Departure Time Approaches

The Traveling Time is coming up again. We’re staying put for Thanksgiving as I refuse to be anywhere else on T-day – if we’re not at home, it’s not our fridge that gets stuffed with leftovers … just saying.

North on I-85

North on I-85

But for the winter break, we’ll be on the road. The Pretty One’s family is in Ithaca, N.Y., my family is in eastern Massachusetts, the kids’ father is in New Hampshire. And I have friends scattered all over the place – Boston, Worcester, Medway and Millis, Massachusetts, Albany and Syracuse, New York, and southern Connecticut. (Okay, those are just the ones we’re/I’m hoping to get to see.)

Plus, my 20th high school reunion will have been a few weeks prior to our journey, and a lot of drama club friends are hinting that we need a reunion just for that, which will cross graduation years … 

I think I just know too many people.

A few years ago, I decided to start paring down friends. Which sounds so much crueler than it was, because I failed miserably … just totally miserably. Yeah, some of them I haven’t visited of late, and I’ve become really bad about phone calls with some, but they’re still out there. And every now and then, a phone rings in an empty room, someone shuffles in to get it and off we go on the Catch-up Express.

At the wheel, not going anywhere fast

At the wheel, not going anywhere fast (Photo/The Pretty One)

In my single days, traveling was easier but lonelier. I could leave when I was ready, drive until I couldn’t, go again when I could. With two short people and a wife in tow, there’s a lot more planning and the fatigue factor sets in at some point, somehow earlier than it used to.

My younger days featured a lot of road time. We spend six or eight weeks a summer on the road hauling a travel trailer around the country, heading from army base to army base. It was a great childhood – I met so many people, saw so many things … hard to imagine a better way to grow up than watching the world click by, mile by mile, from the back seat of a 1975 Ford Gran Torino Country Squire. 

Early morning fog, Pennsylvania

Early morning fog, Pennsylvania

Last year, we headed north and made it from Athens, Ga., to somewhere in Pennsylvania where we shacked up in a road side motel. A little tight in the room, foggy in the morning as we headed out again. We made it to my brother’s in Massachusetts that second afternoon, none the worse for wear. A few days with family, followed by several days of dashing around to see old friends, then off to Central New York with nights in Albany, Syracuse and a few in Ithaca. Then the one day tear south, back to Georgia and a big empty house. 

I had a point when I started this post … really, I did … anyway, we’re six weeks out from the Traveling Time, and I’m getting a little anxious. Looking forward to the time behind the wheel, the thwack of expansion joints the rattle of a Jake Brake in the next lane … and seeing faces we haven’t seen in a year. 

We’re coming, we’re coming …


  1. Wow, I am so honored to see my photography featured here. But… where’s my photo credit? Did I give you permission to use that? THIEF! THIEF!!

    Gonna be a long drive this year, huh? 😉

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