It doesn’t take much to get me in the car.
Someone once suggested that I am like a loyal family dog – open the front door and yell “load up!” and BOOM, I’m in the front seat with my head out the window – panting – just waiting to see where we’re going.
O.K. I admit it…I like going places.
I’m someone who has always believed that any “trip” you may take should begin the minute you walk out the front door and in that, you open yourself for any manner of “adventure” that may just happen to happen.
For instance, many people think of their destination as the beginning of their trip, such as a long awaited vacation to some distant shore. The time devoted to get there and home is viewed as just the means to an end and a necessary burden that cannot be avoided and certainly not something to be anticipated or desired.
The downside of that mind-set is not just the fact that there is potentially a whole lot of time that is not viewed in a very positive manner but much worse, you may not be in a mood to be open for all sorts of adventures and great life experiences that happen to happen along the way, wherever that way may be headed.
Road trips have always had the potential to be a great source of entertaining events – even if the situation involved a temporal or physical detour from the original objective. They often are the fodder for great memories and stories that seem to get better with age.
An old friend and co-worker recently died and I got a notice that a memorial service/ celebration of life was scheduled for this past weekend half way across the state.
Time for a Road Trip.
While I had not seen him in quite a few years, it was clear from family and friends in attendance that Ray will be sorely missed and I am sorry he passed.
But the family was wise enough to know that we are all destined for the same future, at some point or another. And by pairing a graceful memorializing with a beer and barbeque get-together the gathered group could eulogize the departed while exalting the living. And with two kegs and many pounds of barbequed tri-tip, a good time was had by all.
The Irish are no fools when it comes to the worship and whoopee of a wake.
While my recent road trip did not have anything more memorable that two days of great downhill skiing with my daughter and her significant other, a stay at a fairytale-like mountain house of some great friends, and incredible winter driving scenes involving mountains, desert, valley and big cities, I made a conscious effort to really observe – and appreciate – the world as it passed me by and me it.
Oh, there was one thing that made us laugh…
We stopped at a highway rest area along Highway 395 between the snow covered mountains and Honey Lake to relieve ourselves and change into our “Sunday go to meet’n” clothes. While we stood behind the car we wondered if anyone would suspect us of being bank robbers, changing into our get-away clothes. I guess you had to be there…
So, don’t wait until someone dies to get out and take a road trip.
And remember…it starts as soon as you wiggle the front door knob just one more time to make sure it’s locked.
So next time you are on the road and see a car go by with some idiotic looking guy – face pressed against the glass or maybe even head out the window – looking like everything is a whole new world to him…give me a wave… and if the scene makes you smile – whether with me or at me, good on you.