Have you ever come up with a fairly simple idea and then -- all of a sudden -- it gets complicated? I must apologize to my wife ahead of time, but shes a pro at making the simple complicated. She means well, bless her heart, but generally, the complications fall back on my back not hers.
For example, while you read this we are in Washington, D.C., for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Hopefully this one will not be as cold as the last one in 2009 when we brought my oldest grandchildren to see history made -- and it was historic. We were four in a throng of 1.8 million and Im still struck by the mood of the crowd. Not an angry word said, even as we piled into METRO trains like sardines.
Im all about providing enrichment experiences for my grandchildren. I remember the road trips my father and mother took me on as a child, the farthest, New York City from California. We had two cars. We drove a far-from-new Buick and Brother Wiley Barnes. with wife and three kids in tow, had a 1949 Ford sedan.
Both cars broke down a couple of times on the trip. I remember the man at the Texaco service station that was so helpful. We stayed with relatives I had never heard about along the way and as thunderstorms in Arkansas rolled through I remember thinking I must be headed for Oz because the skies didnt get that dark in Los Angeles.
I remember Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds. I was not yet 7-years-old and had never been in a professional ballpark. There were thousands of people from all over the world at this Jehovahs Witnesses convention. Ill never forget it.
Those are the kinds of life experiences Ive tried to give my childrens children and other extended family. Weve hit Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Detroit and Lansing, Mich., San Diego and other cities along the way. I dont expect them to appreciate it now, but when Im dead and gone, maybe the trips will bring a smile to their face, like the smile Im wearing now.
So what about this trip is complicated? My initial idea was a road trip involving my wife and I and Paul, our 13-year-old grandchild. Hes never been to D.C. so this was a chance. No problem, right?
My father-in-law decided he needed to go back to D.C. for a doctors appointment. The appointment wasnt until Wednesday or Thursday, so a car had to be rented and a plane ticket bought for the trip back -- and, where to stay.
We had already arranged to stay with good friends, Joyce and Bobby Fields in Beltsville, Md. No problem, pop decided to stay with the Lozas, long time friends who live around the corner from the house he just sold. Cool. Mom had decided to sit this trip out, but she used a females prerogative and changed her mind -- except she didnt want to stay the extra days. No problem, shell ride back with us. But then came The Dream.
No, I dont mean the Dream speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963. This dream came from Springdale Elementary teacher Fran Turner, a good friend of the family.
She stopped by a week ago and while I was out doing Honey Dos, told my wife of the dream she had the night before. In her dream, she was telling her son, Jonathan, also 13, what to pack for the trip to Washington. Just so happens, my wife had discussed that very subject earlier that morning. Me, not wanting more complications, said no.
When I returned from Honey Do Heaven (Home Depot), theyre laughing and cackling and want to tell me about Frans dream. You know the rest of the story.
I knew either divine providence had intervened or I had been hoodwinked. At this point, it didnt matter. Our initial party of three had doubled. Im short one inauguration ticket, but well get by, always have.
Charles E. Richardson is The Telegraphs editorial page editor. He can be reached at (478)744-4342 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Tweet @crichard1020.