This morning I am finishing packing last minute things, heading to work for a few hours before stopping home, picking up Harley and hitting 64 to Mom and Dad's to spend a couple of days with my parents, sister and her children. I will drive home on Saturday after they leave to travel back to North Carolina to give my parents a few days of quiet. Next week, I will be meeting my other sister and her children at the airport and following them to Mom and Dad's house for a few days. I cannot tell you what a luxury this is to me. For so very many years we were not in driving distance to one another. Well- we *could* but it would mean being on the road for ten to twelve hours plus per leg and that would not a weekend make.
Now that Mom and Dad are stationary- Dad just retired from the military in 2001- it is much easier for us to come together and be able to visit. Having moved out here, just a hundred miles from them- if I needed to I could make it a day trip. The girls,on the other hand, have to deal with school, activity, work and airline schedules but this is the third summer we have been able to have time with one another.
In April, when Jim's mom passed away, we were able to pack the car and just go. It was over 16 hours with stops, but we made it back with no major problems. I paid for it physically with severe pain in my hips and back after all was said and done, but with better planning of my tramadol, I know we could do it again.
One thing that Jim and I have never taken for granted is our ability to do a road trip and still enjoy one another. I know many people for whom a road trip is so very stressful that they end up fighting and just not liking one another before it is over. It has never been that way with us. He prefers to drive, I have no problem with letting him. He has no problem with asking me to take the wheel when he is tired and I enjoy the break from being the navigator. Neither of us minds making pit stops and we almost always overestimate our time so that we don't feel pressured to get there too quickly. Even Harley is a good passenger and even better since we discovered that she can take a little bromine (a type of dramamine) and still function once we get to our destination. It doesn't knock her out but keeps her tummy settled which keeps her appetite there. Even better is that we enjoy just getting out and exploring. We both find it fun to just get in the car and go someplace new. We have spent a number of Sundays just driving through the area trying new streets and seeing where it takes us.
I am so grateful that we have the ability and the tolerance to just get in the car and travel. Whether it is the hour and half journey to see my folks for the weekend or just driving around Louisville for a few hours or a long road trip back to MA- it is one of the joys in my life that RA has yet to take away from me. Who knows- some day we may be that little old couple in the RV that takes off and drives across country for the fun of it.