We did it – 26 hours of travelling all in one stretch.
I really like to drive all night, once in a while, when the situation warrants it. You get to visit, listen to music, listen to teaching, and put a lot of miles behind you.
The other night I heard this bit that I wanted to share with you – move it forward to around 26:30, then listen for about a minute until he finishes the story. (click here)
For those of you who know me, especially from my younger years, you will laugh and think, “of course she likes that.” (Ahem, mom.) But I think it reflects something that we desperately need in our discourse right now.
Anyway, we had a very long way to go. This is by far the longest stretch on our journey with no one to visit on the way. Our original plan of where to stay didn’t work out, and I resented paying for a hotel room when we would just have a very short sleep (or to take the trip over 3 days and pay for 2 hotels), and I wasn’t particularly concerned with seeing all the landscape. It worked really well because a couple areas could have been really difficult to navigate since I’m not really used to city driving. Our route took us right through downtown Chicago – but at 1 am instead of at 9 am, so it was fairly simple.
The other reason, is that this is one of the “last times.”
The last time we drove all night was a few days before Beatrix died.
We were camping with my family, just for a couple days, and we wanted to get every moment out of that that we could. And then we were headed to an event, a lot of miles away, that we didn’t want to miss any of. Plus, travelling with a toddler for hours and hours on end isn’t really fun for anyone – and we wanted to have a bit of good family time, just us, in between things with large groups of people she didn’t know well in strange locations. SO: We laid her down in the tent, then watched some of the meteor shower with my cousins and my parents. At about midnight, we transferred her to the carseat and drove as far as we could while she slept.
Once she woke up, we stopped at almost every town. I think it took us something like 13 hours to put 6 hours of driving behind us. But we played at parks, we picnicked, we spent time playing with her, and generally took it easy. (I mean, Mike and I were up all night, we needed to go easy too.) By the end, Beatrix was really tired of travelling, too. When she didn’t want to listen to any of the kids music she usually liked, we just put on music we liked and sang loud along with it. (I remember her bewildered smile. She wanted to be grumpy but couldn’t resist participating when her parents were having fun.)
It was a Really Good Day.
There are a lot of things, that the “last time” I did this was with Beatrix. I’m pretty sure I’ll never eat corn without thinking of her – but I like corn, and don’t want to give up eating it because it holds memories. So I ate corn when it was put in front of me shortly after her death. And I decided to enjoy the taste, even though just the sight of it made me want to weep. (And so what if it does? Nearly everything makes me cry.) If there is too long of a space, between the time of memory and the time of doing it again, then it becomes too hard, too difficult to face, too difficult to change when the “last time” I did this was.
So now, I still have that sweet memory of driving through the night, and seeing the meteor shower, and then having a really happy day as a family.
But the last time I drove through the night was across the US on the way to see good friends.