The open road

My temporary solution to life’s challenges can be answered in two words: road trip.

I adamantly believe there is no greater cure for what ails our hectic lives than a break in routine, a sense of adventure on the open road with some classic rock tunes and the car windows all the way down. Now that’s living.

Convincing the Carpenter that a road trip would be good for his over-worked soul is probably the greatest challenge in our marriage, (understatement alert).

Getting that man out for a day of family fun reminds me of taking my dog to the vet. You know when the dog sees the leash and they get all excited, but then you open the door to the car and the dog realizes he has to get in and this will end with a needle in his backside, so he digs in his paws and refuses to move?

Yep. Just like that.

Don’t get me wrong; the Carpenter is a family man, but on his own terms and in his own setting.

Fun should be had at home, where he has some control over the situation.

As a tradesmen with long commutes to job sites beyond our county, he has little desire to fold himself into a hot car on the weekend and drive another two hours anywhere for any reason when he isn’t getting paid to do it, much less when he knows I’m in charge of the music and the destination.

I understand his resistance. Travelling with two early-stage teenagers whose headphones have become implants might not seem like fun. To bribe the Carpenter I offered two trips to his favorite drive-thru. Plus, I offered to drive.

Goodness knows there is nothing the Carpenter likes better than riding shotgun (snort). Why, he’s so helpful he even tells me things like posted speed limits, just to be sure I know; it’s so appreciated, (not). To throw him off, I take back roads. He doesn’t like to travel off the map, but in life, I believe you miss a lot when you drive in a straight line. I prefer bends in the road.

The kids were more in sync with the adventure concept of a road trip. After a summer of absolute boredom, they were packed, dressed, teeth brushed and in the car before we packed the cooler. And neither one of them asked to bring their electronics. Scary. They looked like our kids, but we couldn’t be sure they weren’t aliens.

A road trip teaches you a lot about your family. I learned that we’re so busy making a living we forget to make a life. It’s funny what we invest our energy in sometimes, thinking we’re doing what’s best for our family, but it’s sad if we miss the point. Our kids will turn off the electronics when we make time for them. Best of all, they still crave time with us. And despite our questionable parenting skills, our kids are entertaining and actually get along. Sometimes the Carpenter and I forget to step back and appreciate the view we’ve created together.

Georgian Bay is not a world away, but it feels far enough to forget most of what doesn’t matter and close enough to remember everything about what matters most. It was worth the drive.



Kelly Waterhouse