Gotta make this short since I am supposed to be on the road right now.
I finally made it in the door around 1 in the morning after staying up all night in Ecuador and sleeping in odd spots during my airport waits ( I had an 8 hr layover in Miami, yuck). Mom and Dad welcomed me home with a bottle of Rootbeer Schnaps. I saw the bottle and laughed heartily at their little joke. They gave me blank stares. “Are you serious?” I finally asked. Then I had to explain to them about the notorious alcohol shortage for the summer of ’05 at McMurdo station. How lines were wrapped throughout the hallways, how people were paying 100 or 200 dollars for a bottle of hard alcohol. There was a girl that offered $700 for a bottle of vodka that could not be found on station and yet through all of this Rootbeer Schnaps was always fully stocked and only $2 a bottle. No one wanted it. Some people made rootbeer floats with the Frosty Boy but even that couldn’t get it to sell any faster. Even when I had settled in for the winter you could still find partial bottles of Rootbeer Schnaps in Skua, in lounges, free, and no one took it. And that is what my parents had waiting for me for my home welcome. It’s genius, of all the alcohols they could have chosen it was certainly the most appropriate and best laugh.
This morning I got another welcome home. Mom put a request in on the MPR morning show with Dale Connelly and Jim Ed Poole. I got to listen to my story through a couple DJs talking about my 6 yrs of travel and my winter in McMurdo. This was soon followed by a song that they deemed fitting. They chose Leo Katke World Turning (Mom had indicated that I was a fan, so cool to have a MN musician be played) and then they played another song, one that Mom can play on her guitar, Oh, Once I Had a Little Dog, another perfect selection. I’ve always had theme songs for my trips and that was one of the first. It was so sentimental, a song that Mom used to sing to us. I had changed the words thinking that I might take my dog with me on my U.S. roadtrip back in 1999. I never did bring her but I would still sing it as I drove alone.