May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be at your back, may the sun shine warm on your face, may the rains fall softly upon your fields.” -Irish Blessing
We drive everywhere. And really, I mean everywhere. Truth is Jimmy and I love road trips.
Most people book flights, we bring the car for pre-travel-service. Of course there are exceptions—past trips to the east coast, Hawaii, Cabo—to name just a few, but if we can, we drive.
Our kids really don’t know anything different. Each of them has probably logged more car miles than they care to ever know. The good news is they are amazing travelers. While some kids get antsy at the 1-hour mark, ours know a 4-hour trip is a warm up.
When they were babies they required what I called the emergency travel bag. It was the modern day equivalent to Mary Poppins magic bag, filled with coloring books, games and a few toys they hadn’t seen before. And of course there was always food.
As years progressed we allowed movies for the long trips, trips that found us driving from southern California where we live clear the way to the Oregon border, then the movies were more life saver than not.
Later, when they reached the teen years, over movies, they favored the music from their iTunes accounts, sleep, each others company and even sometimes the view outside the windows.
Tonight we are driving back from Sacramento, our daughter played lacrosse over the past two days in a tournament and as I type Jimmy is zipping past the 18-wheelers and regular 4 wheel vehicles. We’ve made a few pit stops—something that no longer grabs an eye roll from the driver—even he has become more accustomed to the rhythms dictated by long drives with females who love to drink water.
The moon has crept up over the ridge to my left, while to the right is an abyss of dark.
Not for long, soon we will descend from Tejon Pass and the lights from LA will steadily appear brighter and brighter on the horizon until before we know it we are smack back in the middle of civilization.
In the central valley dry fields spread for miles upon miles.
Farms, once filled with fruit trees, now are littered with skeleton like trees, dead from lack of irrigation. Signs shout to us that Congress created the dustbowl we pass by… and I think to myself, these are people’s lives…
Lives that have been in some cases wrecked, while in other instances we observe farms that appear to be holding on.
Now home again, the central valley tucked into the rear view mirror, I can’t help but be aware of the water we use–something that only a few years ago we took for granted. This incredible and vital resource that our state so desperately is in need of, the memory of all those farms makes me want to shout to all I know–only take what you need, don’t waste it, our state is dry as a bone, do your part….