He is so damn lucky he married me!
I remind him of this fact several times over the last few days. This trip is something he has been planning for months. Even I don’t think I know all the pit stops and excursions he has been quietly scheming about for hours upon hours.
What started out as a “quick” bucket list drive down the coast on Hwy 101, has somehow turned into some grand adventure of days upon days, seeing everything one could possibly see from the Oregon Coast clear down towards the Mexico border!
He is lucky I love to drive…
He is lucky that the idea of loading up and towing a 9-foot trailer and carting it around with us on this little adventure doesn’t even phase me…
And he is damn lucky that I am up for the task of loading and unloading each and every morning and night all the baggage, medical equipment and crap that goes with taking a wheelchair bound man and two kids on such a monumental task..
But do you want to know the best part?
I am so damn lucky, because he knows how much I love to drive and how much I love when he plans these adventures of ours!
Leaving what I consider the ugliest part of Washington (sorry…but seriously, Spokane is fffuuugly!) and driving southwest…the blue sky feels like a good omen. The gods are smiling down on us, as we left only forty-five minutes behind schedule. As we leave the more populated areas, the road seems to opens up, beckoning me to push the pedal down and glide faster along. I resist the urge.
I glance around. The wind is tickling the grasses, and I say a silent prayer of thanks.
I know how lucky I am to have this opportunity and I can’t help but feel incredibly blessed to have this crazy life. (Please remind of this feeling again because I am sure that after a week with all this responsibility and work and driving…I may not feel so ecstatic to be in this situation!)
Matthew leans over, trying to whisper above the 15-hour long playlist that my daughter has meticulously planned for, and says, “I feel normal when we are driving.”
I bop my head in tune to the music, and also in agreement.
I know exactly how he feels.
I reach over to hold his hand, laying my hand against his palm, my fingers trying to curl around his. His fingers simply lay there. But I enjoy the feeling, regardless that he can no longer squeeze my hand. I am simply content in the moment.
As the volcanoes, tiny specs against a horizon edge closer and closer, we turn onto a road unknown.
Matthew has worked or driven every road and highway throughout all of Washington and most of Oregon, but finally, we have turned onto one he has yet to experience.
He seems pretty content to stare off into the distance, and I am just as content to listen to the music and sing, (off-key and horrible, but no one seems to complain)
The fields are each meticulously groomed, whether the seeds have sprouted into wheat, or the ground has been tilled, ready for the next crop, there is something so satisfying in seeing row upon row, so neatly edged.
For a while, my imagination wonders, and I envision myself sitting on a heavy piece of equipment, tilling my land
I quickly shake my head…
Who am I kidding? If I were going to have any other life, of course I would be a truck driver!
Hours have gone by and now those tiny specs have grown into several large peaks, jaggedly reaching towards the clear blue sky. One has just a billow of clouds around its peak, as if they are hugging a friend and are not ready to let go. The road dips and swerves, small towns, each one lagging in what some refer to as “progress” weave in and out with the roads and fields.
The kids are giggling in the back seat, munching on cheese sticks and playing games they packed days before. I keep searching the rear-view mirror. Their faces so perfect, my heart aches.
Every so often, my daughter checks her watch. She is counting backwards. She thinks we are going straight towards Arizona. I keep reminding her we have at least a twenty-hour drive, yet in reality, we are just a few hours from our first stop
– Crater Lake.
Even I am having a difficult time keeping the secret!!!
As we near our first stop for the night,a small town outside of Bend, I notice the farmers have been busy stacking and compacting the hay into perfect little squares. I can’t help but feel they are artists, cutting their designs into the earth. Even Peyton agrees, as her face glances out and she sees the same thing Matthew and I are staring at.
In perfect arches, each square bale of hay is perfect placed along its path, each one exactly the same distance apart.
“That is so satisfying for my OCD!” she says, with a grin spread across her face.
We all burst out laughing…she is definitely my daughter!
For several hours today, we were normal.
A family, taking a vacation. Laughter and giggles, and jokes and bad singing to Queen and Elton John…( my daughter did a great job on that playlist!)
And as I lay here, my fingers playing against the keys of this old computer, with the sound of small snores mixed with breathing machines and fans…I am content.
Damn he is lucky he married me!
I’ll be sure to remind him in the morning…