Monday, July 09, 2007

07.07.07 - Road Trip

Like many other people, we attended a wedding on Saturday. Although we don't know the bride or groom very well, we felt somewhat obligated to attend the wedding. The groom's mother has worked for us for 17 years.

The wedding was held in a small town 3 and 1/2 hours east of where we live. The wedding was at 4:00, reception at 6:00. We decided to attend the ceremony and leave before the reception in order to be home at a decent time. Not wanting to travel that far and arrive late, we left home 4 and 1/2 hours before the ceremony.

Where we live are really beautiful. However, less than an hour east of here, the scenery changes into endless miles of desolate prairie as far as the eye can see. It is really hard for people who live in more populated areas to imagine the vast emptiness. In fact, when people experience it for the first time, they find it quite eerie.

At about the half-way point, we stopped at a little town that has 2 gas stations and is the only real town on that 3 hour stretch of highway. It was 108 degrees there Saturday afternoon. We planned to stop for 5 minutes to stretch our legs, use the bathroom, and grab a coke.

The gas station we chose only had one bathroom which had been hijacked by a 7-year-old girl. A line had formed and unfortunately, I was fourth in line. I don't even want to know what she was doing in there for over 10 minutes.

While waiting in line, I weighed my options. Since I already drank a large bottle of water and since I was planning on drinking a 20 oz. diet coke, a bathroom break seemed inevitable. Except for squatting along the road, this was my only option. So, I waited, and waited, and waited, and our 5 minute stop turned into a 20 minute stop.

Finally, we were back on the road, empty bladders, cold drinks, air-conditioning, and nothing but miles of grass.

That is when it dawned on us that the town where the wedding was being held might be in a different time zone. We weren't sure since the town is near where the time changes. We tried calling my dad, who is a wealth of trivial information and might know this little fact, but we couldn't get a cell signal.

We suddenly went from potentially being an hour early to possibly being 15 minutes late. I increased my speed to 80 mph, even though that wouldn't be enough. 100 mph might have done it.

After having driven over 2 hours, my husband now suggested we turn around and go home. There was still a possibility that we weren't late, and if we were late, it was only going to be about 15 minutes (the amount of time I spent waiting for the little girl in the bathroom!). Maybe the wedding would start a little late, so we wouldn't miss much. However, sometimes weddings are so short that if it started on time, we might miss the whole thing.

We just kept driving. We were within 15 minutes of the little town when we faced reality and saw the sign announcing a different time zone. Our clock said 3:00 which meant the wedding was starting. We decided to go anyway and just slip in the back. It was mid-sermon, and we did witness the vows.

We had not planned on staying for the reception, but it was one of few options for dinner. There were no fast food places, so it was either the grocery store or the reception if we were going to eat. We went to the reception only long enough to eat and were back on the road again.

I brought some Graham Cooke CD's along to listen to, but we were enjoying the chance to talk for a few hours. Road trips are good for that. We stopped at the other gas station this time, and we were in and out in under 5 minutes.

On the last leg of our trip, with a couple hours yet to drive, we popped in a CD and listened to Graham explain God's process in our lives as we rode off into the sunset - obligation fulfilled, hubby spitting sunflower seeds while he drove, and me with my bare feet propped on the dashboard sipping the last of one too many cokes for the day.


Mary said...

I miss road trips and the great conversations my husband and I have. We've logged hours and hours and hours on that highway. Cracking and eating sunflower seeds is about the only way my husband can stay awake on some of the stretches (after we've exhausted our conversation topics). It's also about the only time I seem to get something resembling RLS(restless leg syndrome) and go just about nuts about the last 45 minutes of driving.

Robbymac said...

Ah, the bare feet on the dashboard brings back many memories of our road trips, with me playing DJ with the CD player, and Wendy providing the bare feet on the dashboard.

If you survived this trip, the Canadian Prairies would be fine for you!

sonja said...

I love road trips with my husband. That last bit about bare feet on the dashboard ... well ... that's me.

We'd have music playing and be talking and dreaming ... sounds like a good day.

Rhonda said...

nice of you to go to the wedding...
I had a road trip this past weekend too. :)

Anne said...

Hi! I've been reading your blog for some time and have enjoyed and learned from your thoughts. I grew up in a spiritually abusive/cultish church and have recently left another church due to some concerns along those lines.

I've often wanted to leave comments or ask questions, but just haven't been able to for some reason.

I really admire your attitude of grace, understanding, and forgiveness and want to get there myself. I'm still stuck on bitter and resentful and blaming this current church on being a big influence on my struggles with my oldest daughter.

Anyway, that's a lot of driving you had to do! We are stationed in North Dakota and boy do I know about driving through flat and desolate! Especially in the winter.

Have a wonderful week! :)

Bruce said...

Having been raised in the Panhandle of Texas I can relate to the openness and emptiness. My wife's grandmother would come in from New York and all she wanted to do was go outside of the city a little ways and just look at all of the miles and miles of miles and miles.


Maria said...

Your restroom stop reminded me of how often my girls and I hijack the bathroom. I can well imagine what the girl was doing in there for 10 minutes ... that's a short stop for my kids! I drove the kids to grandma's last weekend (only 90 miles with plenty of traffic along the way), and we stopped in a fast food place. There was a line by the time we were done -- one woman commented that it sounded like we were having too much fun in there! If only!