Tuesday, July 23, 2013

road trip home

Every summer when I was young, my family and I would climb into our old van, and make a cross country trip on I-80 from Wisconsin to Utah.  My dad used to joke that he could have been a truck driver as we drove for hours and hours at a time.  I can still see him in my mind's eye, dark curly hair, tank top, and a wonderful tan.  My mom had beautiful long brown hair that was usually keep in a braid down her back.  It was just my sister and I and my mom and dad.  Long stretches of road between vast plateaus.  Watching and hoping for something new over each horizon, the sun setting quietly.  Often, I would stay up late with my dad, talking to him and checking the limited radio channels.  It was always exciting to come into range of a new station.  And every once in awhile, I would get to hear my favorite song, Captain and Tennille's, "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart." Looking back, those trips are one of my fondest and most enduring memories.

I think, that perhaps, I may have inherited just of little of that "truck driver" from my dad.  To this day, there's something about driving across the country that really appeals to me.  Last Sunday, we ventured out on our own little road trip as we drove home from Cali.  With Gregg away on business, and Sadie working in Phoenix, it was just the kids and me.  Drew rode shot gun, and we talked and talked about lacrosse, and music, and his friend's new online "ride" shop, and hypnosis, and high school, and rules of the highway, and our summer, and just life in general.  And my "drive" playlist delivered with Creed, and Daughtry, some classic eighties and my favorite "road trip" song, Holiday Road by Lindsey Buckingham.   And as I drove, I felt so grateful to have time and conversation with this amazing fifteen year old that I get to call my son. We were sad to leave California. The temperature was so very kind to us.  But, as we descended down the green mountain and onto the dessert, we were all reminded of just how beautiful the dessert can be.
 All courtesy of Sierra and Drew with my iphone.
And as we arrived on the edge of Phoenix, and came to the end of my "drive" playlist, "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" by Chicago came on.  And from the back of the vehicle, Sierra said, "Hey, I know this song!".  Funny.  Sierra is thirteen.  I was thirteen when I first heard that song, driving home from Utah so many years ago.
And after one package of double stuff cookies, a couple of large cokes, and several bathroom breaks, we arrived home.
And the sun set quietly, just like it did on those road trips, so many years ago.

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