Sunday, July 26, 2009

Taking the Long Way Around

Though the pull of my cozy home is getting strong, sometimes I’ve just gotta hit the road! That is what we did this past Thursday. The kids and I loaded up and headed to Burwell. Chad was going to be in the slack on Friday morning so we thought we’d meander that a-way.

Truly enjoying summer means slowing down, which I am doing for the first time in well, maybe since grade school? I have a destination but I am no longer concerned with the pace of getting there. I’ve spend 15 years chasing rodeos with my husband, going from one to the next, sometimes as many as three per day. We’ve been known to leave at 11 pm and drive all night to get to another one at 7 am the next morning. Something inside me called an end to this madness and I vowed that I wouldn’t be going on anymore of these marathon hauls. I love being with my man and traveling as a family but at the age I am right now, I also value rest and a comfy bed that isn’t moving!

This weekend was one of the slowest yet and it was truly magical. I was reintroduced to the slow lane and am filled this morning with the nostalgia that comes from old awakened memories. Maybe these are not personal memories that I’ve had, but those faint, familiar memories that live somewhere in my ancestral lines. Memories of a time when speed limits were well under 65 and there were no interstates. I have craved car trips where we drive for a spell and then find a nice little park to pull over and relax at. My fantasy came close to true this weekend. We spend the night in what I thought was a sleepy little town. Little did I know that two semis would roll into Taylor, waking me with rattling diesel engines and boldly announcing my sleep was OVER!

We promptly packed up camp and headed on down the road. The day was spent visiting with dear friends, watching the kids splash in the river and then bedding down in the ol ’65 camp trailer. The old girl is really rustic but she is everything that we could want. There is no shower, no water, no toilet but she does have great ac, a solid roof, comfy beds and a door that locks (that is another story!). This was my take on creative camping and I am so glad that I followed my heart rather than my head on this one. We’ve used this little camp trailer a lot. She’s been down the road many miles and it is my prayer that she’ll just keep on going. She’s looking a bit more rough this year with chipped paint and dings and dents, though each one just gives a little more character.

When I pull her, I am forced to slow down and always reminded that life doesn’t have to be lived at a 100 mph! I am instantly in the mood to go searching for treasures in antique stores and find a subtle groove that exists deeper than my surface thoughts.

It came to me that my idea of a weekend getaway doesn’t involve all that much money, or glitz, just good old fashioned fun. We didn’t frequent any department stores, fancy chain restraints, malls or movie theaters (although Sandstone Grill) was delicious. We didn’t go to a spa, fancy resort or a huge water park, we didn’t even get a shower until we came home (stinky, I know!)

We only saw interstate and traffic when we came through North Platte on the way home. Cities and noise seemed 1,000 miles away. My kids heard a screech owl for the first time. They spent an afternoon and the next morning trying to catch minnows and a 2 hour trip back home planning their Halloween costumes (can’t wait for you to see what comes from this brainstorm session!)

There were several stops on the way home, (Parker’s bladder is very small) and each time I took a deep breath in and offered thanks for the slower pace. I am grateful for being able to take the long way around. I have missed so much and now I am ready to take it all in. We all get to where we are going anyhow. I am committed to enjoying every moment.

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