Wednesday, September 28, 2011
When I was growing up in Ohio, almost every Sunday for a number of years, my dad would load up the family and we'd go for a Sunday drive. At the time gas was fairly cheap- less than thirty cents a gallon. I remember my grandmother once pulled into a Sohio filling station and when she saw that gas was going to cost almost twenty five cents a gallon, she sped off in a huff. She'd pass a blue brick if she saw gas prices now. I paid $5.09 a gallon last week. Anyway, as I was saying, we went on quite a few Sunday drives. The most memorable would be to places like Mohican State Park near Mansfield, or Kingwood Center to look at the acres of flowers. When I was younger I kind of liked the short jaunts, as long as we were able to stop and look around. Without fail though I would have to pee about ten minutes after I stepped into the car. It didn't matter that I went before we ever left the house. I would stand over the toilet almost breaking out in a sweat trying to squeeze every last drop out before we left. I was always a bit of a nervous kid, and my dad had no patience at all. He could drive for hours without stopping and any mention of pulling over before we reached our destination was met with an angry outburst. He was like a camel in reverse. Instead of going days not needing a drink, he could go for hours not needing to urinate. As a result I spent most Sundays in the back seat counting off the miles until we got to wherever we were going and once there, charging for the nearest outhouse, restroom or tree to find relief. Ahh, good times. One nice thing about dad's lack of patience is that it extended to everyone. He liked driving fast and would frequently pass other vehicles at sometimes scary speeds, cursing them for being Sunday drivers. I spent many weekend excursions dividing my time between praying for a place to stop and pee and praying we wouldn't end up in a tangled, bloody mess along side the road. Fortunately, God always answered my prayers. Had He not there would have been a mess to clean up one way or the other. Last Sunday I took Jan and my oldest daughter Jen and her daughter Kaylahni on a Sunday drive. It was such a beautiful fall day that none of us wanted to stay inside. When the sun shines around here this time of year you have to take advantage of it. We drove out to Whitestone Harbor. Its only about fifteen miles away but the gravel road is rough and there are lots of hills and blind curves, so it usually takes the better part of an hour to get there. Unfortunately Jen and a few of the other kids have inherited a peanut sized bladder from me. Without fail we have to stop at least once going and coming on every trip we make. Whether its the bouncing from the gravel road and pot holes or just genetics, we always end up pulling in to one of the turn outs to make a pit stop. Fortunately tissue paper breaks down quickly or the roadside would look like a cotton field. When we first left town I mentioned that Ears Mountain didn't have any termination dust yet- that first light dusting of snow that powders the peaks like confectioners sugar on a plate of brownies. On our way back a small front blew through. When the clouds cleared I mentioned that Ears finally had that first light snowfall. From the back seat Jen says "When did that happen?" Jan and I just looked at each other and started laughing. For some reason she had a hard time believing that it could have snowed in the time it took us to drive to Whitestone Harbor and back. So next time you're out for a Sunday drive,check the gas tank, make sure everyone uses the potty before you leave, take time to enjoy the scenery, stop when you need to and most of all, have fun with your family.