Long Trips and Short Memories

Following a fantastic celebration of Pentecost on June 12, my wife and I packed a borrowed Ford Explorer and headed southward to Florida to take some “things” to our daughter, Sarah.  These “things”, such as her china and her high school yearbooks, had been collecting dust in our basement for several years.  We really didn’t relish the long drive, but we were tired of the unwanted clutter in our basement.  So off we went, with our little dog, Chip, the ever alert min-pin. 

Our first desination was my father’s house in Plainfield, Indiana.  He refinishes furniture for fun and wanted to send a storage chest and a machinist’s chest to Florida with us for our daughter and son-in-law.  The best news was that he was going with us.  As the primary care giver for my invalid mother he was unable to make any trips for almost 20 years.  With her passing he is now able to take on new journeys.  So off we went.

When you look at the trip mileage it’s a long way from Farmington Hills to Tampa, Florida via Indianapolis, Indiana.  With the three of us gabbing away, however, a long trip became a short trip.  We told stories and shared memories.  What one person couldn’t remember, the other two could fill in the blanks.  Short memories became long and cherished memories.  We drove from Indianapolis to the Drury Inn in Marietta, Georgia, with only two stops on the way.  As we entered our adjoining hotel rooms we noticed a huge billboard across from our third floor windows.  The sign read, “Don’t be Scammed. Trust Dale!”  What a laugh!

We arrived at our daughter’s house Tuesday evening and had a wonderful five day visit with Sarah and Frank, and our granddaughters, Madison and Sadie.  The following Monday dad, Chip and I got back in the car for the return trip.  Susan stayed to help with child care because the usual child care provider’s mother was scheduled for surgery.

Now I may seem to be just wandering around with my thoughts and I probably am.  But then again, perhaps it’s sometimes good not to be always rushing to a pre-arranged destination.  Perhaps it is in our occasional wanderings that we can enjoy the journey.  Long trips don’t seem to be as long.  Stress-induced shortened memories lengthen in relationship with others.  We give ourselves permission to relax and to enjoy what’s going on in and with our lives.

You probably already know the feeling.  But if you don’t, feel free to try it.  After all, “Don’t be scammed, trust Dale!”