Tag Archives: road trips



  1. Important concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics. “Dim,” “Deep,” or “Mysterious”
  2. Awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and mysterious for words.

In 1996, Jon Krakauer, the author of Into Thin Air, published an amazing, thoughtful book entitled Into the Wild.  This book tells the true story of Christopher Johnson McCandless who, after graduating from college, spurned his former affluent life and the bright, comfortable future ahead of him.  Motivated by books he read by Jack London and John Muir, McCandless dedicated himself to a personal vision quest that began in the western and southwestern regions of America.  Changing his name to Alexander Supertramp, McCandless gave his savings of  $25,000 to charity, abandoned all his possessions, left his car in the Mojave Desert, and burned all of his cash to ensure that nothing would hold him back from his journey.  Looking for his own personal paradise on this earth, McCandless even threw away all of his maps and traveled only by his intuition.  In April 1992, McCandless hitchhiked into Alaska and walked into the vast cold wilderness north of Mount McKinley.  For a while, McCandless found shelter in an abandoned old school bus.  Four months later, however, his body was found by a moose hunter.

No one knows what ultimately motivated McCandless’s careless journey.  Questions still remain about a young man’s need to walk away from a rich and promising future to live homeless and starving  in the barren wildness of Alaska.  Some people claim that McCandless had a death wish and a need for self-destruction.    Others just dismiss McCandless’s actions as foolish and innocently reckless.

Well, I guess I am foolish and reckless too….

I don’t claim to know what was in McCandless’s head or why he choose his particular lifestyle, but there is a core element inside of me that feels so connected to his story.  In response to Krakauer’s consistent questions in the book about McCandless’s journey, I think I understand.

There are so many of us on this earth who don’t always feel that we belong in a world that overwhelms us with violent, materialistic, opportunistic situations.  Some of us who struggle to cope, do not medicate ourselves from the stress with alcohol, food, cigarettes, sex, gambling, or prescription drugs, but we do experience a deep and compelling lust all the same.  Wanderlust and the need to move, to travel, to create a universe of our own existence is a hunger that is rarely satisfied.

Restless, never able to settle down, I constantly look for opportunities to escape my existence.  I have no intention of doing this through self-harm.  I just have a relentless need to be lost.  When I travel, I rarely call or text anyone.  I love driving alone down deserted highways  without a single person knowing where I am in that exact moment.  I enjoy the solitude, the drifting away from my reality.  This has been my lifestyle for the last thirty years.

In July, 2016, I finally had the opportunity to realize a lifelong dream.  I spent time this summer exploring Alaska.  This was an amazing turning point for me.  I had made a vow to myself that I would drive through every state in America.  Alaska was the last state I needed to visit in order to satisfy this goal.  However, I refused to celebrate this accomplishment.  I didn’t post notices about it on Facebook.  I didn’t write blogs about my experience.  I just didn’t feel the need.

While I was in Alaska, I felt inspired to go completely off the grid.  I wanted desperately to be lost.  I wanted to cut off all communication to my former life.  I didn’t call or text anyone.  I only posted a few pictures on Facebook when I felt overwhelmed by the incredible scenery of glaciers, waterfalls, mountains, and animals.  But I only posted about 20 of the 350 photos I took.  I haven’t posted any more pictures or information about Alaska since I returned to Kansas.  There is a deep part of me that just needs to keep it quiet and hidden.  To experience so much of God’s amazing wilderness was so profound and awe-inspiring there was no way of putting it into words.  Even the beautiful pictures I have seem bleak when compared to the Alaskan landscape itself.  To this day, two months later, I have no desire to tell people about all of the amazing things that happened to me in Alaska.


I think constantly of running away again to the “last frontier.”  I want to hide in her vast beauty and get lost in her majestic environment.  I want to run with her wilderness and dissolve into her endless splendor.

My life’s purpose was  redefined in Alaska.  I came into contact with who God intended me to be.  I was never meant to have the things of an ordinary life.  I was not meant to have a great job, or a wonderful marriage, or an incredible home.  My only life’s purpose is to grow closer to God.  To know him by his world, by the beauty that surrounds me.  I don’t have to be anything…in Alaska, I can just be…

I don’t care about success, or a home, or money.  Just knowing in my heart and soul that I can move and explore and witness God’s glory is enough for me in this lifetime.

I don’t know Christopher McCandless’s motivation for his journey.

I didn’t travel from this life as far as Christopher did.

But there are times I really wish I had followed him.




