As we traveled home the sun set over golden fields of corn stalks while a huge herd of black cattle make their way slowly back to their farm or wherever they gather to be fed. I remember them only because of their stark contrast to their environment and the equally stark contrast in our speed of movement over our shared terrain. Ah the things that stand out in memory from road trips. Small ponds in a field hosting huge flocks of geese and the crazy gold Honda Odyssey that seemed to drive with no consistency what so ever. Banana peels on the dashboard to be unloaded at the next trash can and the smell of pepperoni pizza in the truck stop.
I skipped my run earlier in the day and my body missed movement. I was tired yet simultaneously restless as it was my turn to drive and although flipping through the radio stations like flipping through television stations late at night is fun, it tends to numb the mind and make one sleepy.
Songs play that take you back to Junior High and memories of laying in bed listening to the radio. Nights when you can't sleep and waiting to press record on the tape deck capturing that favorite tune on cassette with snippets of the DJ that talks over the beginning of a tune, the jerk. Laying, listening and thinking of that certain someone you will pine over the next day even though you know in the small rational part of your juvenille mind that your pining days have just begun since you are in Junior High after all. Sweet Child Of Mine brought back memories of the 8th grade dance and how I knew it would be a favorite forever just not knowing that I would be driving down the highway with four spawn and a partner at age 33 happily reminiscing. I would never have imagined my life as it is now and it makes me laugh knowingly at that young girl so long ago.
When those moments take their toll and make the world droopy and weary a sprint around a rest stop chasing laughing spawn while hopping over park benches and large decorative rocks get one in the mood to appreciate the wind farms blinking red in the distance and seeing Orion through the sun roof as the trip continues. I sprinted until I worked up a sweat and and a smile then guzzled some green tea and ginseng.
Two hours away from home the kids are getting their crash course in adult social interaction from watching vulgar British tv with Jaymon in the back of the minivan flatulent in their near sleep state but still giggling quietly. I listen to local bands play on the radio and flip between indy and Jack Johnson when the vibe gets too savage for my mood.
Finally we pull into our driveway and are pleased that it's still warm like the last of the fall nights should be in an ideal world. When the van is unloaded and sleepy little bodies curled up to be snuggled with as soon as I get Jupiters lunch for the next day packed and ready I am thankful for my bed to crawl into.
As I think over the trip in my mind, I am thankful for a partner in crime with the foresight and self control to save money and not accrue debt so we are able to enjoy our time together without stress or worry or want. He sees how he wants his future to be and makes it so without letting instant gratification get in the way as I am so inclined to do.
I think of my family and a nephew whom I see maturity slowly replacing awkward annoyance of adolescence. My Hotz family that although still totes around childhood baggage they manage to be caring, helpful, and attentive to my spawn. My mother in law models for me a practicality and usefulness that I hope to emulate with my own children and future grandchildren in the years to come.
I am thankful to have had warm weather and only a minimal allergic reaction to Kansas. I look forward to the next road trip and am reminded that my time and our lifestyle of having lots of it are so very precious.