I had planned to leave as soon as the boys got out of school, but I was tired and had more to do in the week that I had counted on. The taxes got done on Thursday and storms were coming through on Friday. It was good I didn’t want to drive Friday. Then after school the boys came home to play, I continued to wash and fold the pile of laundry that needed doing before I could pack the bags. The the older boy got sick all over the friend’s house. It was good that I didn’t want to drive Friday!
Saturday morning everyone was feeling fine and the things got packed in the van. A proper breakfast and shower and we loaded up. Daddy didn’t get to come with us this time. It was very windy on the road, but it was much better than the weather that had come through during Friday afternoon and night. As is usual, the ride seemed much longer to the kids than it did to the driver. We made it six hours of driving and I gave in to getting a hotel room. I would have liked to go another hour more, but the hotel time was good and that meant the boys (and Mom) got to swim in the hotel pool.
There is something about a journey home, the way the road stretches out and how the familiarity grows just like Spring the closer you get to the destination. My heart ached with joy as the trees were more and more pine and the leaves on the hardwoods came out longer and more abundantly. The rivers spoke to my memory with each bridge we crossed.
As we got closer to my childhood home, sightseeing visits of my past appeared on the highway. Usually we don’t have time to make any stops, but this day was different. Without telling the boys, I set the GPS to a spot I hadn’t seen since middle school. As we pulled into the parking lot, they spotted the train cars. As we walked into the middle of the campus, I teared up with the reconnection of my life to this place. We’d missed the lunch hour, so there would be no fried chicken, but of course the boys didn’t care. They were making a new memory, just for them, and that meant seeing the trains and the model train exhibit- food wasn’t on their menu.
We saw the trains, we even rode the trolley. We took pictures. We bought train engineer hats and conductors’ pocket watches. We got drinks and then it was time to say goodbye to the trains.
The last hour and a half of the drive must have been the longest part of the trip. Isn’t it always that way? We got to Nanna and Granddad’s house a bit later than I had originally planned, but the adventure was so much better than just driving on through.
Giving gratitude on this Monday for:
37. A safe drive with a rested and ready driver
38. Hotels with swimming pools and restaurants
39. Cheaper gas down South
40. Everyone sleeping in one big cozy, comfortable hotel bed (with no bed bugs!)
41. New luggage used for the first time
42. Room in back for the boys’ bicycles
43. Schoolhouse Rock! DVDs in the van
44. Sharing with my kids favorite childhood memory places and videos, and having them enjoy them as much or more than I
45. Being Home
46. A Picnic at a new park on a gorgeous day
47. Friendly Canadian Geese
48. A Whole Foods gift card to get some special treats to share