Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thoughts from Tripping on the Road

Baby took a road trip last weekend to visit her grandparents for Easter and to have her first check up. Everything went well. She had her fluids checked and changed, tires balanced, and a couple of things checked that had drawn her mama’s attention. She was given a good bill of health, which pleased us all.

Needless to say … being out on the highway where she and I could open her up and let her go was a happy time for both Baby and her mama. With the sun shining down on us, the sunroof open, the windows down, and some awesome classic rock flowing from the speakers, we traveled the highway to and from with smiles and speed. (I would like to point out that while Baby is a speedy little girl, she was held tightly by the cruise control to the posted speed limits.)

Of course, I have been making this journey several times a year for the last 18 years, so there were moments of boredom. Normally, driving and traveling are great fun for me, getting out on the road is time to myself to plan, to dream, or to simply wander in my thoughts. This trip is no exception however this trip is more about “getting there” and then “getting home”. This trip is about spending time with my parents and then returning to my little home.

Yet, once on the road with my hair blowing and the music rocking, I couldn’t help but have a few thoughts, particularly on the drive homeward. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have much time for personal thoughts on the drive northward as I spent the better time of the three and a half hours on the cell phone chatting with a couple of friends. Cell phones are awesome for times like that and, as long as the battery is charged (note to self: need to get car charger for cell phone) and friends are home. Of course, there are drawbacks. Getting involved in a conversation can lead a person to missing their intended exit, causing them to drive an extra couple miles before turning around and going back.

The way I look at it … my life is so full of detours, what’s one more when the conversation is that good? Detours are the spice in life that keep us from becoming complacent. Goodness knows, my life is anything but complacent!

The drive homeward, though, was full of music and sunshine and wandering thoughts.

I made a new CD mix for the trip and got the opportunity to fully enjoy it on the way home. I am now full-on committed to my friend Rap’s delight in the music of Steve Carlson. Awesome, AWESOME stuff! Thank you, Rap, my Rap! Talk about an artist that can make you smile … let’s just say that he sounded really good in Baby’s speakers ... can't wait to hear him live and in person. (No Rap ... it's not June yet.)

Also sounding really good … Three Dog Night’s “Shambala”. There’s something about that song that just makes me smile … always has, even before I was given the mental picture of the Metallicar being worked on by a sweaty Dean. Yep. The song just has that kind of mood attached to it.

During our wanderings (ie.shopping excursion), Mom helped me pick out a new pair of sunglasses. I don’t wear them often – only when I am wearing my contacts which I did on Sunday driving homeward, which means the car was pointed towards the west. Did I mention the fact that I left my parents house at 5:30pm? Despite the fact I had on polarized sunglasses, a tinted top part of my windshield and the visor down as far as I could get it and still be able to see the vehicles in front of me, I STILL felt as though my eyeballs were still being branded with bright circles. I can only imagine the plight I would have had if I had simply worn my regular glasses.

I’ve decided that truckers have put way, way, WAY too many orange lights on their trucks. Used to be there was a light at the top and one on each side, in addition to the regular brake lights in the back. In the front it used to be a light at the top in each corner, and then, of course, the headlights that fill your entire rear window causing blindness of a different type. As the sun went down Sunday evening and the lights began to come on, it was as though there were houses of orange Christmas lights barreling down the turnpike. Seriously, do they truly need to outline the ENTIRE FRAMEWORK of the truck, the cab, the windows, the back door, the side doors, etc? One thing is certain … you can’t say that you don’t see them as they swoop down upon you making you feel as though you are a snail on the sidewalk, even when you are doing 75 mph on a turnpike. Bigger isn’t always better. Bigger can simply mean obnoxious. But that is simply my opinion.

