Saturday 6 April 2019

The magic of the road

What do you do if your husband invites you to drive 1,400 km with him in two days? If you are adventurous and open for anything, you say "hells YES!" If you are me, you look at him like he lost his mind and politely tell him "abso-fricking-lutely not". But if you have a husband who knows you better than you know yourself, and who knows that you need to get out on the road, he will wheedle and insist and tell you how much more fun it will be when you are there with him, until you are out of excuses and grudgingly agree to come along.
Thank God for husbands who know what's best for you and make sure you get it. 

I love road trips. I also love to travel, and to go out, and to experience new things. But if I've been at home for too long, I get comfortable and lazy and unsociable. My imaginary friends (Christina Yang, Meredith Grey, Lorelai Gilmore, Jonathan, Antoni, Tan, Bobby and Karamo) get a hold on me that's so strong, I'd rather hang out with them than interact with the real world. Besides, I do see people! Our neighbors, and my co-workers, and the couple across the road, and Ted in the man cave, and maybe even the regulars at the neighborhood pub - for an introvert, that's a lot.

But deep down, I know what I'm doing. I'm hiding. I've reached that stage again where I retreat into myself, spending more time alone than is good for me, and saying no to everything because I want to hide from the world.
This is nothing new. In fact, I come from a long line of from-the-world-hiders. My parents are like that, my grandparents were like that, and my late father-in-law was extremely like that. (Even though we are not related, it's important - you will see why in a moment.) So you could say that it's a family trait.
But I know that the pleasure of being alone soon turns to feeling like I'm imprisoned by my own mind and my own fears, and then the fun is over.

Rich, who has been with me for over 16 years and has plenty of experience thanks to his dad, is an old hand at dealing with it. He knows when to let me be and when to push, and last Tuesday I needed a push.
A bird buddy of his (= fellow bird enthusiast, in this case pheasant-fan) was unable to pick up some pheasants for health reasons, and had asked Rich to do it for him. He was paying for gas and a motel, and Rich jumped on that opportunity, wanting to get a few birds himself. The birds were in Cranbrook, 700 km away from home, and we only had two days to go there and back due to work.
Like I said, I tried to get out of it. I made up every excuse in the book, trying to convince him that I would be a terrible travel companion and would spoil the trip for him. But no dice; Rich wouldn't let up. He can be insanely persistent if he wants to be, and in the end I gave in just to shut him up.
One of the diners we ate at while on the road. The guests were all men - and me. 

And the road worked its magic. The sky was huge and open and gave us the full show: big clouds, rain, snow, sunshine. We saw plenty of deer and elk, a coyote ambling across the road in no big hurry, a herd of mountain sheep in the distance, and bald eagles and ravens soaring high above us.
We stopped at quirky diners to eat down-to-earth, stick-to-your-ribs food and drink that incomparable diner coffee. We stayed in a small motel with a yellow bathroom straight from the 70s and a mystery bite on my leg the next morning (bed bugs?). We talked and we sat in silence, letting the beauty outside our windshield wash over us, and we listened to Mr. Mercedes, a creepy masterpiece of Stephen King.
We always travel with "the two little dogs" as we call them, Lily the Corgi and Nina the Blue Heeler, and I'm usually the one who takes them for walks, has them on her lap for ear scratches and tells them how pretty they are - totally normal, right? ;-)
They love being on the road, and are the perfect travel companions.

I got to experience the niceness of people when I blew into a little town at 90 km/h where there was only 60 - oops! I got stopped by a police officer who sternly told me to obey the traffic signs and then let me off with a warning. I certainly didn't flirt my way out of a ticket, being beet-red, sheepish and very apologetic (I was in road trance and hadn't really noticed that I was entering a town), and I think he felt sorry for me. My face (and ears especially) stayed red for a solid half hour before I got over it. I would make a terrible criminal.
It was a beautiful trip. It felt like we officially welcomed spring, even though it's still too early for flowers and new leaves. But nature is waking up, and this trip woke me up, too.
I can't wait to do it again soon!

Thank you, my love, for making me go out and wake up again.
You are the best thing that ever happened to me.

xoxo Miriam



  1. Mmmmm I agree completely Miriam! A simple road trip is quite magical.

    1. And at the end of a long winter it brings you alive again!


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