road trip reflections – repaired

stretching a dime is one thing / creating one out of thin air / another

luckily she believes in / miracles and sometimes / magic

sailing into mountains / on thin air / and prayer

i truly don’t know what i was thinking, packing up a newly turned 5 year old in me ole station wagon for a cross country tour of grass and plains and the allegheny mountains. some adventures life takes you on screaming and clutching at your valuables. others you design but the screaming and value clutching doesn’t change.

in my life whenever the proverbial ‘shit hits the fan’ i generally hit the road. i can usually tell when life sets just the right pitch between suffocation and stagnation because my fingers get this twitch i can’t do anything about and my mind begins to wonder about the roads i’ve traveled before, literal roads not those figurative kind. then i start packing, destination unknown.

as a younger woman i would often pack and jump in my car. there were no reservations made. i would look at a map or an interstate and pick a direction. stopping when my tank ran low. by God’s grace the stops were in places extraordinaire with views for miles and reasonably priced accommodations. my wonderings have taken me to all points michigan and allowed me to cruise the I-75 and I-94 till my heart’s content.

i’d drive like it was my job stopping only for lunch and ‘coffee breaks’. all the windows down, i’d alternate my background between alanis morissette and a self help tape by marianne williamson. i’ve driven mountains this way as well coasted along oceanic highways. the trips liberating. the journeys serving as reset buttons for my mind.

as a married woman i included my husband on my walkabouts. that was a different time and he needed things like reservations and determined locations. i was dutiful and complied. backgrounds shifted from girl empowering lyrics to funk infused jazz sets with a side of hip hop. the windows would still be down and i would wave my hands in the air, cause i just didn’t care. but those were managed times and as much as i probably needed to i never took time to wonder alone. hmmm….

as a mother i’ve had to wait out my child’s development. babies, only months old, and toddlers do not make happy saddle companions. they need diaper changes and free roaming time. we’d take trips together because he had to get accustomed to his mother’s roaming nature but they were short 90 minute or 2 hour journeys with scenic views and apple orchard destinations. as he got older the longer the trip and the denser the backseat became with his entourage of stuffed beasts.

this journey costs us 12 hours of ‘are we there yet’s’ and ‘let’s just turn around’. but in between the complaints and groans, i noticed him. eyes wide open he stares out windows at the scenes of cows grazing and road side workers working. he is amazed by the way we drive through rain and wonders out loud where rainbows live. mimicking his mother, he lets  his window down and asked that the music be cranked up louder, our background sound a mix between michael jackson and tramaine hawkins.

i’ve changed since that first excursion. there’s been a lot of living between the me that packed up an escort 20 odd years ago and the me that now saddles up a station wagon. the roads are different too. but the heart of the matter, the need to reset, to feel the wind in my hair with background music blaring, to know the miles behind me are great but the roads ahead promise much more…that’s remains the same.

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