. (Ask her. She would no doubt say that I was always pushy.) At a few months old, she was oblivious to the great world around us--the bulbous cars parked along the street, the empty lot, dusty in the summer sun, or the brick store buildings up ahead on Cleveland Avenue. I, on the other hand, being ten years older, ten and a half when she was only six months old, I knew about everything.
As I walked, and she patted her chubby hands together, I daydreamed about how she would grow up with fond memories of her loving big sister and be eternally grateful for my attention and care. (Always about me, wasn't it, Paula?)
These little walks down the block were definitely not the only trips we took as children. Our parents loved to load up the car and go--most anywhere. Sometimes long car trips, sometimes just a drive down to the Scioto River for a picnic. On Sunday drives in the Ohio countryside, seeing the landscape between our father's salt and pepper crewcut hair and our mother's black bun, we would shout out “Go left” or “Go right” or “Go straight” at each interseciton--a kind of sibling Mapquest. It was a democratic route finding that our dad adventurously accepted. “Go” was the operative word.