Fly Away Home
A memoir about the ups and downs in life and the back and forth travels of a multicultural family.


This is a preview to the chapter OFF AND ruNNING from the book Fly Away Home by Maggie Myklebust.
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“Is it time to turn over yet?” I asked desperately, as I felt the oppressive heat only seconds away from smothering me.

“Are you kidding? It’s only been ten minutes, we have twenty to go,” Ellen answered.

“No! I can’t take it any more, I’m rolling over. Can you rub some baby oil on my back?” I asked as I sat up, and when everything went black around me, I quickly laid down again.

“Ellen this is torture, it’s way too hot to lay here. Let’s go in the pool,” I said, attempting to slowly sit up again.

“School starts in one week and after being in Norway all summer, we need to work on our tans,” she said as she rubbed more baby oil onto her already glistening legs.

“Margaret, telephone!” Mary Lou yelled from the kitchen window.

I looked over at Ellen with raised eyebrows and we ran into the house in anticipation. I was surprised to hear it was Tony. We had been back one day and he was already calling.

“What’s does he want?” Ellen asked, before I even knew myself.

“Wait a minute,” I said, before covering the receiver with my hand. “He wants to know if we want to go out in his boat?” “Say yes, go on, we can get good tans out on the boat and it’s never as hot out on the water,” Ellen insisted.

I agreed and we rode our bikes over to Tony’s where he and Goog were waiting for us in the boat, on the river, behind his house. The first thing I saw was the name painted in big fancy letters on the back, The Casual Pad and wondered who’d chosen the name, but didn’t ask. I noticed the powerful Jersey sun had lightened Tony’s dark hair tremendously. He looked good, not as good as Harry, but good just the same.

We hopped in and with Bachman Turner Overdrive playing Takin’ Care of Business on the eight track tape player, neatly installed in the console of the luxury boat, we were on our way. We drove through the brackish water of the Metedeconk, heading towards the Manasquan River. Because of the beautiful weather there was a long line of boat traffic all the way through the Point Pleasant Canal, a long, narrow passage connecting the two rivers. Once through the canal we sped out onto the open water until we found a place where there were few boats in sight. As we came to a stop, I could feel the intense heat of the sun searing the skin on my back. With the boat engine idling, we loitered along as Tony and Goog set out the ski rope, Goog put on a life vest and hopped into the water. Ellen and I watched with intense concentration as Tony handed him the skis, which he slipped on his feet, and then grabbed hold of the handle at the end of the rope. Tony slowly straightened the boat, inching it forward until the line was straight, with little slack. Goog gave a wave and Tony floored the engine, within seconds we were driving at full speed with Goog skiing behind.
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