Sometimes a girl just has to drop everything and go. For people who are hard-wired like I am It’s far too easy to fight the urge to just be spontaneous.
We get bogged down with the crushing load of responsibility. How can any accountable farm wife leave home when there’s a crop to seed? The fact is, I’m the cook and the chauffeur, the parts runner and extra set of hands, not the actual farmer. How can any self-respecting adult leave home when the yard is abloom with dandelions and the first wave of flowerbed cleaning hasn’t been done (or really even started)? How can any conscientious Nana worth her salt leave when Grady’s been called up by the Mosquitoes to pitch? Or shot a thirty-nine to win third place in a golf tournament?
Yet, I did take off. I’d been itching for a solo road trip for some time. Ya know, one of those introvert-like behaviours. So, without inviting anyone to join me, I texted my sister in Hinton on Thursday and asked if I could visit Saturday-Sunday. The sort of quickie that avoids the phenomenon of ?guests, like fish starting to stink after three days.? Enough time to catch up without buggering up their routine or making me feel like an nuisance.
And so it was. The roads and weather were perfect. The traffic was manageable. If I’d truly wanted to get into my head, I wouldn’t have played audio book tapes all the way, all the time.
There’s just something wonderfully possible about filling a gas tank, packing road trip snacks, slapping on a pair of sunglasses, and hitting the open road. It’s possible to stop and restart at will, whenever the hell you want to. To ride in silence or crank up the tunes. To regulate cabin temperature. To travel whatever speed you choose to. To stop at garage sales or antique stores or pretty boutiques. To try off-the-beaten-path eateries.
I did none of that. But I could have. And That’s the beauty of a road trip.
It’s not like commuting to work or doing a parts run to a bigger, neighbouring town. Or keeping medical appointments in the city and shoe horning personal and/or fun errands in and around them, for efficiency’s sake. God knows, I’ve done thousands of those trips. Last week I did three one-hundred-kilometre round trips in less than fifteen hours for farm repairs, for heaven’s sake. Necessary, but not at all fun or relaxing.
So, my lovelies, if you have a chance to pack up the car and head somewhere with little or no agenda or deadline, grab it and go. Forget the house and yard. Forget the family obligations and must-dos. Set some boundaries (electrified razor-wire ten-foot tall barrier fencing) between you and the job, and just go. You may have to bear down and work like hell beforehand to make it happen, but so what. Sometimes just going for it is the right choice, from where I sit.
Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.