Every once in a while a man has to get out of dodge and take road trip. In college a road trip consisted of; scraping up some gas money, spending most of it on snacks ( pickled red-hot sausage for me please), a car full of screaming teenage boys, very loud 80s music in the cassette, excessive speeding and not planning ahead for the trip home. They were spontaneous, reckless and usually fun fraught with a touch of danger and self-induced issues.
Now our road trips are just a touch different; Get through all the days appointments, PLAN for two days, pack for you the kids and for every contingency under the winter sun, take care of the dog, take care of the cars and leave about 2 hours later than planned, with no pickled red-hot sausage for dad because a 40-year-old gut can’t handle it. But probably the biggest difference is the purpose. In college, the purpose was not usually well-defined and sometimes not well intended. Now there is a purpose. Perhaps for a shopping trip, a family visit, or just some family time.
This past weekend we went out on one of our road trips to attend a family function. When my family has a function it is usually not an intimate thing. This time it was to congratulate my brother on graduating from law school and to celebrate my grandmother’s 81 (0r 82) birthday. After four years of working a full-time job and taking classes my brother was finally able to graduate with his law degree and take his bar exam, all while getting fantastic grades. We are very proud of him, and we just hope he doesn’t bill us when we call him, because he can be a little long-winded at times and we don’t have that kind of money.
Grandma, well she keeps plugging along. She is the type of grandma that acts about 1/3 her age. My kids love being around her because she is so much fun, In fact Ben just did a road with her to Homer and he said he was laughing the whole time; it was his best road trip ever. So maybe she acts more like a 1/7 her age. Whatever it is I have learned that the older you get the younger you act the younger you will feel.
The event itself was just that, lots of puroke, potato salad, turkey and desserts; new family members introduced, stories were shared, relationships rekindled, people were honored, and all were fed well. It was awesome. There were approximately 57 people in attendance. I could not give an exact number because approximately 30 of those people were under the age of 14 and they didn’t stand still long enough to be counted. We ended up having a grand time seeing family members we had not seen in years, and some new ones we had never seen. Unfortunately we were unable to stay as long as we would’ve liked, perhaps next time I will skip that pickled red-hot sausage on the drive over.