Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Miles to go

I've been tagged, twice, with the same meme. So does that mean I have to do it twice?

"Cis" at Cicero Sings, and Seabrooke, at The Marvelous in Nature, have passed on the 6-word memoir meme, started 6 weeks ago by bookbabie. The challenge is to write your own memoir, but using only 6 words.

I once did an autobiography in the form of a limerick*; that was hard enough. But only 6 words? Could I do it?

Well, I'm cheating. After all, I was tagged twice; I'm entitled to a double count, aren't I?

A line from Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" has always meant a lot to me, not necessarily for any reason that I could identify, but just because it resonated with me. "And miles to go before I sleep." (That's where I cheat; I used the quote in my title.)

Thinking on that, I remembered an old photo that I have carried around for almost 60 years.

hope princeton highway
I was 7 years old. We were coming back from Toronto (via the US, including Yellowstone National Park), and drove on this highway just after it had been opened, in November of 1949. I remember Mom telling us about it while Dad drove. Back home on Vancouver Island, I cut this photo out of a travel brochure, and stuck it in my new Yellowstone Park photo album with Scotch tape. I didn't cut it quite straight; I was still little, and clumsy with those horrible blunt scissors they made us kids use.

I added three more photos from the same brochure, but this was the one that I have always remembered.

yellowstone album
Many years later, I transferred all my own photographs to a newer album. But I kept the old album cover with the page of brochure photos; I could not steel myself to part with them.

It seems to me that I have spent most of my life "going places". On the road. In boats, planes, motorhomes, buses. I learned to walk on the train crossing Canada, they told me. And I am still wandering. There is so much to see, so much to do; there is always something new and interesting around that next corner. I rejoice in the feel of a highway unfolding ahead of me, the mystery of where it will lead, the scent of future discoveries.

So here's my memoir: "Slept in the car trunk. Etcetera."

True. Travelling alone, in a small Datsun, I stopped in a rest area to spend the night. The seats were too small and the gear shift was in the way, but the trunk had a flat bottom. I slept there, with the top open a crack, and tied down from the inside, to discourage bears.

hope princeton highway
Another of the photos. The car in front is a 1948 Dodge, I think.

Over to you: I'm tagging Jean, Robin Andrea, Celeste, Shawn, and "Mike". Here are the rules:
1. Write your own six word memoir

2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like

3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere

4 .Tag five more blogs with links

5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

*The limerick? Here it is:

When anyone asks where I come from,
How I wish that my life had been humdrum!
I am known, as a fact,
By how fast I can pack,
And for sleeping in truckstops to thrum, thrums.


  1. That's such a great memoir. I love the limerick, too. As a bit of a traveler myself the last number of years, I can certainly identify with it.

  2. Great memoir and post, thoughtful and thought provoking. Thanks so much for playing:)

  3. Good memoir and limerick!

    My Dad had the wanderlust and though we never slept in the trunk ... the 5 of us took up various contortions in an effort to sleep inside the car. I'm not all that fond of car travel today!


If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!