Fire is very interesting as you are driving down a highway after dark. The glow of it up ahead, filling the night sky has you wondering what you are coming up on. Seeing as I’ve driven this highway once or twice, I knew right off the bat that it wasn’t a small town or rest stop. There’s nothing on this stretch except pastures dotted with the occasional house. Finally reaching the actual area of flames, it was a grass fire on the other side of the road. Spanning a good couple miles of the road, it was a bit eerie to drive by. It wasn’t one complete line of fire, but rather continuous pockets of flames reaching upward. What’s truly amazing is the fact that I was able to capture it on my little cell phone camera without braking the cruise control or moving from my lane of traffic. What was lucky was the fact that at this point I was driving southward and the wind was coming from the northwest, therefore it was blowing away from the highway instead of over it. What was interesting was that instead of fire trucks being on hand, there were only a couple of highway patrol cruisers on each end of the blazing area, keeping an eye on things.

I stopped to pick up something to eat on the way. I’ve been avoiding the hamburgers and fries from fast food stops lately, but let’s face it … eating a baked potato or a salad is simply not something that can be accomplished while driving. Since I wouldn’t be arriving home until late, I didn’t want to wait to eat and the chex mix I had with me wasn’t satisfying. So I stopped and got a burger and some fries – but no pop, I stuck to my water. Now … my oldest girlie is now working for a fast food chain and here is the thought that I came away with after I gave my order, paid my money, and was given my food: I pray that my girlie never looses her politeness towards people. As the voice over the box and the person who takes the money, I am pleased to report that she is pleasant, has a smile in her voice and is polite … atleast as far as I have witnessed. When placing my order on Sunday I was told three times to “hold on” … never once with a please, thank you for waiting, or apology for interrupting. When giving my money, the entire transaction consisted of being told $6.42 and the young woman took my money and gave my change without anything further … such as a thank you. When arriving to the window to pick up my food the bag was thrust through the window with a “here’s your meal” and another thrust through the window with a “here’s your water”. The young girl then turned around to talk to a friend. There was no thank you. There was no have a nice day. There was nothing. I’ll be honest, such blatant rudeness has a way of not just grating a nerve but also causes me to have to say something … usually something snide. So, I waited. When the girl returned to the window, it was with surprise to find me still there, yet did she ask if she could help me? Did she wonder if she had forgotten something? Did she question if there was something further I needed? No. She simply asked “What?” which sent me to the edge. I looked her steadily in the eye and said “You’re welcome, I WILL have a nice day, and I would like to speak to your manager about the quality of his help.” Yes. I did. I held up the drive thru line as the manager came to the window and I advised that as a national chain that purports in having such friendly people, he might want to rethink the placement of the people at his drive through windows. I then told him that next time, I’ll drive the extra mile to get my dinner from his competitor. I thanked him and I departed.

Let’s just say, I’m glad my girlie works for Wendy’s and not “the other place”. Like our Sammy, I suddenly don’t care for clowns.

I won’t go into my other thoughts … for they were many and varied and probably will only make sense to me, and my Baby of course. Now, if you’ll excuse me … I need to find a highway … CCR’s “Run Through the Jungle” is fixing to come on and it truly sounds best with the sunroof open, the wind blowing, and the stereo blaring as Baby and I travel down the road.

Oh … by the way … thank you for stopping by and have a nice day … you’re always welcome here!

5 comments:

koosh said...

*facepalms*

OriginalCindyRose said...

*grins*

raputathebuta said...

Yay!!! Another convert to my Ool!!!! Heeee! Seriously, I'm glad you like his music. The man's voice makes me feel like a cat stretching in a puddle of sunshine...all warm & fuzzy & satisfied!]:) Prrrrrrrrrrr!

Excellent job on capturing the fire pics!

As for Miss RudeMcRuderson at the drive-thru, good for you!!! Hopefully, she'll learn some manners (although I doubt it).

I'm glad you & Baby had a good trip!

InkyOrchid said...

I've been longing for a road trip, too. Hence my urge to drive down to Dallas. That plan has changed, but there is a road trip in my future. Stevie-baby will be played, as well as the SN playlist (probably current through the end of the season *sob*). Oh, and Shambala always gets a smile out of me. I should start working on some road trip playlists . . .

psychoactive toad said...

You know how much I love Shambala!

Rude people suck.