Road Warrior

I feel a little bit like a road warrior, the last several months. I had a business trip to Miami in early May. I took the train to see family in early June into July, and then flew to visit more family in August. September brought another substantial business trip to Seattle, and October finds me back in the Midwest, meeting the newest member of the family.

I love to travel— I love exploring new places. I haven’t lived everywhere, like your typical military brat (including my own siblings), but I do like to visit places, and I’m a pretty unflappable traveler, by now. But it’s been awhile since I took a bona fide road trip with anyone but me. This time, I brought my mom out to meet her newest great-granddaughter.

When I was a kid, we used to road trip a lot with my dad. He would drive us back east to see extended family— days and days in the car. We’d leave at oh-dark-thirty, and I’d sleep like a champ for something like 20 hours a day on the way there and back again. Those were the days, back before car seats— my folks would make an area in the back of our station wagon with sleeping bags for the most recent driver and a spare (taken up almost exclusively by me.) We’d drive for 10 or 14 hours a day (I’m guessing— I was asleep), and then I’d wake up long enough for a dip in the pool, dinner, and then pass out again.

The last time I made this drive with mom, about four years ago, I was more on top of it. I brought games for us to play in the hotel at night, as well as coolers for drinks during the day and a bag of snacks. This time, I brought all kinds of things to divert me at night— my computer, books on dog training plus my Kindle stocked with all kinds of other stuff, crocheting projects on which I’ve fallen woefully behind, and my guitar, previously unpracticed since December/January (I’ve practiced it three of the five days, so far, mostly out of sheer cussedness toward those who said “don’t bring it!” in honest answer to my question about whether to bring it. The callouses on my fingers will be welcome, when they reappear. I miss them terribly.) I even considered her for the books I downloaded to listen to in the car. But I didn’t bring a thing for two-player diversions.

So far, we’ve done alright. My niece has games, and the kids want to play games, and one of the nights, we spent with my mom’s close friend, so they gabbed and caught up and I played my guitar and read about dog training. And my niece has offered to spot us some games to get us home. This time is more like a vacation, and I’ve got to say, I’m ready for it.

This afternoon, pumpkin patch with the kids. Tonight, haunted house with my de facto baby sister. It’s a real break, and I really needed it. And when we get home— puppy pandemonium! Yay!

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