The Road and the Journey

    First leg of the journey to Florida is done! We left bright and early at 9am this morning. Well, that is not usually bright and early, but for the last few weeks it totally qualifies. We made it all the way to Madison, WI without stopping. I pretty much kept my eyes on the road while Grandma chatted about anything and everything. She is definitely going through the stage in life where one reflects on the past. She remembers everything, and tells me lots of stories about her and my Grandfather’s past travels. From what I gather, they drove across the country about 6,000 times while my Dad and his siblings were young.

   In between the chatting and the 10 minute snooze she took, pictured above, we listened to some music. By the way, she would kill me if she knew I posted this photo, so no one teach her how to use a computer in the next few days. We listened to a Willie Nelson CD that she just bought the other day. I had no idea she liked Willie Nelson, it doesn’t really make any sense. When we needed to “give the CD player a rest,” we listened to some tapes. Yep, I said it, tapes. We listened to some big band music and as she mouthed the words, I could see the memories sparkling in her eyes. I think that music brings her straight back to dancing with my Grandfather at sorority formals at Gustavus.

    She speaks so much about him and their life together. I know each minute of this journey reminds her of the many times they made this trip together. That, by the way, seems to be the only picture I have of him on my computer. I think he passed right before I got this one, so I found this pic on a list of retired Mound, MN teachers. Each town we pass through she remembers whether they stopped, and what sort of landmarks were there. She says he could find a Civil War historic site any where it existed. If it was on the map, they went there. Of course, stops for antiquing were totally out of the question. It reminded me of a trip we took to Colorado with Grandma and Grandpa when I was young. I think we stopped at every scenic outlook in the state. If fact, I remember writing a very snarky comment about it in my diary at the time. Looking back, I was young and easily annoyed. I would really give anything to have him here with us, telling me to slow down on the road. But then again, he would never have let me drive.

So in closing tonight, though this was not originally planned, I think these next few posts will be dedicated to Grandma and Grandpa – their past lessons, and the ones I’m sure await me in the next 5 days. Well, now I guess it is back to watching English comedies at full hotel TV volume.

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