Vicki Diane Westling      

A special word of thanks and never ending gratitude:

This book is truly a book of Ramblings.  Ramblings that are a kaleidoscope of my life.  Whether the words written herein are factual, make believe, or pure fantasy, they could not and would not have been written without the love, encouragement and devotion of my husband, Richard, my brother Curtis and my dearest sister and best friend, Jan.  These three individuals were relentless in their encouragement of me and my work.  Richard was my number one fan, and a devoted husband.  Both Curtis and Jan spent hours coaching me and editing what is written in this book, and it is to them that I will be forever grateful.


Memories, they are sometimes all that we have to hold onto, and it is too frequently what is happening in the here and now that bring them back into clear focus.


The Highway Funny how things are remembered differently by persons who share the same space, the same air and even the same pillows and blankets that are tangled and wrapped around legs, arms and bodies. I can’t attest to the memories of others, but as for me I can see it as clearly today as if I were right back there again – living in that moment. We were a family of nine moving along the highway with but one purpose, just to get “There”. Wherever “There” was. I was in the back seat with four of my sisters all twisted and curled about one another as we sat and lay in the back of the big old car. My father drove with his elbow out the window and a cigarette between his fingers; he was like a god to me in those days. Mother sat in the middle of the front seat holding the baby, and my brother sat on the other side of her clutching the door as if he might jump out at any minute. And, on we went. No grumbling, crying or whining allowed. Mother, always worried that we might make too much noise and upset Daddy, would periodically call back to us, “You babies start reading those signs, see who can read them first.” This was her way of trying to keep our minds occupied and off of the knots in our stomachs due to hunger and thirst. We would stop now and then along the highway when she would commence to nag Daddy to the point of near anger. Daddy, it seemed, could drive for hours and never need to stop, but little girls needed to get out now and then. Once the nagging by mother would commence, one could see the muscles begin to work in Daddy’s temples just above the arm of his dark glasses. He would toss the cigarette butt out of the window and begin to slow the vehicle. Giving Mother a quick look of dissatisfaction, he would mutter, “Aw right, then, we’ll pull over up here as soon as I see a place to pull off. I don’t want to have to try and back up onto the highway, so let’s find a place that we can pull around. You children keep quiet back there now and help look for a good place to stop.” And so it was: the sound of the wheels turning beneath us as they moved us along the highway; the air rushing in through the open windows of the heavy automobile created more noise than any of us ever could. The blankets and pillows were tangled and twisted around, under and about us as we rambled our way from state to state and place to place, with only the knowing that once again a new adventure was awaiting us. And, thus, a new journey began… to “There.”