I know, I know, when I left for my trip back on May 10th I said I would be taking all y’all with me, and I did, really, I did, pinky swear…  

what I didn’t do was post updates to tell ya’ll how much fun we were having, and there are good reasons why I didn’t… for instance, my first stop….

I ran in the front door of the gas station and one of my flip flops shot off my foot and flew into the air and when it fell it smacked the clerk standing behind the counter right on top of his head and then bounced and landed about two feet in front of me. The clerk was looking up at the ceiling like, “What in the hell just fell on me?” and so naturally, I threw my hands up in the air and looked up at the ceiling like I was also concerned about things falling from the ceiling and said, “Oh my gosh, What…What just happened?” as I slowly slipped my foot back into the flip flop… and I know, it all sounds bad but my flip flop barely hit him, also, it was really embarrassing which I think means we were both victims of the flip flop, probably. 

And then I get back on the highway and see a sign for Red Rock Canyon, and instantly my mind took me back to the first and last time I was at Red Rock Canyon… ya see, back when I was 5yrs old, my parents bought an RV and one of the first trips we took was to Red Rock for my brothers 14th or 15th birthday… He and his friends wanted to go repelling… I remember standing at the bottom of the cliff, looking up, waiting for my brother to take his first jump backward off the edge….  and then he did, he jumped…. And fell 50ft straight to the ground… it all happened so fast. I can still hear the deep thudding sound his body made when he struck the ground and the poof of dust which came up from the ground followed by the sound of my mother screaming… Those who knew my mother (JaVonna) know that she had a very distinct voice… it carried… and this time was no different. That scream echoed… I remember some chaos and my dad talking to what I believe now to be some Park Rangers… the decision was made to put my brother back in the RV and drive him to the hospital because it would be faster than calling an ambulance… I remember watching the tail lights of the RV as it pulled away… and then the reverse lights…because I was still standing in the exact same spot…  My dad backed up the RV and yelled out the window, “what are you doing, get your ass over here right now”, and now that I think this was possibly the start of a long and ridiculous period in my life in which my family wondered “what the hell is wrong with her.”  And in case you’re wondering, my brother lived. He broke his back in a few places, I think. 

And then… my next stop at the gas station… ya’ll, I was standing in the restroom waiting because every single stall was full, and as I’m waiting I heard some woman deflate… it was quite possibly the loudest and longes passing of gas I’ve ever heard or will ever hear in my life… and it was immediately followed by the squeals of a toddler saying, “Oh-MY-Goodness, Mommy… That was soooo loud”, and then the entire restroom busted out in laughter, myself included… 

And all of this was before I made it out of Oklahoma. 

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