For some reason with only two kids and a dog traveling is remarkably quiet and simple, and yet we know something is off, incomplete. When we aren’t all together it’s glaringly obvious all is not right. But, I will enjoy the quiet. The boys are so engrossed in their new electronics games they only peep when it’s time for a bathroom break, snack or drink. It’s quite uneventful. I learned last year that there’s nothing worth seeing out the window. We drive on a highway that is flanked with trees seemingly in the middle of no where from Houston all the way to South Carolina. It’s the most boring scenery I could ask for, so I buried my nose into a great book. I’m delighted to learn about these adorable Bonobos and the history and culture of Congo. I’ve been trying for a year now to read memoirs from different countries in Africa so I can have a good feel for the variances among the nations there as well as the universal issues they all have in common. That’s what I call having a good time. Books enthrall me so much that I experience separation anxiety when it’s time to go on a long trip like this one. I console myself knowing exactly where my favorite bookshops are in the locations where we park ourselves. I can’t bear to be without some excellent reading material, which includes some academic essays, poetry, bible in both English and Spanish, a bible study book, a few memoirs and one brick of a novel.
We can already feel the heat break here in Columbia South Carolina. It was stifling in Texas to the extent that we slumped in it. About mid-July in the deep south we feel much like the far northerners feel about the intensity and duration of harsh winter. Florida looks good to them just like the cool ocean breezes beckon us and the perfect summer days of Norther Michigan will summon us when our beach week closes. I can only hope that when it’s time to return to heat that will last all through September we’ll be refreshed and ready to bear it.
Saturday afternoon we’ll arrive at the beach. I am giddy to be able to stand at the edge of the ocean and feel the breeze, smell the salt air and listen to the music of the rolling and breaking waves. It seems that every car in the parking lot of the hotel is on the same journey we are taking as every possible place around the vehicle is piled high and stuffed tight with family stuff and dripping bikes off the back. They all spill out weary and cramped a bit dazed from the monotony of the road. It is the American way.