Transportation Highlights

I remember the day my husband and I bought our first minivan. I loved that vehicle. For the first time, the kids each had their own seat. Less bickering, less need for over the front seat smacking, or even threats to do so. I’m still sad that we ended up with a cracked head in the engine and a bad flat tire. We went to Toyota Matrix hatchbacks after that, and now the kids are grown and out of the house. So we got an even bigger van! Go figure.

101118 1996-Ford-Windstar-1645_5n

My thoughts turned to the various types of transportation available through the centuries and how parents dealt with kids. The earliest type of transportation seems to be boats, and that’s a gift to parents everywhere. “Eshaq! Mouth off one more time, mister, and you are swimming home! You’re too small for the crocodiles to want. Just get to the bank as fast as you can, then. Fine, give your sister Masika back her Thoth doll and sit down.”

101118 barge


Horses were around for riding, but the condition of roads didn’t improve enough for wagons and carriages until 300 BCE when the Romans began building roads to use for troop movement. All roads led to Rome because they didn’t waste time with turns. Chariots, despite Ben-Hur, sprang up in India and were used as machines of war. The elephant, with its better command of terrain and superior strength, replaced the horse and chariot in due time. By then, everyone was riding them.

101118 elephant

“Keshva, what are you doing in the elephant howdah? I gave your chores to do. I don’t care how much your sister Pavaki irritates you, you can’t go to war with me. Get down this instant or I will have the elephant remove you. एक. दो. and a half. Good boy.”

Hot air balloons were all the rage in France and the rest of Europe but lacked a little thing called maneuverability. It was not easy to make the thing land in the same place at the same time every day. Luckily, ever since the 1st century of the current era, inventors had been working with steam. Step by step, they came up with steam cars, steam pumps, steam tractors, steamboats, and finally, the steam locomotive. “Terrance, why are you running up and down the car? Get your lizard back in its basket and sit down. No, Lettice, you can’t run around once your brother sits down. That would be silly. No crying, child! Don’t make me turn this locomotive around!”

101118 train

Soon, gas-powered cars and planes made the train less fun and less dangerous for pet lizards. Before long, helicopters and space shuttles opened up new ways to see the world. Humans will be looking for ways to see the planets and maybe objects further afield. “Kael, where is your sister? Your sister, Danan? About this tall, looks like you? I give up. Get in your pod and get to sleep, now. We’ll be launching in twenty minutes and I don’t want to wait until the last minute. Why should I look out the port window? Gasp! Danan! Get back inside this generation ship or I will space your Martian Boys comics.”

101118 spaceship

This has been fun, I hope you enjoyed our trips through time. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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