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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2261979
A trip to be remembered.
The 1965 Mallard
WC 294

While taking down Christmas decorations, my husband says to me, “Honey, let’s take the trailer and go up to the U.P. for a few weeks. We can play in the snow.”

For the record, the trailer is a nineteen-sixty-five, fourteen-foot Mallard that has been sitting abandoned in our backyard for years. The U.P. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) is cold in January (22 degrees to -12 degrees Fahrenheit); it is notorious for treacherous, icy roads.

“Play in the snow, Fred? At our age?”

“Or go ice fishing,” he says.

I frown.

“Or not.”

“You do remember what happened last time, Fred."

"How could I forget!"

"Florida’s nice this time of year,” I say, guiding him.

"Jackie. Come on! That happened fifty years ago.”

“It almost ended our marriage.” I have never said that part out loud before.

Fred gets busy taking down the mistletoe.

The year was 1967. We were newlyweds. I was twenty-one and hadn’t been driving very long. I had never pulled a trailer before, let alone on icy roads. Fred decided I should learn how to do it. Oh, I left out: at night on a narrow, winding road, during a blizzard.

I was absolutely terrified. I swerved all over the icy road for about a mile.

“This isn't safe!” I yelled.

I saw a restaurant up ahead, pulled into the parking lot, put the car in park, and got out.

After we traded places and got back on the road, I said, “I will never do that again. Never!”

And I never did.

" You know, honey," Fred says as he massages my shoulders. "Florida does sound good. Let’s do it!”

He picks up the mistletoe, holds it over our heads, and kisses me.

Fred has gotten wiser in his dotage.
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