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“You can take only ONE toy and ONE book in the car with you!” My orders were met with tears and protests from my children. As it was five in the morning, they were still sleepy. But there was no choice; tears or no tears, we had to get the car loaded and start our trip before the morning traffic got too bad.

I thought back to my childhood and remembered family trips: the long car rides and the endless fights with my brother over anything and everything. It felt like we were trapped forever. We quickly claimed personal space in the back seat of the car and defended it with a border of bags and cushions from that minute on. At first, we tried to read, but the motion of the car made us feel sick. Then we tried to sleep but could not find a comfortable position. We would finally agree to play games in the car like “I Spy With My Little Eye.” That made us look at the wonderful world speeding past us. Sometimes we would read the license plates on other cars to see who could spot the one which had come from the farthest away. I remember even seeing one from as far away as Alaska. Although we would never admit it, in those moments we actually enjoyed each other’s company.

Dad would try to join in our conversations by telling the kind of bad jokes that are almost too awful to repeat. “Why did the little boy throw the clock out the window? He wanted to see time fly.” “What letter in the alphabet can you drink? T.” “Why is number six afraid of number seven? Because seven ate nine! Do you get it? Ate — eight. Ha ha ha!” He would laugh, thinking he was the world’s greatest comedian. “Ewwww, sick!” “Mom! Make him stop,” we complained together. But he wouldn’t quit until he was able to make us all burst out laughing. Sometimes I laughed so hard that tears streamed down my face.

Once in a while, we would leave the highway to visit tourist spots like “The Magical Forest,” a park filled with statues of spirits and fairies that would fill our imaginations with fantasy stories. There were other rest stops, too, near towns with names we could not pronounce. In those places, Mom would set out delicious picnics for us while we ran around and played. But our favorite rest stops were places where we could see natural wonders, like waterfalls, mountains, and canyons. We would take some time to hike around those areas, take photos, or just enjoy the sweet country air.

Later in the afternoon, when we arrived at our camping site, the tent would have to go up. That was Dad’s job. There always seemed to be a pole or something missing, but he would patiently find a good solution. The prospect of sleeping in a tent under the stars made my brother and me so excited that we could barely stand still. Dad took advantage of our energy by sending us out to collect sticks to start a fire for the barbecue and to get water for washing. Sometimes we met children from other families in the camping area. Together, we would pretend that we were explorers of a strange new world while we gathered our firewood and carried the water. During these first explorations of the camping area, we felt so brave and important.

Years later, it is the stories created from the memories of these trips that we all share and laugh about. Somehow, my brother and I feel closer when we remember how much we fought but loved each other during these trips. And I have a deeper sense of admiration for my parents, who chose to spend their very limited vacation time giving us happy experiences in new places. Although our family never had much money, our car trips had a value I only now understand. In a few years, I hope that my kids will understand, too.

“OK, everyone — get into the car!”

問1 By playing games in the car, the author 42.

① missed the beautiful scenery
② passed some time happily
③ saw license plates in Alaska
④ suffered motion sickness

問2 What did the author’s father do while driving? 43.

① He drove very fast to enjoy himself.
② He made his children tell silly jokes.
③ He talked about having a picnic.
④ He tried hard to entertain his family.

問3 The family especially loved rest stops where they 44.

① ate lunch in the car
② enjoyed the beauty of nature
③ pronounced town names
④ told funny stories

問4 The children felt brave and important in the camping area when they 45.

① found the missing tent parts
② had a chance to see the night sky
③ were taken care of by their parents
④ were trusted to do tasks on their own

問5 What was the result of the family trips? 46

① The author became reluctant to go on family expeditions.
② The author’s children understood the meaning of family trips.
③ The children could no longer respect their parents.
④ The family members were able to strengthen their bonds.








「いいよ、みんな ― 車に乗りなさい。」

問1 42 正解 ②
① 美しい風景を見逃した
② 楽しく時間を過ごした
③ アラスカでナンバープレートを見た
④ 乗り物酔いで苦しんだ

問2 43 正解 ④
① 彼は楽しむためにとても速く運転した。
② 彼は子供たちに愚かな冗談を言わせた。
③ 彼はピクニックをすることについて話した。
④ 彼は家族を楽しませようと懸命に努力した。

問3 44 正解 ②
① 車内で昼食を食べた
② 自然の美しさを楽しんだ
③ 町の名前を発音した
④ 面白い話をした

問4 45 正解 ④
① なくなったテントの部品を見つけた
② 夜空を見る機会があった
③ 両親に世話された
④ 自分で仕事をすると信頼されていた

問5 46 正解 ④
① 筆者は家族の長期旅行に行きたがらなくなった。
② 筆者の子供たちは家族旅行の意味を理解した。
③ 子供たちはもはや両親を尊敬できなくなった。
④ 家族は絆を強めることができた。

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