The Partner, The Boss, the dog, and I rode over to Rhode Island last night to take a gander at a 1989 27' Gulf Stream Conquest motor home we discovered on Craig's List. After The Boss jumped all over the queen sized bed in the back, after I inspected each and every crack and crevice of closet or cabinet space, and after The Partner took the behemoth for a spin, hands were shaken. Words like "title," "insurance," and "license plates" floated easily through the crisp dusk air. We pledged to return the next day to bring the big baby home.
New England is now our oyster. We already have plans for one or two weekend trips in October and all kinds of dreams for a lakeside site next summer. When I really want to get grandiose, I imagine a cross country trip that a young family will never forget.
Our Gulf Stream's got a pinky-mauve velour interior. There are two seats in the cockpit and a captain's chair behind. At loft level, foam pallets come together to form a queen sized sleeping area. A table and bench convert to a bed next to the refrigerator and across from the sink and stove. There's a shower on one side and a toilet on the other. Behind it all is a traditional queen bed surrounded by narrow but serviceable closets. I can lay back in the 80s grandeur of it all and imagine that Bon Jovi just might have traveled this way.
On the way home, The Partner patted our dog Roxie's head as she nosed her way over the center console of our car and nuzzled him from her spot in the back seat. We had been talking about the placement of car seats in the camper and assorted logistics. "Roxie's going to sit in the shower," The Partner joked.
"Droxie ridin' in the shower!" The Boss sang out. Her voice was a melodic taunt. I wondered if she was evil or just enchanted with the out-of-context image of her dog bouncing around a waterproof stall beneath the shower head as New Hampshire hills flew by.
"Roxie is NOT riding in the shower," I said, running my hand over the dog's smooth forehead. I felt the scar she'd earned the morning she decided to run under a chain link fence in pursuit of the neighbor's cat.
We were silent for awhile as our mind's eyes took us beyond seating arrangements into our own personalized realms. I pictured myself in a lounge chair next to the camper. I had a book in my hand and a lake to my side. The Partner was probably envisioning the race car he'd tow each month to the RallyX events he loves to participate in.
Then we heard The Boss behind us. A maniacal giggle indicated her train of thought had not left the station. "Droxie ridin' in the show-er!"
The dog turned and gave our daughter the hairy eyeball. That long, jagged scar ended right where her pointed gaze began.