To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Sunday, December 25, 2011

It Was a Griswold Moment

Christmas Eve 2011. Oregon.

We had prepared a nice, quiet dinner for the grandparents. Steak, sauteed mushrooms, potatoes, peas (for me). Presents were exchanged, some songs were sung. The guests went home and my mom had a brilliant idea. "Let's go to the Festival of Lights!" The Rae Girls (my mom, our co-worker and myself) grabbed my dog and piled into my mom's car for a little trip down the road. 

The last car for the night, we were jolly and chatting a lot with the volunteers running the Festival entrance gate. The Christmas music was on, the car lights were off, we rolled our windows down and enjoyed the lights. I was a proud parent, enjoying how my dog had her head out the window looking at the lights. I managed to snap a photo. We ooh'd and aah'd over some lights - my favorites being Humpy Dumpty and the Mad Tea Party. Just as I finished taking another photo it happened. 


I turn and see that my mom has gone left instead of right. What?? And instead of pausing and realizing that we just hit a curb, she guns it and goes right over it. At this point chaos erupts. Sheila is saying "Turn the music down! Turn the music down!" I am yelling "Stop! Stop! What the hell are you doing?" My mom is so confused about why the car is now in the air. Before she stops to listen to us she throws it in reverse. Nothing is happening. The front tires are spinning, the car is NOT moving at all. I immediately - while dying of laughter - try to find my slippers because I am just sure we are going to have to get out of the car, LIFT the front and push it backwards. Well before that can happen, she does it again!

This time she throws it into drive and revs the engine. We start going forward, with the whole bottom of the car scraping on the curb.  For a while we are actually stuck - like a teeter totter! Eventually we are over the curb. Now we are in the grass IN the light displays with the wheels just spinning in place. I thought we were going to have to get a tow-truck or crane to get us out of this whole situation. The way out to get back to the road is left. My mom turns right. "Mom! What are you doing?" "Oh, we can just see them this way!" and she starts driving in the grass in-between all of the huge displays. Even my dog is laughing at this point. Then she starts turning. Thank goodness she wasn't trying to spin donuts (or whatever that phrase is!).  So now the plan is to get back to the road - but the big support wires are sticking out everywhere. We nearly miss them, almost hitting a big rock wall in the process. Eventually we are back on the road where we have to stop and laugh. Thank goodness we are the only car there. We manage to resume our light show, but can hardly see the lights through the tears of laughter. 

As we loop back through we see one of the volunteers parked, facing us, with only parking lights on. Did they witness the whole thing? Were we in trouble? We continue along - almost taking out a couple lights on the way. At the exit lights we notice some are out. You want to know why they aren't lit?? Because my grandpa hit them last year in his truck!

Off roading into light displays on Christmas Eve ... yep, this is pretty much run of the mill in my family!


  1. Oh my goodness, this is hilarious!

  2. HIlarious! Griswold moment indeed hahahaha

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  4. THAT is way too good to be true! LOVE this story :-)

  5. We did the festival of lights too- but without the radio on...haha. No radio in the van. (Booo) It is easy to get lost there at night. It's kind of hard to tell which way to go. I wonder how many cars wreck each year.


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