Thursday, August 10, 2017

Vacation Ramblings

I never really claimed to be a writer. True, I write, but I'm not sure any of it is good or entertaining. However, I wrote a little on this trip. I tried to capture some of the more precious moments. I felt so connected to this trip. I can't explain the feeling I had, the need I had (see not a great writer). Anyway, here are some of my ramblings... Good... Bad... Indifferent. Probably more for me and my recollection later in life, but maybe you'll enjoy them too.

Many times, its the small things we miss. The little details that dont amount to anything. However, on this trip, i happened to be reading a book about being happy. A book that just happened to point out the things we wish we'd have done the first time around. Like dancing in the rain, picking daisies, and just living in the moment. And so, I stopped reading and I read. I read billboards with their advertisements for adult care facilities, local liquor stores and fast food eateries. With Looney Toons as the soundtrack, I watched as cotton ball type clouds slowly transform to turtles and dinosaurs in the sky above me. Trees and grass flew by in blur as flatlands of Florida turned to rolling hills of Georgia. I broke into song, to the dismay of the rest of the car, the moment we passed the Georgia state line singing "Georgia on my Mind". I daydreamed while passing pecan trees of laying under them basking in the shade that their leaves provided, feeling the breeze tickle my cheeks. You see, it had only just started, but the end was so near. I knew this week would fly by, but I wanted to savor it all.

Looking into the back seat, I see flush cheeks and flittering eyelids of a sleeping toddler, the sun soaked chestnut hair and mirrored sunglasses of a teenage girl who has no idea how beautiful she is and the look of concentration on a little boys face as he's trying to watch his vintage cartoons on a very modern Mac computer while eating yogurt pretzels.

As if to further drive home the point, we passed an accident involving an RV. The RV had completely rolled over, windshield shattered, parts and pieces scattered all over and a fire rescue truck with a wench trying to pull it out. In a split second, their vacation was over. No more "are we there yet"'s, no excited fits of laughter as they approached their destination, just over.

In a moment, it all makes sense. In a moment, I realized how much we need this, how much I need this. I'm starting this trip with a desire, no physical need, to imprint it in my memory. To love every minute of it and not sweat the small things that may happen. I feel this overwhelming pull to just be present. Ironically, as I write that, I'm not actually being present because I'm writing. Or maybe that is being present and mindful, because I'm documenting it.

Crunch crunch crunch
"What are you eating?" I asked
"Carrots" mumbled Amber
"I thought you didn't want veggies." The only reply I got was two brown eyes rolled in my direction.

"Hayden kiss" is heard from the backseat. "Mama hurt. Hayden kiss," the sweetest little voice ever begs. "Where does it hurt, bubba," Hayden asks. At that moment a little foot was flung into the air and Hayden leaned over to kiss his brothers foot.

Winding back country roads with mountains painting the back drop are one of my favorite things, besides beach sunrises and river sunsets. We're passing cute little country mercantiles selling jams and jellies and run down salvage yards with lined with cars from a far away time. Then quickly the scenery changes to gated subdivisions with lavish entry ways and even more extravagant houses, but quickly back to corn fields and "See Rock City" signs painted on tin roofs. Cleared valleys peppered with cattle lay beautifully between the mountain ridges.

Giggles of pure joy radiate from the back seat as the toddler figures out how to spin a fidget spinner on his knee. I look back to see the wonder and pride on his face as he taps it to spin it more. Joyfully he exclaimed "woooow!! I did!!"

It's a lazy morning. Sausage sizzled in the pan, bacon filled the house with its glorious aroma and bread browned in the toaster. Plates are made, coffee is poured and we enjoy our breakfast on the back porch in the 66 degree weather. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

10:30 and we are all still in our pj's. I couldn't ask for more. The one draw back is the yellow jackets flying around. "They won't sting you if leave them alone." Hummingbirds and butterflies fly by with the mountains in the distance. Hud proclaims "Mountains good!" while a gentle breeze blows. Hayden sits with his favorite book, Animal Encyclopedia.

Old school rap fills the air. Songs like Me, Myself & I from De La Sol and Paul Revere by the Beastie Boys fill me with nostalgia for my childhood. Ironically, this trip has brought us back to a simpler time. No phones, no internet, no social media. The black out has been nice. We've been filling our time with coloring, board games, reading, family movies and primitive cabin games. Laughing and each other as we try to sing songs from memory has been my favorite. It's like we are living on our own musical. We cheer as Oowa gets the ring on the hook after numerous misses. The toddler stomps and dances his way down the porch. Oowa starts singing "Free falling, now I'm free falling" as Jon sweeps a spider off the porch.

Until we vacation again...

to the moon and back,

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