Finding Meaning in Las Vegas


Even though I’ve enjoyed traveling around the world, I have been thinking lately that it is time for me to settle down. I need to get married, have a family, own a home and, perhaps, a dog. I’ve never been married and, honestly, I don’t have a lot of faith that it’s a possibility for me. I’m not good at flirting. I am awkward and shy. I’ve always been an outsider. I don’t do well with social games. I always tend to lose.

But last weekend, I was determined to change all of that. I was taking a few days off to go to Las Vegas. I just knew that this was going to be a great weekend for me. I had fantasies that I was going to meet someone very special. I tend to attract more people when I go out of town than when I’m at home. That’s easy to understand though. When I’m in my home city, I run around in sweats, with no make-up and my hair is unkempt. It’s different when I go out of town. I tend to make an effort to make myself more attractive.

So last Saturday, while I was in Vegas, I woke up early and took my time fixing my hair and make-up. I put on a long skirt that makes me look taller. My 5’5” frame looked slimmed and stretched to at least 5’7. I felt great and attractive as I walked down the Vegas strip. I’ll admit I did a few tosses of my long curled copper red hair as I smiled beguilingly at the people walking around me. I even caught myself glancing every now and then at my reflection in the windows of the shops and restaurants as I passed by. I laughed and took pictures and just felt happy and attractive… until I reached one of the overhead pedestrian walkways that crossed over South Las Vegas Boulevard.

I decided not to take the escalator or elevator. I felt strong and healthy so I went bounding up the twelve concrete steps. I was near the top of the stairs when suddenly the front tip of the sandal on my right foot caught on the edge of the top step and I felt myself pitching forward.

I put out my hands but wasn’t able to stop myself. I fell forward onto my face but that wasn’t the end of this escapade. By the time it registered in my brain that I was always falling, I was already rolling down the steps. Within seconds, I found myself sprawled in a tangle of limbs and long full skirt on the corner of Aria and South Las Vegas Boulevard. I laid there for a moment burning with embarrassment in front of all of the people. Yet, I felt strangely alone. No one helped me up. No one asked me if I was okay. Then I opened my eyes to find a group of men standing on the corner pointing at me and laughing hysterically.

I looked down at the palms of my hands that were scrapped raw. My left foot felt twisted and bruised. My biggest concern though was my camera. The little bottom door of the camera laid open and the batteries were falling out. Amid the sounds of loud laughter and chattering voices, I pulled myself up from the ground and snapped my camera back together. Then, with as much dignity as I could muster, I began to walk back up the steps, moving slowly but with my head held high. I reached the top and continued my journey down the strip still feeling my body tingling with embarrassment. I should have known better. I shouldn’t have been strutting. I shouldn’t have been feeling so proud and pleased with myself. I should have known I was going to crash for being so…

“Hey, hey, Red,” I suddenly heard a voice call. “Hey, Red!” I looked away from my thoughts now and noticed a homeless man standing directly in front of me. He was wearing torn denim shorts and a stained brown plaid button door shirt that was hanging open to display his thin bony chest. His long hair was clumped together with dirt and his long goatee was braided to a point at his chin. “Oh, God,” I groaned inwardly as my body still ached from the fall, “what now?”
“This is for you, Red,” the man said as he suddenly turned and jumped onto a short concrete pillar. He sat on the pillar as the fountains of the Bellagio Hotel suddenly burst into action. Large streams of water suddenly sprayed up and danced in time to the music from Phantom of the Opera.

The homeless man didn’t miss a single movement or beat as he waved his hands around in time to the music. I was suddenly captivated by this man, drawn helplessly into his fantasy. As I watched his movements, I truly believed he was conducting a massive water orchestra. Every few seconds, the man turned around and smiled at me as I stood on the sidewalk. At the end of the performance, he jumped down off the pillar and bowed elegantly to me before taking his place again on the sidewalk with the rest of the people who were begging for handouts. I smiled then as I walked down the strip to the Mirage Hotel.

Once inside the Secret Garden, I stood before the cage of the white tigers. Two of the tigers were perched up on a low tree branch as they lazily passed away the sunny afternoon. One of the tigers was staring directly at me. I was so mesmerized by this creature, I couldn’t turn away. I felt so connected to this amazing animal as we continued to make direct contact. The whole universe existed within his round dark eyes. “It’s the hair,” I suddenly heard a voice say. I turned around to look at the trainer who was standing next to me. The young man smiled at me and said, “The tiger is fascinated with your red hair.” I smiled then and felt a light blush tinge my cheeks as I slowly pulled myself away from the front of the cage.

