Trying to leave town


Trying to leave town

By Joanie Buettgen

Copyright 2010

“Let’s get out of Dodge,” I tell myself. ” Let’s hop a jet, or let’s take a trip like the movie Thelma and Louise.”

Then, my brain starts to plan my quick get-away.

The short summer months are finally here. With the long days and cool nights, many people think to themselves, “We need a vacation! What where?”

When you’re on a limited budget, vacations can be tough. Visiting relatives is an inexpensive way to get away from our daily grind.

Recently, my sister Arnie was planning a trip down to the cities to pick up her grandson. His mom and dad were flying out of state and she wanted to spend the time with him. Arnie planned on coming down on Monday night after a four-hour drive, through rush hour traffic, and through many construction sites.

When I found out about her trip, I got to thinking, “This could work…I could drive back with her and her grandson, and save some money on gas.”

My husband, Mark and I, had tried to get-away for many weeks but there was always: a baby shower, a graduation party, or work on a Saturday.

When opportunities present themselves- I jump at the chance.

Yesterday was just like any other day, except the temperature hit 95 degrees.

Buying goodies for a long week up north can be a challenge in hot weather. A large Coleman cooler was just the ticket that I needed to keep the groceries cool. Packing for a summer vacation usually involves a lighter load. Or, so I thought. Looking at my kitchen table I now had: one large, over-stuffed suitcase, four bags of non-perishable groceries, a large blue Coleman, and a “carry-on” type bag for incidentals.

Cell phones are a great way to communicate long distance. My sister and I were on the phone with updates. That’s when the communication broke down.

I thought Arnie was picking me up on her return trip on Monday so I was all packed, and ready to go.

Waiting for a relative to pick you up, can be nerve wracking. When I didn’t receive a phone call by 7:30 p.m. on Monday night I started to worry. “Did my sister get involved in a car accident?”

I phoned her, “Where are you?”

“I’m at Mark and Darcy’s!

“Oh… why are you still there?”

“Remember I told you I was spending the night? I’m picking you up tomorrow morning.”

There was an uncomfortable silence and then we both apologized for our communication breakdown. She assured me she would pick me up early the next morning.

Tuesday morning I smelled something moldy on the kitchen counter. I had forgotten to put the sweet corn in the frig!

Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.

Published: Minnesota Moments Magazine, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter. Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee. Social Networking: Blog:,, http://www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.


3 responses »

  1. When I get to the end of one of your pieces, I always look for the “next page” button. .. waiting for the next word. Good technique.

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