Dear Journal: Open Road

The_open_road, Journal,

I’m on the edge of another road trip, and I can’t even explain how good it feels to get out on the open road, to feel the wind on my face, to see the dark tinge of the world through my sunglasses, and to have the cacophonous sound of my children in the back seat. Oh yeah, and the best part of the whole trip — my wife by my side as she has been for so many of these trips in the past 13 years. Sure, I’ve made the trip several times by myself during that same time period, and it’s just not the same.

I guess I’m just one of those guys who needs to have the noises of family around him all the time. Sure, Lexi screaming the same thing over and over again, or Maddie wailing because she fell over another cliff in Temple Run, can get annoying, but more often than not it’s those sounds that keep me going. Occasionally I catch myself looking in the rearview mirror at them, oblivious, deep in some battle with whatever digital demons are around, or intent on coloring Hello Kitty black and green regardless of her original colors. Just knowing that I have them around soothes me.

And the road stretches on in front of me, wide and clear, even if I’m sandwiched between multiple 18-wheelers, or if I’m trying to merge into traffic going 80 miles an hour. How I wish I could bottle up that feeling so I could pull it out, whip off the top, and just take a whiff of it when I’m feeling down, or trapped in a cage. I want to take a picture of that “Welcome to Pennsylvania” sign and slap it down in a photo album to commemorate that feeling, in order to feel it again. It’s the road, and getting somewhere, and taking my kids back to the place I grew up, it all just blends together and makes me hum in anticipation. I assume the feeling is probably akin to a blind person getting to finally see.

Then it will be over, and we’ll be “somewhere,” and we’ll be sedentary, but there will be some more open road somewhere out there, in our near future, and I’ll anticipate it just as eagerly as before. It doesn’t matter where we go either, just that we ease the pedal down and slide out into the flow of traffic going SOMEWHERE on the open road, with good music and good company. That’s all I can ask.



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