I walked over to the dolphin habitat then. While most people were crowded around the large tank where several trainers were working with three dolphins, I stood next to the second smaller tank, playing with two young dolphins. I watched in awe as the animals jumped out of the water and spun in the air. Several times, the dolphins pushed their gray shiny bodies up on the dock directly in front of me. “See,” a trainer whispered from behind me, “they like you. They’re showing off for you.”

I was actually deeply happy then. I smiled with my heart because now I truly understood the purpose of this day. Maybe I was never meant to get married and settle down. Maybe I was never meant to have a husband and family. Maybe the dog and the house were out of my reach. My life consists instead of jumping dolphins, mesmerizing white tigers, and a homeless man who conducts water symphonies for me. My life is pure and joyful. I am truly blessed.

My International Voice

My childhood fears have ebbed over the years, though every now and then my early experiences visit me in strange ways. Whenever I talk, it’s not unusual for people to ask me where I’m from. People usually claim I have an accent. It’s actually not an accent, but a scar left over from my speech impediment. I have been placed all over the world though. Constant questions about my heritage always come racing at me from strangers. People are always asking me if I’m from Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland…

One day, I was working in a department store in Kansas and this older man and woman approached me. After answering their questions, the man repeated my answers back to me. I nodded, thinking he was doing nothing more than confirming what I had said. But as they turned to walk away, the man grabbed the woman’s arm and whispered loud enough for me to hear, “If these foreigners want to stay in this country, they better learn to speak the language!” At the time, I was shocked by his words. Now, I find it funny. I’m proud of my international voice. Though I am still naturally shy and socially awkward, darkness and loneliness no longer consume me. I no longer need anyone to take care of me, hold my hand, fight my battles for me, or watch over me while I sleep.

One evening, I stood on the balcony of my apartment in California staring out at the San Jacinto mountains as the sun set behind them turning the peaks to a dark gentle brown. I knew at that time that I didn’t want this existence to end. Even with all of the struggles I have known, I don’t want to leave this life. Why is it that I have lived without a home before, not knowing where I was going or how I was going to survive…how was it that I lived off just a bowl of rice every day for several months and still believe, within myself, that I have always had the best of everything? I continue to behave like a young girl, dreaming of castles and princes, even though life has tried many times to convince me there are no such things for me. Sometimes I believe I am incurably optimistic. My greatest accomplishment in life is knowing how to always remain in a state of gratitude. I have always known how to count my blessings.

My experiences have been so different from the many people I have known. My experiences continually pull me from this world and yet hold me to this life. I travel alone and free not knowing where it will lead me. I live traveling aimlessly on the roads that bring me closer to God than any religious following ever could. I say my prayers when I am traveling. When I get scared of being lost and alone, I pray and feel a presence in the empty seat beside me in the car, guiding my path. I am surprised that there are people in my life who still see this as a defect in me, but it’s okay. I know what’s real.

New Adventures–Getting Lost

At that time my family embarked on road trips, there were no cell phones or GPS systems. We did not depend on technology to get us through. We were real pioneers, with nothing but maps and fellow adventurers traveling the highways. All we had to depend on were ourselves and the kindness of family, friends, neighbors, and travelling allies. That was the adventure. We lived dangerously…and we survived. We learned how to stand on our own two feet and find our direction. We may have found ourselves lost every now and then, but we always eventually made it back home.

I don’t think people want adventure any more. They just want to be at their destination fast and soon. Oh, what they have missed along the way is heartbreaking. Why not stop and view the world around us? Otherwise, what’s the point of going anywhere? Why ever leave home?

Mom and I continued to travel that way as we journeyed through America. Just a map and stopping when we got tired, never quite sure where we were going to end up. Wherever we stopped, that’s where we stopped. Talking about it now seems as foreign as the wild-west journeys by covered wagon. But people used to watch out for each other then and travelers could always rely on gas station attendants and friendly locals for free directions, bitter cups of coffee, and interesting conversations about little hometowns.

My brother, Ralph, always had the greatest advice. “Always get lost in a new town,” he suggested. “Whenever you’re lost, you have to force yourself to learn the city to get back. There’s no better way of learning about your surroundings.”

There was only one time in my life that I can ever remember ever getting horribly, desperately lost. I was five-years-old and thought of myself as a big girl. Everyday when I went to kindergarten, Grandma always dropped me off right at the front door. My classroom was just inside, first door on the left…however, over the last couple of weeks, I happened to notice that several of my classmates were coming into the classroom from the opposite direction. They were coming in through the backdoor, and for some reason, I thought that was really cool. So one day, I made up my mind that I did not want to go in to school though the “baby” front door and told my grandmother to drop me off at the back of the building. Grandma was very hesitant at first.

