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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Are We There Yet?

The middle of the summer reminds me of family vacations.

Living in Ohio, sure we took weekend trips to King’s Island and Cedar Point, Amish Country and Reds baseball games, but once a summer for a week or two, we’d go on what I considered a real vacation.

Back then, that meant LLLOOONNNGGG trips in the car (a powder blue, four-door 80s Oldsmobile tank). Since I’m an only child, I usually got to invite a friend or cousin (all of whom are also my friends!) along to keep me company.

Boy, we had some memorable trips.

Charleston, SC/Fort Sumter

Gettysburg/Washington D.C.,

Florida, a couple times

Badlands, Moose Jaw Canada, Wall Drug, Mt. Rushmore, and all the key locations in the life of Laura Ingles Wilder in between.

I estimate we covered over 10,000 miles of Interstate in this fabulous, fascinating country.

While road trips are ultimately about destination, they’re also about the trip. How to pass all that time and all those miles – the success or failure of which makes or breaks the entire vacation.

Of course, today they have individual monitors in the backs of headrests, DVD players, PS3 systems, iPod chargers, even lap top computers, all of which did not exist when I was taking road trips – and it wasn’t even that long ago!!

No, we had to get creative – playing I Spy, 20 Questions, The Alphabet Game (where you take turns and say your name, where you’re from, where you’re going, and how you’re getting there using only words beginning with your assigned letter), and License Plate (where you try to find all 50 states during the course of the trip, semi trucks not included) occupied some of those hours – at least until the adults needed some peace and quiet (which meant, it’s time to listen to Billy Joel or Barry Manilow or Bonnie Tyler on the 8-Track player).

(FYI - click the pic to listen to an 80s classic!)

Reading was a favorite past time for me, but then I don’t get carsick.

Oh, there was the time driving through No Where, North Dakota that my friend, Angela, and I counted every grasshopper that leapt from the sizzling, deserted road to collide with the windshield with vivid, audible SPLATs. There were so many, I lost count. We couldn’t see out the windshield by the time we reached the Canadian border.

And let me tell you, that kind of thing sticks with you for years.

Napping, singing, doodling, reenacting Dukes of Hazard or Chips episodes with our stuffed animals, quarreling, and dividing the seat into two exact equal parts to keep from killing or, heaven forbid, touching each other, were all a part of these treks to get to the destination.

When we exhausted every possible option of amusement inside a 6x4x4 backseat, my cohort and I would resort to voicing the mantra of road trips throughout the ages – “Are we there yet?” – Over and over and over, until we drove my parents in sane.

Who hasn’t asked that question?

I find myself asking it on the journey of life sometimes.

Okay, a lot of times.

Over and over and over.

But God just smiles and encourages me to keep doing what I’ve been doing.

Which is?

Well, learning all those lessons you learn taking freakishly long road trips.

Creativity. Navigation. Cooperation. Negotiation. Patience. Endurance. Self-control. Fellowship. Rest. Trust. Even enjoying the view every once in a while.

Our Heavenly destination will be like a never-ending vacation. It’s understandable that we’d ask from time to time, “Are we there yet?”

But the journey can also end up being pleasant.

YOU, Dry Ground reader, are part of my pleasant journey! Thanks for dropping by today. Be blessed!

(photos by photobucket.com)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lori,

I am sitting here smiling. Thanks for resurrecting those wonderful memories. You didn't mention my favorite - the road-side-rest in SD. I still laugh about the flies. :o)

Great trip down memory lane and great perspective on life!
Thanks!
Love you!

Lori Lundquist said...

:-) I knew you'd think of the flies! I thought of them too. How could I not?

Lori Lundquist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lynnrush said...

Awesome post. Yeah, brings back memories of our drives up north near the Canadian border (grandparents). But counting bug splats...yeah, never did that. LOL.

Awesome.