When I read that Beverly Clearly had died, I thought about how I would read my her books aloud on road trips. I am blessed to have no issues with reading while riding, and the kids loved listening to stories. I must have read dozens of books on extended road trips with the family. We vacationed a lot by driving around the country and tent camping. The most notorious of these trips took place when we first visited Disneyworld tent camping along the way. In August. In an non airconditioned Ford Bronco. A vehicle whose back windows did not open. Keeping the kids occupied with stories was one way we survived this trip from hell.
We also sang: On Top of Old Smokey, When the Saints go Marchin’ In, Go Tell Aunt Rhody, America, the Beautiful, etc. etc. I’d sing lullabies trying to get them to nap, which worked some of the time. When they woke up, we’d play games. “I Spy,” “The A-Z game,” and “Tom Swifties.”
We (I, at least) loved the Tom Swifty game. For those who might not have heard of it, a Tom Swifty is a phrase, followed by “Tom said” and an adverb which makes a pun on the statement. For example:
We lost power, said Tom darkly.
I can’t find my way in the dark, said Tom feelingly.
My ’57 Chevy is on blocks, said Tom tirelessly.
Wind gusts of 20 mph are predicted, said Tom breezily.
I’m making pudding, said Tom stirringly.
I like to lie in the sun, said Tom warmly.
Look at that full moon, said Tom brightly.
It’s hopeless, said Tom uselessly.
I could sleep for a week, said Tom tiredly.
You can find lots more examples online I’m sure. I remember the kids trying to one-up each other with their creative adverbs. Our youngest, Eddie, loved words, and though he is a full 10 years younger than his brother, he frequently awed us all with his clever creations.
At any rate, Tom Swifties were a more pleasant way to pass the time than listening to “Are we there, yet?”