The Devil's Icebox

Created on Mar 4, 2019.

Mom and dad don’t fly, preferring to drive. My dad is typically the road-tripper who wants to get where we’re going. Mom, on the other hand, is the road-tripper who sees a sign on the roadside advertising some local attraction and wants to pull over to see it.

Needless to say, road trips with both of them were often interesting.

Mom acting like a child begging her parents to pull over, “It won’t take long, I swear.” Of course, all involved would usually have a good time and stop feeling rushed to “get there” wherever there was. One such attraction was the entrance to the Devil’s Icebox Cave in Missouri.

My sister had just been married. Mom actually flew to Dayton, Ohio to be in the ceremony. Mom, dad, and I were driving back to Denver, CO together, which was the first time the three of us had been in a car together for any period of time since before their divorce in 1992. In Missouri, mom saw a sign for the icebox and said, “Ooooooh, what’s that? Tony, we have to go.” And, we did.

It was humid, hot, and the walk to the stairwell was not enjoyable.

Mom was leading the way with a demeanor that said, “Where are you little cave?”

We descended the stairs to the opening and, as we did, we remarked about the humidity disappearing and how pretty it looked. Then mom choked out a laugh like a baby playing peekaboo and turned to me, “Ha! Joshua, check this out,” she blew out a breath and I could see the vapor it contained. As we continued down the stairs we didn’t have to try so hard to make the breath visible.