“Are you sure you know the way?” she must have asked me five times as she circled around to the back of the building. Of course…well, maybe…but what difference did it make…I was on the very first of many amazing journeys. Grandma stopped at the back of the building and…uh, oh, there were two doors about five feet apart.

“Are you sure you know which door to use?” Grandma started to worry again. “Let’s go back up front.”

But I couldn’t back down now. I quickly kissed her check, jumped out of the car, and without any hesitation, I walked to one of the doors. I just picked one. I swung it open, stepped inside…and was suddenly completely lost! I had no idea where I was! Did I turn around? No. Did I step back out and try the other door? No. I just started walking…and walking…and walking as if I knew where I was heading. But I had no idea where I was or where I was going. I just tried to pretend like I belonged (which seems to have become a running theme in my life!). I just ran up and down the hallways for about half an hour. The more I ran, the more confused I became. I started to panic and felt warm tears beginning to wind their way down my cheeks. The hallways were empty but I passed rooms full of people. I was just so very shy and didn’t know who to ask or what to say. So I kept walking as if I had somewhere to go…and I did…I just had no clue how to get there.

Suddenly, I turned a corner and out of nowhere there stood before me a young girl. She must have been about ten-years-old and she was holding the hand of a very small child. I don’t know who they were or where they came from? The young girl looked at me and said, “Are you looking for the kindergarten classes?” I couldn’t speak a word. I just shook my head. “Go that way,” she said pointing down the hallway behind her. “Just go to the end of the hallway.”

I took off at a run, even too shy and upset to say “thank you.” I ran down the hallway and there it was…my classroom. I stopped running now. I wiped my tears and then casually strolled into the room, hung up my coat and took my seat, shaking my head and acting as if I had meant to be fashionably late. The teacher, Mrs. Gilbertson, stared at me for just a moment but when I refused to say anything or show any kind of reaction, she simply went on with the class. The next day, Grandma dropped me off at the front door of the school and I never complained again. My big girl adventure was over.

Endless Adventures

At the time my family was taking road trips, speed limits were set at fifty-five miles per hour. It would take us two and a half days to travel from Eastern Kansas to central Colorado. While Dad navigated down Highway 70, Mom was in the front seat with baby Ralph on her lap. Grandma, my two sisters, and I would pile up in the back seat and the open compartment in the rear of the station wagon which also held all of the luggage. Seven people pushed, pulled, and crumpled in a station wagon with no air conditioning and barely enough room to breathe for four days round trip of fun family vacation travel! Very few cars had air conditioning…ours never did! We usually had to travel with all of the windows rolled down to get some relief from the oppressive heat as we sat crunched together in a steamy car rolling down the highway on hot summer afternoons.

Nights were actually the worst, though. We never stayed in a hotel when we traveled. It was just too expensive for all of us. In the evenings, Dad would just pull over to the side of the road and we would all stretch out on top of each other in the back of the station wagon and try to get some sleep. We would wrestle around for awhile, kicking and pushing each other until my dad would holler out for us to settle down or he would take us out of the car one by one and whoop us. Believe me, it just isn’t possible for seven people to comfortably relax and get some sleep in the back of a station wagon on a humid Kansas summer night. Seriously!

Oh, yes, and one summer, on one particular trip, we were joined by a squawking, feisty, temperamental parakeet! Grandma had decided to give her parakeet, Tweety, to her daughter, Nancy, in Colorado, but, hhhhmmm, how to get the bird there? Why, take it on a two-day drive in a hot station wagon with an exhausted, sweaty family, of course! Tweety didn’t seem to mind. The parakeet sang and squawked the entire trip, throwing us so off key when we tried to sing, my father finally condemned us all to silence. Not a peep did he want to hear for the rest of the trip, he demanded.

Well, the bird, of course, was not going to have any of that, especially at night, as she continued to squawk and chirp, keeping us all awake and on edge. It wasn’t too bad when we were actually traveling. All the windows were rolled down and the sound of the wind blowing through the car didn’t make the bird sound so loud. But I swear that parakeet must have been part owl. He really came alive at night. Even with a towel thrown over his cage to calm him down, the bird would chirp and sing all night, keeping us all from a usually bad, uncomfortable night’s sleep.

