Remember when tule fog was a huge cotton ball laid down on the ground offering NO visibility at all? We used to hang our heads out the window just to be able to see the white line as we drove 25 mph down the "freeway" to Bakersfield. We always knew we were close when we smelled the oil emanating from hundreds of derricks.
Hidden on the floor under the blanket fort in the back seat, we didn't dare ask how much further. There were no such things as rest stops ... only we did know when the engine slowed down, we were at Tagus Ranch Restaurant. That was our only rest stop, and occasionally garnered us pancakes!
Remember when there were no cell phones so you never knew when company would arrive?? Sometimes that trip took us 3-1/2 hours ... sometimes 5 hours. In the meantime, no one even knew if we were alive!! You just kept dinner warm until YAY they're here!!!
Remember when getting to open your present (single tense ... one) was absolutely the best thing EVER!! We never knew what we were getting, and weren't allowed to shake the package in an attempt to "hear" what it was. Remember when you got a Christmas stocking full of goodies, hung by the chimney with care?? We each had a handmade stocking with our name on it, carefully hung with scotch tape on the card table set up in the living room. We didn't have to shake these ... every year we received the same nifty little presents of walnuts and an orange, with maybe a small box of crayons. How cool was THAT!!! I still have that stocking ... and I hang it by my fireplace every year.
Remember when you weren't allowed to drive in the left hand lane except to pass?? My mother got a ticket for doing just that on one of those Bakersfield trips. Now you have to pass on the right because no one will move over. Back East they must still give tickets, because most everyone drives in the right hand lane!!
Remember when fuel was 35 cents a gallon?? Trips were affordable then, not that we went on many. We had our allotted two weeks vacation and Christmas. That was it if you owned cattle that needed to be fed, vaccinated and moved from field to field, not to mention irrigating the pasture.
Remember when the speed limit was 60?? People drove 65. Now the speed limit is 65 and people drive 85, not even giving a glance back to see if there is a Highway Patrolman behind them ... because there isn't. Remember when you would see 5 or 6 Highway Patrol driving through the valley?? I haven't seen one in months!!
Remember when we could see the snow covered Sierra Mountains every day through the kitchen window?? I can count on one hand the number of times I see it now in an entire year. Yesterday as I drove into town, the rain clouds stacked up on the mountains, looking like the tule fog from the old days and reminded me of those Christmas' trips we took every year.
The sun came out this morning and the fog burned off ... nothing like the fog of old, which stayed all day and all night!! Time for a quick trip South to the quilt store!!