Friday, July 10, 2015

Road Trips: Her Poor Brother!

My Poor Brother!
by Harriet Michael

The Nigerian roads I grew up accustomed to were usually unpaved, bumpy, and challenging. Memories of strange and interesting occurrences traveling those roads flood my mind when I think of my childhood road trips.

There was the time we headed north on our local leave (the term the missionaries used for vacation.) Traffic came to a stand still at the old Jebba Bridge. This was before it was replaced in the 1970’s with a four lane bridge much better equipped to handle traffic flow. Back then it was a long two lane bridge over the beautiful Niger River. After waiting for over an hour, my father walked ahead to see if he could get a closer look and discover the problem. After a while he returned and informed us that a group of nomad cattlemen had been walking their herd over the bridge when a cow died. They were in the process of dragging the dead cow off and then trying to get the rest of the herd across and, well, that takes time.

Other road trips were memorable for better reasons. My father stopped once when he spied a beautiful wild orchid in full bloom growing near the road. The whole family piled out of the car to marvel at its beauty.

But usually, trips were long, hot, and uncomfortable. The worst was a time my family’s trip involved covering extremely difficult terrain. Mom and Dad sat in the front and my siblings and I in the back with my brother by the window. After a while, my younger sister, who was prone to motion sickness, felt nausea coming on. She stretched her body across my brother trying to get her head to the window but did not quite make it and threw up on him.

We stopped the car. My parents gave my sick sister Dramamine, cleaned him as best as they could and moved her to the front seat with them. We piled back on the road, my brother still claiming the window. But in a bit, we had Act II when feeling sick, my older sister tried to put her head out his window but also did not make it.

Again we stopped. After cleaning both of them and giving her Dramamine too, we started out again with my brother announcing that he wanted me next to him because I never got motion sickness. His statement was true–except for that one time. Soon enough we had Act III with me trying to reach his window and not making it.

Then we rearranged the seating yet again. This time my parents decided to put all three sick, sleepy girls in the back and let my brother sit in the front between them. On his lap, he held the family dog which he had held most of the trip. Guess what happened next? Soon, the dog got sick on my brother too.

It was not funny at the time but it has been a hilarious family tale ever since. We still laugh at the time everyone including the dog got sick on my poor brother.


Born in Nigeria, West Africa, as the daughter of missionaries, Harriet E. Michael is a writer, gardener, wife of over 35 years, mother of four, and grandmother of one.

She holds a BS in nursing from West Virginia University but has discovered her passion for writing. Since her first published article in 2010, she now has over a hundred and fifty published articles and devotions.

Harriet is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Louisville Christian Writers. Her book, “Prayer: It’s Not About You,”a finalist in the 2011 Women of Faith book contest, is set for release in September, 2015 by Pix-N-Pens Publishing Company.

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More from the Authors of Unlikely Merger:

Thursday, July 9

Write Integrity Press: The Road Trip Miracle

Wednesday, July 8

Jennifer Hallmark: Interviewed by Janet K. Brown

Tuesday, July 7

Write Integrity Press: Three People on a Journey

Monday, July 6

Sunday, July 5

Write Integrity Press: Summer Recipes SweetPepper Relish

Saturday, July 4:

Write Integrity Press: Summer Recipes Keeping it Simple

Monday, June 29:


Unknown said...

Oh, my gosh, Harriet, what a hilarious tale! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to read this and comment. I'm glad, though, that I waited so I could take time from my work to laugh my head off. I hope your brother has healed from his traumatic trip :-)


Harriet said...

:D Thanks, Deb.