“I’ve got that part covered,” said John. “That’s the good news. We’re starting on a drive to Aunt Meg’s place tomorrow morning. She wants our company until your Grandpa passes away. We’ll be staying at her place for most of the summer.”
“Did you say we’re leaving tomorrow, Dad?” asked Ryan.
“Yep, I want to get an early start. I want to be on the road by eight tomorrow morning,” answered John.
“Wow, this is short notice. We’ll have to start packing this evening,” said Stephanie.
“That’s the plan,” John replied. “We’ll start packing right after supper. I’m going to phone Pizza Hut and order us some pizza. What kind of pizza would you guys like?”
“Ham and pineapple for me,” answered Stephanie.
“Pepperoni for me,” said Ryan.
When their pizza delivery arrived John, Stephanie and Ryan got into a lively discussion.
“Are we going to have enough money for the trip? Dad, “asked Ryan.
“Yeah, do you guys remember my cousin, Ronnie?”
“Yeah, I remember him coming to visit you a couple of times,” said Stephanie.
“As I recall he was pretty well off, wasn’t he? He drove a really cool Porsche,” said Ryan.
“Yes, cousin Ronnie did very well for himself. He owned his own insurance agency,” answered John. “ I forgot to tell you guys Ronnie had a fatal heart attack in January. He didn’t have many family members left, so he left me a substantial inheritance in his will.”
At seven AM Stephanie was already up and was busy cooking the family a breakfast of bacon, eggs and sausages. The only times when John Richards ever got a home cooked meal was when one of his friends invited him over for supper. Most of the time John made himself a bowl of Frosted Flakes for breakfast, two peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch and in the evening would drive over to the A&W restaurant in the mall for supper. The one advantage to this is that John never gained any weight when his kids weren’t staying with him.
“When’s the last time you got your car serviced, Dad?” asked Ryan.
“Just two weeks ago. Got an oil change and had the technicians at Firestone check out the car for potential problems. They gave it a clean bill of health,” answered his dad.
“But it’s a Ford Taurus, Dad. I was just reading Phil Edmunston’s book, Lemon Aid and he ranked the Taurus as one of the worst cars on the road today,” said Ryan.
“I know,” I read Lemon Aid too.” said John. It’s great for Phil Edmunston that he thinks that Hondas and Toyotas are such great cars. He can probably afford them. Ever since my last full time teaching job I’ve never been able to afford an import vehicle. They are way out of my price range.”
“What if your car breaks down on the trip? After all it’s seventeen years old,”said Stephanie taking a bite of her slice of ham and pineapple pizza.
“I’m not worried about it,” her father responded. “ I’ve always had my car serviced on a regular basis and I’ve kept up with the repairs over the years. The only thing you need to worry about on the Taurus is the transmission. I had a re-built transmission put in it last year. We’ll be in good shape.”