Though Dad’s bad temper usually quieted the kids down, the bird refused to listen. Even Dad’s curses and threats of turning the bird loose into the hot night air wouldn’t settle Tweety down. As the night stretched on, everyone in the family was feeling the need to “accidently” set Tweety free from her cage and watch her fly out through the open windows. Dad finally gave up and started driving through the night just wanting to get rid of the bird as soon as possible. Tweety did make it safely to Aunt Nancy’s home, but after a long drive, nights without sleep, and massive headaches from all the chirping, she was the only one happy to arrive. The rest of us were ready to head back home….without the bird.

Babies in cars

My family is very fortunate that all of our travels have been safe. In the many years we had traveled on the road when I was a child, we didn’t have any car wrecks or major calamities. That’s not to say we didn’t have our share of interesting mishaps while travelling, though they were always very minor and certainly laughable.

One day, as we were driving along some mountain passes in Colorado, my year-old brother, Ralph, was sleeping on my mother’s lap. Mom had pulled off his small pair of shorts to cool him down in the hot car with no air conditioning. She placed the shorts over his face to keep the sun off of him. As dad drove around a curve, Ralph’s shorts went flying out of the open passenger window. Mom screamed out but it was too late. The shorts were gone down the canyon, never to be seen again. Ralph spent the rest of the day in just a diaper until we could unpack some clean clothes for him.

It’s strange to think that my mother was actually holding my brother on her lap in the front passenger seat as we careened around the mountain passes. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, seatbelts and child car seats were not required. For almost eight complete years, Mom always had a baby on her lap whenever and wherever we would travel.

My first introduction to my brother was in the front seat of my Dad’s old Chevrolet. Just two weeks past my third birthday, my sisters, Theresa and Carol, and I were sent to stay with my maternal grandmother, Edith. It was agony for me. I was a momma’s girl. I missed her horribly for the week she was gone. I cried every night for my mom and threw tantrums continually at my grandmother’s home. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be with my mother.

I was relieved when my dad finally appeared one day to pick us up. He explained that Mom had had the baby. Baby, huh, what?!? What baby?!? I do not remember hearing any talk or explanation for my mother’s absence until that very moment.

Quickly, Theresa, Carol, and I were piled into the car to go to the hospital to get Mom. I remember sitting huddled with my sisters in the back of the car as Dad ran into the hospital. I remember Mom climbing into the front seat with this bundle in her arms. I remember leaning over the front seat while Mom settled herself in the passenger seat of the car, the bundle she carried now resting in her lap. Slowly, she pulled back the blanket, opening the bundle and there was my baby brother, Ralph. I heard my sisters cooing, “He’s so cute….” So I said it too. But in my head, I remember thinking, “This is it?!? This is why my momma had to leave me?!?” It just didn’t seem right, but Ralph had already made himself comfortable in the front seat on my mother’s lap (where I used to be) and that’s where he would travel for the majority of our journeys over the next few years.

We were always safe and secure there in my mother’s arms. There was only one incident that occurred while Mom was holding one of her babies. This was before my brother usurped my place. I was the infant nestled in my mother’s arms.

My father had an old car when they first got married. The front passenger door didn’t always latch and would fly open at unsuspecting moments. One afternoon, Dad went zooming around a corner, the door flew open, and Mom and I went sailing out of the car. By reflex, Mom stuck her foot out the open doorway and by some odd occurrence suddenly found herself standing peacefully on the pavement with her baby girl still sleeping in her arms. Mom felt as if she had been supported or carried to the side of the highway, away from the passing cars. Mom thankfully had a death grip on me and did not let go, so I remained right where I was, wrapped in Mom’s arms, and sleeping through the whole experience.

The transition from car to street had been so smooth, Dad didn’t even realize his wife and infant daughter were gone until he was halfway home. Surprised when he suddenly turned to his right and found an empty seat and open door, he turned around and retraced his path and finally came upon Mom and me on the side of the highway. Pushing open the passenger door for my mom, Dad was still stunned. “What the hell’s wrong with yous…Where did yous people go?” Mom just sadly shook her head and climbed back into the car sitting closer to my dad this time and holding on to me and dear life all the way back home.

So yes, for years Mom rode everywhere with a baby in her arms, always protecting, never letting us go.

Emergency breaks

Driving was always very important in my family because it was our main mode of transportation. We never flew anywhere. Family vacations were always taken by car. Every summer we would either head west to Colorado to visit family or east to St. Louis where the construction company Dad worked for had offices and hotel rooms he could write off at a discounted price.

