The Write Stuff: Julie Mulhern

The Girl with Book Lungs

When I was a child, every August my parents would pile my sister and me into the back of the station wagon and drive to Colorado.

Our family trips usually involved leaving Kansas City at an unholy hour, with us children still asleep and tucked in amongst the suitcases.

If—if—my parents were lucky, they got several hours of driving in before we woke. It was then, the sun behind us in the east, the questions began.

“When will we be there?”

“When can we stop for a bathroom break?” (If my father was driving, the answer was when the needle on the fuel gauge hovered above E).

“I’m thirsty. When can we stop for a drink?” Not a chance. Drinks were too closely related to bathroom breaks.

Such were the distractions that began a quarter of the way to our destination.

prairie-dogIf you have not driven I-70 across the state…

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