Monday, April 11, 2011

Road Trippin’

We’re just back from a road trip in which we put over 1,000 miles on the ol’ camper!
To me, the road trip is a great way to force your family to spend some time with you!  At home, it seems as if everyone is too busy and too dialed in to their own thing to really care too much about doing anything together.  (I’m exaggerating a bit here; we really are lucky in that our teenagers actually do spend quite a bit of time at home…it’s just that they’re usually doing something that doesn’t involve us!)
To have everyone in my sight, and during about 90% of a road trip in my reach (literally), is nice; this is especially true since the kids are getting older and we really do sense that our times together like this are numbered (sniff, sniff).
As with every family, there are a lot of things that happen that are really “you had to be there” things and that are really only funny when you are, well, right there when they happen.  Other things, however, are more universal. 
For example…We had been driving for a while when my husband decided it was time to pull off the road so that everyone could stretch their legs and grab a bite to eat.  We had been stopped for a good 20 minutes when we decided it was time to get back on the road.  My husband gives everyone a final, “Anybody need anything from the camper before I shut ‘er down?”  We grumble our replies and he shuts everything down and hops back in the driver’s seat.  He starts the truck and drives, no joke, about 10 feet when my son says, “Is there anything to eat?”  Hello!  We were just stopped for 20 minutes, dad just asked if anyone needed anything before he shut everything down, and now we are, like, two seconds back on the road and you want something to eat?!  Oye vay!
Probably not so universal are the funny things that happen as a result of being married to a geologist.  In a way, it’s like teaching First Grade in that, like my students, my husband sometimes speaks an entirely different language than the rest of us.
For example…We’re driving along out in the middle of nowhere and all of a sudden he swept his hand out, Vanna-style, and said, “Wow, there’s a slick roadcut.”  Huh?  Like the rest of us are supposed to know what that means?!  For the record…because I know you’re dying to know…a roadcut is “a cut through a hill or mountain for the purposes of building a road through it, rather than over it.”  Well, at least it makes sense!  So a slick roadcut, to the geologist husband, means some cool rock has been exposed as a result of a road being built through it.  Whew...I'm glad we got that all figured out!
Driving along further, he excitedly said, “How do you like that cap rock?”
My response…“Are you talking to me?” 
Him, “Yes, look at that nice cap rock.”
Again, I have no clue what he is talking about!  If you are interested in expanding your vocabulary and impressing everyone at your next cocktail party, cap rock means, “a relatively impermeable rock, commonly shale, anhydrite, or salt that forms a barrier or seal above and around reservoir rock so that fluids cannot migrate beyond the reservoir.”  (I bet you just totally fell asleep there, huh?)  Again, I guess it makes sense once you know what it means, but until then you’re like, “Cap rock…hmmm…is that anything like cap sleeves?”
And one more for the road…er, I mean, one more from the road…“Oh, look, they’re mining the scoria, babe, check it out.”  Again, huh?  And again, for your next party...scoria is “basaltic lava ejected as fragments from a volcano, typically with a frothy texture.”  I’m sorry, but that just sounds vulgar!   The second definition is “slag separated from molten metal during smelting.”  Okay, so that definition’s not quite so graphic, but now I have to look up slag, molten, and smelting!  Oh, never mind, let’s just say being married to a geologist is an adventure and leave it at that...and from now on, when he throws out fancy geologist terms I’ll just smile and nod my head and say, “Oh, look honey, rocks, pretty, pretty rocks!”

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