If you’ve only known about the International Travel Restrictions in recent months, or maybe years, this story will seem incongruous to you.
Because it’s about Jean and me taking Molly and Kelly with us to Canada years ago, without visas, passports, or even very much of a problem.
I can’t recall the year it was, nor the ages of the girls, but I’m assuming it was at ABOUT the age that this picture shows them to be:
Kelly on the left; and Molly on the right.
Kelly thinks they were 2 or 3 years older than these pictures. Probably right.
We often took our grandchildren with us on trips - as some of my previous postings on this blog indicate.
I don’t remember the occasion, nor the reason for it this time, except we “gloried” in doing so.
I may have mentioned here before, but if not, I HAVE nearly everywhere else:
“Jean was the BEST Grandma I have EVER run on to!”
I saw and heard her up close. These forays with ANY of them were SPECIAL for her.
How we happened to decide on Canada, I don’t remember. I think it’s entirely possible that we just “set out”, and “followed our noses” as we went. I know for sure we hadn’t made any Motel reservations ahead of time.
As would be expected in traveling from Springfield to Canada, the most direct route - and we took it - was to go north to Detroit, and then take the Tunnel into Windsor, Ontario.
We MAY have driven around the City of Detroit before we entered the tunnel, but I don’t know for sure. I imagine both Kelly and Molly would remember some things, but I hate to bother them again. I’ve done so, so many times in the last few months, digging in their memories about the things we did with them.
Jean and I had been to Canada before - in fact, many times. We even drove from Montreal across Canada to Toronto one time. It was on National Highway 401, I think. (At least that’s its present designation.)
I also just now remember that I wondered about my CB radio in the car, not knowing if it were allowed there. Or, was it my in car Mobile Telephone? Probably the latter. We had no problem with it, however.
Naïve as we were, we were a LITTLE shocked that the Immigration officials just inside Canada looked a little “askance” at these two middle aged folk taking two pre-teen girls across the border.
Not shocking now, right? Even adults have to have a passport to cross these days.
But, as I said, we were naïve.
At one time in our travels with our grandchildren, either we, or one of our “kids” got the idea of providing for us a written description of their children, as well as written permission for “Myron B. and Wilma J. Maddex” to care for their children - including any medical care they might need.
However, I don’t think we had done that yet this time. My guess is that this experience may have helped to “trigger” such written statements from their parents.
At any rate, we were “pulled over”, asked to show identification, and asked to “prove” that we were, in truth, their grandparents. The girls saying so, I think, didn’t “cut the mustard”.
I’ve just “broken down” and called Molly, for her memory. She’s just getting in the car to pick up her son Ben from some activity he’s in, and will call me back.
After Molly got in her car, she called me back.
She thinks that the statements from the parents had already been made, and that was why they eventually let us go, BELIEVING that we were their grandparents. That makes sense, and gives a reason for the officials to even let us go, though they had stopped us. I don’t remember coming back to the U.S. as being so hard.
Though Molly thinks not, I do believe we rented a Motel Room in Windsor - spending the night.
How far inland we may have gone, neither of us is sure, but Molly said she remembered that we were traveling in our Station Wagon.
Molly said, “I remember riding in that station wagon a lot when we were young”.
JUST NOW, I talked to Kelly, and she agrees with Molly that I showed some kind of paper to the authorities to attest to our position, and that would be the statements from the parents, of course.
Also, Kelly agrees with Molly that, though we probably drove around Windsor, neither of them thought we were in a Motel, nor drove out of Windsor, very far, at least. The two of them have convinced me that we DID NOT stay over night.
Also, Kelly definitely remembers calling her mom, FROM CANADA, just to say that she was calling from another country (collect, one would presume.)
By the way, as is with “the way of all flesh”, they didn’t stay that young. Now, I have to use TWO pictures for them, because Molly lives in Indiana, and Kelly in Florida. And, THESE are current!
In THIS picture, Molly is on the left, and Kelly the right.
They each have a “blog” on the Internet, that I check daily (Sometimes more frequently!):
Wonderful memories - even though they’re often incomplete.
Old age does that to you, you know!
Maybe right here I should admit that I’m probably obsessive in telling about my being old - and especially, 85 - since I mention it so often.
I am, after all, a BLABBERMOUTH!
(Look it up in the Dictionary. My picture is there!)