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Sunshine's First Road Trip And The Smell Of Cow Manure
Contributor
Written by
Jackie Joice
March 2010
Contributor
Written by
Jackie Joice
March 2010

Ahhhhhhhhh-there’s nothing like the pungent smell of cow manure so early in the morning. I texted to my friends as I sat in the back seat with my 3 month old daughter named Sunshine. Of course, she was fast asleep. Car seat plus movement equals sleep, even without the Bob Marley music my husband played as we headed North on the 5. Car seats induce sleep better than any cup of chamomile tea or prescription Ambien pill an adult would ingest. I wish I had a car seat for sleep myself ! I had my watercolor pencils, my animal medicine book, 3 journals, and a traveling cup of fenugreek tea ( for lactation), and of course, my cell phone to keep myself and friends entertained. Unfortunately, the smell of cow manure is nostalgic for me. It reminds me of the times when my mom, brothers and I headed to Hanford CA to visit my grandfather, cousins and aunts. Hanford is located in Central California and is about 3 1/2 hours( with no traffic) North of Los Angeles. Hanford is a patch work of almond orchards, grape and corn fields, dairy and pig farms and a Walmart. It’s a small town that still has dangling traffic signals in some areas. My mother and grandmother were born in Hanford, CA. My maternal great grandfather settled in Hanford, in 1914 from Atlanta, Georgia. Sunshine is my first child and had to visit Hanford, besides, according to her astrological chart she supposed to enjoy traveling. We headed to Fresno( about 20 minutes North of Hanford), first so that Sunshine could meet her great grandfather. My grandfather turned 90 on Feb 12.th. My husband and I packed the night before our first journey with Ms. Sunshine. In fact she had her own luggage. We were to stay with my cousin Shari’s house in Hanford. So I packed some warm long johns and a papoose for Sunshine because it can get as cold as the arctic in my cousin’s Shari’s house. Not only that, it’s still winter. Although we were only staying for one night, I packed extra clothes for Sunshine, in case, an asteroid suddenly impacts the 5 Frwy.. A can of formula, in case of a sudden global warming blizzard. 12 diapers in case there’s a major earthquake and sections of California collapsed into the Pacific Ocean. Well, you get the point. I made sure I had an excess of everything. Saturday morning, we ran a little late, I prayed that Sunshine wouldn’t poop until we reached our destination. Well, she pooped right on time, because we just exited the Grapevine, so my husband changed her diaper in the front seat of the car in a the parking lot of a Mc Donald’s restaurant. We finally reached my grandfather’s house. It was like a museum to Sunshine. My grandfather has been in this house for decades. I had to nurse Sunshine so I went into my grandfather’s bedroom and Sunshine couldn’t even focus on my breast ! There was just too much stuff to look at. Anyhow, Sunshine took some pictures with her great grandfather and my grandfather’s wife prepared lunch for us. My husband and I enjoyed fried cat fish, string beans, potato salad, and grape punch ! Before we headed to my cousin Shari’s house, we stopped in Selma. Selma is the raisin capitol of the United States. My great aunt Louise lives in Selma and she hadn’t met Sunshine either. Selma is just a little South of Fresno but North of Hanford. My great aunt Louise was happy to meet Sunshine. She even offered a home remedy for Sunshine’s gas, a couple of drops of whiskey in her milk ! Sunshine and I slept on the futon in my cousin’s office, and my husband slept on the couch. We even brought along Sunshine’s bouncer to keep her happy at night. I used a sleep positioner for Sunshine. One of our many baby party gifts. On our way back home , we stopped in Lebec for a snack and I gave Sunshine a breast milk appetizer in the back seat. Breastmilk must have cryptonite or something in it, because it knocks out Sunshine like she just smoked a big fat joint ! Needless to say, she slept the entire ride home, and I even got a couple of zzzz’s in. Next Sunshine is going on a Harley Davidson Bike run to Las Vegas, of course we will be in a car, but we will be hanging out with hundreds of Harley Davidson bike riders. Sunshine will be sporting her Harley Davidson onsie, hat, and pink skull tattoo!

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