It began on a Monday. 'Of course, it would be a Monday,' I mumbled as I crawled into the backseat of a very comfortable car just after midnight, knowing that 'comfortable' was really relative to the length of the ride. After about an hour of the expected twelve hour trip I understood the truth of this knowledge and actually considered kicking myself a good swift one in the posterior for even considering the journey... but realized immediately that not only was there not enough room for the maneuver, I likely would not have been able to move either knee to accomplish it anyway. They were already suffering from 'bent knee' syndrome.
My grandchildren, ages thirteen and eight, shared my cocoon of torture but were snoozing blissfully which was a good thing I suppose. I found myself looking forward to our first scheduled pit stop with the enthusiasm I once thought was only warranted for those very special occasions... and quickly moved this moment to the top of that special list.
I looked over at the snoozers and prayed their nap would be lengthy and attempted to find my own little cranny in the cocoon. I popped on my earphones hoping my chosen audio book would help to temper my discomfort and allow time to pass more quickly. In a matter of minutes I again thought of that posterior kick upon realizing that I had picked the most boring book in my collection. Another truth of life revealed... boredom does not lend itself to instant snooze as you might believe. Instead I found myself drumming my fingers on a knee that was already in pain. Another truth... drumming fingers does not equal therapeutic massage.
Oh, the joys of travel!
Pit stop!!! Three hours down and nine more to go! Horrors! Would the snoozers be awakened? Well, of course, they would be! Good thing, I had to admit. A wet cocoon would not be on my wish list of good things.
On our way again... and the snoozers do go back to snoozing. I lifted my eyes skyward and mouthed a heartfelt 'thank you' to any divine entity responsible. Telling myself I must get some sleep because daylight will come and the snoozers will awaken, I settled back to enjoy my boring choice of reading material and smiled at my silent grumpiness. I was actually quite proud of myself. Only nine hours to go. Oh joy....
Another pit stop!! Again I murmured a 'thank you' to anyone who might be listening but for a different reason and heard my son-in-law chuckle, asking if I had enjoyed my nap. Whoa... I really had napped! Daylight had arrived and the snoozers had awakened.... and now only six hours to go!
The journey continued and another truth was revealed. I never once chided my daughter or son-in-law for their apparent bending of speed limit rules. The thought did cross my mind but my knee threatened to make it possible for that posterior attention I contemplated earlier to become a reality. Enough motivation to zip my lip and leave the driving to the 'experts'. I nearly choked on that thought but my knee spoke up again and...yes, I listened.
I really was looking forward to this trip and I told myself that as the miles crawled by in endless monotony. I was going to be visiting family living in the foothills of the Ozarks while the experts and snoozers were going on to enjoy a theme park and have their first fun vacation in a couple of years. So it was all good... except, of course, for the road trip and two very talkative knees. After several more pit stops and even a brief doze or two we arrived! After a short visit filled with many hugs and much laughter, my fellow travelers continued on to their final pit stop and I settled in for a few days of quiet and relaxation. I think I even heard a sigh of relief escape from knees in dire need of space and a long soak in a tub.
The next few days were spent simply enjoying... I love my bayou home but I must admit that the mountains draw me with their own charm. The scent of air filled with its unique blend of nature's best and worst, the feel of a mountain morning, cool breeze on skin, the music of a feathered concerto, welcoming in off-key renditions of familiar songs, the echo of life that comes from the earth and sky, and the peace that settles upon me at sunset...all have made my visits here special memories. I never doubted I would add more and, of course, I did.
Time does not stand still, however, and the day came when we must journey home. It was mid-morning and after tearful goodbyes and more of those family hugs, I again crawled into that comfortable car, the cocoon of torture....twelve hours and counting I thought. Yes, the joys of travel.... The knees only groaned!
I soon learned that these twelve hours would be spent a bit differently than those spent on the first round. The snoozers would not be snoozing and the pit stops would likely be more frequent. I also learned a few more of life's truths and some gave me much pleasure in the discovery. I learned that I still possessed the ability to give children that 'look'. It is tempered a bit with grandmothers' gray but the effect is still the same. I learned that patience is indeed a virtue. I did already know this but a refresher course is never a bad thing, is it? I also learned that though knees can forgive, they do not forget and likely I will be reminded of my road trip for some time to come. I do not fear the swift kick though because even they realize the attempt would be futile really. Finally, I learned that growing older means accepting life as it comes, both good and bad, but always embracing the living and breathing of every moment. Again, something I knew but the reminder is always nice.
Oh, the joys of travel... and the joy of coming home!
©mdbadgerow June 2010
By Myrna D.
© 2011 Myrna D.
(All rights reserved)