We rose early the next morning, packed our belongings and said our goodbyes. It’s always hard to say goodbye to those whom you only get to see once or twice a year, but each year it becomes harder, because you secretly wonder if it will be the last one.
The King of the Road, was ready to hit the road and eager to get to our next destination – the home of our eldest child in S. Carolina. It would be another day of driving through beautiful mountains, lush landscapes, color that I hadn’t observed at home in more than six months. This trip would take about half the time we had driven each day so far, yet when you’re anxious to get somewhere, it always seems to take longer. We’d talked about stopping at a few sites on the way, but a couple of gas and potty stops were the only allowances. The possibility of stopping for lunch or an ice cream cone was mentioned, but never happened.
We had lots of snacky things to keep us from starving to death, but it would’ve been nice to stop, stretch our legs and take in a monument or two. In the back of my head, I had visions of this mad man driving through this beautiful territory on a quest of sorts. My visions turned him into a monster behind the wheel and feelings of impatience turned into a full blown panic attack.
It was about 3:30, or was it 4:30? I had lost track of the time zones. It was about an hour to our final destination. I knew no one would be home yet to greet us, but the plan was to press on until we got there. Maybe we’d stop for a bite to eat before getting there.
I remembered a long ago family vacation. We were socked in with fog on the Trail to the Sun out west. The fleeting image of Mt. Rushmore had previously been hidden in the mist. The ride to the sun was engulfed in the murkiness of clouds. It undoubtedly was a good thing, since I’m terrifited of heights, but our fearless road warrior pressed on. His determination to reach the west coast and view the ocean pushed him forward. The view of the ocean was eventually reached, but also unseen because of the limited visibility.
There’s something kind of scary about a man behind the wheel. It seems they believe they are the only ones who know how to drive and that everyone else on the road is an idiot. Maybe it has something to do with being the inside of a semi-sandwich that motivates. Maybe it’s the eagerness to reach the destination. Whatever it is, I began having visions of that old family vacation and wondering if we’d ever get there. I needed to stretch – I needed some water – I wanted to stop for a real meal, rather than a bag of potato chips. I was needy to the max and my needs were being overlooked, or so it seemed in my mind. It was all about ME!
I’d lost track of the TripTik and the roads were meshing together at a rapid rate of speed. The map said we had another 75 miles to go before the next exit and I was pretty sure I could take it easy for a while. I was certain we still had several miles to go before we had to make an exit (which was actually true.) I guess that’s when it happened. He asked where we were. I felt completely discombobulated, dehydrated, crabby and self-absorbed. This usually mild mannered 75 year old woman, who is normally pretty nice, turned into a sort of Mrs. Hyde. Every ugly hormone connected with the female anatomy unleashed the torrent of rage which had been building since Knoxville.
I won’t go into details, but to say the least, it wasn’t a pretty sight. After slugging down a bottle of water and pulling myself together, we continued on the road again. Not much conversation from then on. I should’ve felt better once I’d gotten all that anger out in the open, but I just felt rotten and guilty for creating such a scene.
We arrived before our daughter, but were greeted by our grandson, Jordan and the cat, Missy, who thinks she’s a dog. Thus began the next few days of reunion, renewal and restoration. It was really good to be there.
Next time – our S. Carolina adventure along with pictures.