Detroit River

Tim had a choke hold on my wrist and a smirk on his face. “You’re in big trouble.”

My family was on another summer vacation. Dad was a minister and our trips revolved around whatever city hosted the Southern Baptist Convention. This particular year the location was Detroit, Michigan.

The first evening of the conference turned into a disaster. At fifteen years of age, I wasn’t interested in sitting on a hard, folding chair, listening to a boring speaker. Debbie, my younger sister, sat quietly and dutifully between Mom and Dad. My older brother, Tim, read a book, and I squirmed. I tugged Dad’s suit coat sleeve, and when he bent his head, told him I had to use the bathroom. He nodded and I was out of there.

Exploring the building, I wound up on the roof’s observation deck among a group of kids who seemed as bored as I. It didn’t take long for my budding sex glands to pick out the cutest teenage boy and strike up a conversation–and steal a few kisses in the dim shadows.

Just as things got interesting, my brother jerked me out of Jason’s arms. “We’ve been looking all over for you. Mom is about ready to call the police thinking you were kidnapped.”

“I wish. Then I wouldn’t have to put up with you,” I said as I struggled to wrench from his grasp.

He dragged me across the rooftop to the door as I waved goodbye to Jason. When we met the rest of the family, Mom gave me the riot act. Dad pursed his lips and shook his head as he led the way to the car.

We left the Convention Center and headed to our hotel on the Canadian side of the Detroit river.  Riding through the city streets, my brain whirled to think of something to ease the tension that was as thick as the Niagara Falls mist. I had to get my parents’ minds off of my “terrible, inconsiderate” deed.

“Which way does the river run?” I blurted from the back seat of the car as we started over the bridge.

Ambassador_bridge_evening The Ambassador Bridge from the Canadian side of the Detroit River.

Dad pointed West and Mom pointed East, their fingertips almost collided. “That way,” they declared confidently at the same time.

Our car rocked with laughter. Ah, the world was back on its axle, at least until…

Connie Taxdal

Do you think family vacations are important in this day and age? Please leave your comment below.

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