A Lorincz/Doutrich family Thanksgiving story (read by my sister at our Grandma’s Funeral, written by yours truly.)

While a student at Elon University, Mom and Dad couldn’t pick me up for Thanksgiving Break one year. Grandma and Grandpa kindly volunteered to venture down to North Carolina to rescue me and the next day we headed up to Ohio. Now this drive is still all-too familiar and fairly simple. You spend most of the 8 hour drive on 77 North. It’s almost a straight shot from North Carolina to Ohio.

Grandpa and Grandma switched driving once we hit West Virginia and Grandpa went into the backseat to take a nap. Grandma was driving and I was sitting shotgun merrily watching the misty West Virginia scenery as she sped by. Grandma and I began to have an in-depth, heart to heart conversation. To this day, I have no idea what we were talking about, but I do know that we were both focused and absorbed—on our conversation, not so much on the road in front of us.

At one point I remarked, “Gramma, this looks different than I remember, I could swear we’re supposed to be on the other side of that mountain.” She assured me that the rain was just making me see the scenery differently.

Grandpa woke up at one point, looked out the window, and said, “Wow, I don’t remember that little airport on this drive.” To which Grandma responded, “Leon, go back to sleep, Lauren and I are having an important conversation!”

More time passed as Grandma drove along and then we saw the fateful sign. Grandma and I looked at the sign, at each other, and then back at that smug, stupid sign—WELCOME TO TENNESSEE!

Grandma looked into the rear view mirror and innocently asked, “Leon, why are we in Tennessee?”

Grandpa sat bolt upright, yelled a couple of expletives, a “Where have you taken us, Mary?” and then “Pull over, I’m driving.” We switched drivers again, Grandpa made me stay shotgun, a position I wanted very badly to relinquish at this point, and we sped back the way we came. The 8 hour drive ended up being an 11 hour drive. But thankfully, given Grandma and Grandpa’s senses of humor, we were laughing about our little excursion by the time we got to Wadsworth.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And may your travels be far less adventurous.

Photo by Debera Lorincz.