I’ve just returned from a grand adventure! My daughter and I launched out on a three-day road trip from Florida to Missouri to move her to a new city. I’d never driven further than the northern borders of my own state prior to this trip, but my girl had a new job waiting and this mama was going to get her there.
Quite frankly, the newness of this undertaking didn’t occur to me until a few hours into the second day. I was forging new territory, on my own…hands on the wheel and foot on the gas. This is not to say I’d never covered this ground before…no, I was familiar with the landscape, but I had always experienced it in from the passenger seat.
This time, I was forging new personal territory by doing something I’d never done before.
The second day taught me that I have the distinct talent of stretching a seven hour trip into ten hours. It all started with a detour to Buc-cees, the Disney of gas stations. We gassed up, grabbed some sugared nuts, a brisket taco, made a gourmet hot chocolate and snapped a few photos along the way.
Only after driving away did I discover that our little detour had added the first hour to our trip. But that was ok…we were fed and ready to hit the open road; however, the road wasn’t as open as I had anticipated. In fact, it was downright small; all two-laney and sloooooow.
After a call to the husband, we were now educated to the fact that Google maps doesn’t figure in speed when determining the best route. We were in uncharted territory…a small, winding Alabama road. Thankfully, the road eventually widened to four lanes as we began our northern ascent through Mississippi.
Of course, our stomachs were soon calling again, so we branched off to a nearby town to hit a well-reviewed burger joint. But alas, we gave up after circling the block three times; only to find out from a waitress at the second highest reviewed spot that the burger place was indeed there; tucked behind the post office, down a tight lane across from the second-hand store. Nope, you can’t really see it from the road…sigh.
Here, I should mention that rest areas are few and far between on off-interstate travel, which left the two of us searching for other points along the path…where bathroom doors are opened with screwdrivers OR where each girl takes turns as the lookout while the other uses the men’s bathroom as the co-workers can be overheard puzzling over what would make someone think they could flush “that” down the women’s toilet??
I’m sure it’s starting to sink in about now…what’s the point of a road trip story without diverging on the path of a life metaphor?…well, at least when I’m telling the story.
This three-day road trip was little about the drive and a lot about the journey.
Yep, I learned a few lessons along the way…
Yes, that second day was long, but I wouldn’t trade the chats; the podcasts of “Crime Junkies”; or belting out songs in harmony with my best girl. We’ll always remember that screwdrivers make great keys.
Life is full of opportunities…to do something that you’ve never done before; to go somewhere you’ve never gone or to be something you’ve never been. We are seldom limited by lack of opportunity, but rather by our own inability or unwillingness to step past our comfort zones or the four walls of our accepted reality.
We seldom laugh and reminisce about the perfect days.
It’s the bumps and inconveniences that make the best life stories. You alone decide how to perceive events of your life…do you cry or laugh over every missed step? It’s amazing how your perspective can frame your journey!
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
And, just like that, we ended up in Missouri three days after we set out on our first solo road trip. Baby Girl is moved in and I’m back home in Florida with a journey in my pocket and a few more shared memories.