Daily Prompt: A Bend in Time Saves Nine

“Are we there yet?

“I promise, you’ll know when we’re there.”

“Yes Mommy … but how will I know? Will you tell me? Please?”

“You’ll just know. I’m sure you’ll know. But I’ll tell you too, okay? Now settle down back there.”

I hated the back seat of the car. It made me carsick, swaying like a boat on the high seas. Sometimes I would pretend I was a pirate in a ship. That way, I figured I wouldn’t get so sick, but it didn’t matter. I got sick anyhow.

1959 imperial custom 4-door southampton rear

We were on our way to the World’s Fair in Toronto. Canada. Another country. We’d never been to another country. International travel! Wow! 1958, 11 years old and I was going to another country. Me, my big brother, parents in front in the huge Chrysler Imperial. It looked like it was about to take off for the moon. A behemoth of a car with fins like wings. It had enough trunk space for a multigenerational family and a cord of wood.

Sprung to absorb every bump in the road and make you feel like you were floating. No feel of the road, hence the boat analogy. It was indeed a land cruiser and I tossed my cookies in that back seat with some regularity. It made my older brother less than thrilled to be back there with Barfy, his sister. He liked me usually, but not in the back seat.

“But are we there yet?”

Time seemed to be standing still. When we’d set off on this journey, this endless multi-day journey, it sounded like fun. Until my motion sickness set in. Until the endless roads all began to blend together and look exactly the same.

Giddy with excitement had faded to curiosity and sheer restless energy, the energy of kids confined for days at a time in a lurching motorcar on the way to someplace too vague to be pictured in our minds, but held out to us like the grail.

We had passed now from even curiosity to numb endurance. We’d even stopped squabbling. Time stretched out like a gray, endless road … to someplace.

“Mommy? Mommy?”


“Are we there yet?”


Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

16 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: A Bend in Time Saves Nine”

  1. I love old car shows. During my 13 years spent in South Carolina I saw them on the highway being used because no salt is permitted to be sprayed in the Winter months. It just didn’t sow that often to risk destroying everyone’s car by corrosive salt. I love going to field full of classics. I’ve own and driven my share through the years. My first car was a 1955 Buick Special. It was a tank compared to today’s lightweight, synthetic bodies. My second car was a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere, the one with the big fins on the trunk. It had a flathead 6 cylinder engine so small you could literally get into the engine bay and stand next to the engine block.

    Old cars were built very practical without all the frills. Gas was cheap so you weren’t concerned with miles per gallon. Without all that pollution junk a well tuned engine got pretty decent mileage. I love bench seats, chrome and real steel bumper that could push cars to get them started. Those were the glory days of automobiles.


    1. I like small cars being a short person, but the quality of many cars today reminds me more of toy cars than the cars with which I grew up. When a 5 mph parking lot bump can cause $5000 worth of damage, something is out of whack. When did bumpers become decorative rather than protective? These days, they are made of plastic and do nothing except remind us that cars used to be sturdy enough to resist minor fender benders!


  2. Oh, I have such a sweet spot for old cars, my friend has a 1967 Parisienne one that just suits him so well. I never get sick that at every turn it seems like he’s going to hit something, or the fact that the seatbelts are like airplane seats !


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