Having to use the bathroom on a long, two-day drive wasn’t always fun. My father may be hard to motivate to move but once he was on the road, he didn’t want to stop. One time, my father finally got tired of our cries and moans and pulled over at a gas station so we could quickly (“You have two minutes only or I leave without you!”) run in to use the bathroom. My maternal grandmother insisted that she was fine and didn’t need to “spend a penny”. (“Spend a penny” was my grandmother’s usual euphemism for peeing. She referred to toilet paper as “hockey tickets”.) So, once all the kids had piled back into the car within ninety seconds (we had reason to believe Dad), we were back on the highway again.

About an hour later, Grandma began to twitch and groan. “Uh, Joe,” she called up to my dad in the front seat, “I need to use the bathroom.”

“We just stopped an hour ago, Edith,” Dad insisted. “Why didn’t you go then?”

“Didn’t have to,” Grandma responded like a five-year-old child.

Dad sighed, breathing heavily in order to gain control of his temper. “Well, let me find a place to stop…” And we drove for another hour. There was no place to stop. No gas stations for miles. Grandma was becoming more uncomfortable with each passing minute. She was not a small woman and her seated peepee dance was causing the car to careen in several different directions as we continued down the highway. Finally, totally exacerbated, and seeing no other choice, Dad at last pulled over by the side of the road near a clump of trees. “This is the best I can do, Edith,” he told her. “Just go back by those trees.”

Grandma looked absolutely horrified at the thought. “Listen,” Dad tried to convince her, “we haven’t found another gas station. We haven’t even passed another car for miles. This highway is empty right now. There is no one else around. It’s getting dark. You’ll be fine. Nobody is going to see anything.”

Grandma reluctantly climbed out of the car and looked up and down the long, lonely highway. Okay, it looked safe enough.

She moved over to the clump of trees, raised her skirt, lowered her underwear, and…

…Twenty-five, thirty cars suddenly materialized out of nowhere, zooming past my grandmother with her pants down on the side of the road, their headlights illuminating her bare white bottom. She yanked up her pants and ran back to jump into the car. Dad took off while Grandma cussed him for the next three miles as if he had purposely sat up that particular experience to keep anyone from asking to stop to pee again for the rest of the trip.

Childhood Dreams

I am getting to the age where I can look back on my childhood and long for simpler times.  Though most people, I grew up in a time when children didn’t have to be in car seats and riding in the back of open pickup trucks wasn’t illegal.  When I was growing up, parents threw their kids in the back of the car and just told them to hang on.  We all rode in pickup trucks over bumpy, potholed roads.  The fear of bouncing out was all part of the fun! 

It was also the time when, for lack of something better to do, families would take long meandering drives on lazy Sunday afternoons.  Every Sunday afternoon, after church and a lunch of Mom’s pot roast and potatoes, my family would pile into our old Chevy station wagon, lovingly known as Betsy, and hit the highway.  It wasn’t always the most comfortable of rides.  Eight people (my parents, 2 sisters, brother, both grandmas, and me) were stuffed into ole Betsy as we swerved around the highways of Kansas City.  My siblings and I would continually jostle for space, climb on and off of each other’s  lap, and fight over who would have to sit on the “hump”.  

The heat in the car, at times, could be unbearable.  Oh, that’s right…we had no air conditioning!  The windows would be rolled all the way down and the vents would be opened wide but that still didn’t stop the heavy sweating of eight people all packed in together in a small space. 

With no CD, cassette, or DVD player, without cell phones or iPads, my siblings and I would become endlessly restless and bored on these drives.  While my father continually yelled that he would turn the car around, my mother would try to calm her children down by singing.  She would begin with the melody and, once her children joined in, switch to the harmony vocal, which would threw the kids off and we would have to start all over again.  With church every day but Sunday, we sang the songs we knew the best, church hymns.  So, there we were…8 people in a station wagon, hot and sweaty, rolling down the highway, singing offkey versions of “Now Thank We All Our God” and “Let There Be Peace On Earth”. 

Where were we headed?  No place.  At that time, most businesses were closed on Sundays.  The best we could hope for was ice cream from the local Dairy Queen on the way back home if Dad was in a good mood. ….we didn’t always get ice cream!  But this was my life.  I grew up in a car.  I have lived out of a car.  I have done the majority of my traveling in a car. 

I love to be on the open road.  On nights when I have trouble sleeping, I imagine a ribbon of highway in my mind that I travel until I finally drift off to sleep.  I have traveled in so many ways, physically, emotionally, spiritually, conscious and unconscious.   I travel the endless highways of my life and I am ready to share my journey.