Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Filling up. Looking back.


Oasis
Locust Grove, GA, January 2009

About this photo: Thematic Photographic's travel theme continues. Please click here to share your own travel vision. I'll launch a new theme tomorrow (Wednesday) evening. I'm thinking it should be orange. Does that sound like a decent choice?
I know it's a forgettable piece of architecture in the middle of a forgettable town late on an otherwise forgettable night. But I have an annoying habit of retaining the forgettable.

We were on our way home from vacation, and were finishing up our first long day in the car. Debbie and the kids had gone inside to fetch snacks and stretch muscles, while I stayed outside and filled the tank. When I was done, I found myself alone with the wondervan in a darkened parking lot, so out came the camera.

Some background: I tend to get reflective when we're in the middle of a long journey. I feel responsible for shepherding my brood safely to our destination. Before we set off, I often spend a quiet moment during which I'll touch the car, close my eyes and wish for an easy, predictable trip. Along the way, I look for fleeting alone moments, and I look for ways to remember that feeling of responsibility, of being the dad of a family, of simply being somewhere new and exciting. Or, as the case may be, not-so-exciting.

I know these trips won't last forever. I know the kids will grow beyond the point at which they want to sit in a car or spend hours on end with mom and dad. I won't always be responsible for them from the beginning to the end of their journey. And I'll miss what it feels like to wait for them to return to the car so we can get back on the road, together.

Your turn: What do you think about in the middle of a long journey?

9 comments:

Klaatu said...

Having to pee.

Leigh in Atlanta said...

wow, haven't been to locust grove in a looooong time. Shoulda stopped in and said "Hi!"

Mojo said...

"Forgettable"? Beg to differ. You've memorialized this tick mark on the map forever with an awesome shot here. I've always liked your night work, and always liked your reflections and here we get a two-for-one deal. Locust Grove should license this. This is reflective on several levels, all of them impressive.

Since the majority of my travels these days are solo efforts, I might be thinking of just about anything. Often out loud.

Mojo said...

Orange? Hmm... could be interesting.

awareness said...

Sometimes I take the time to pray. Of course not when I'm doing the driving. But, I will crawl into the back of the van and lose myself in a meditation. To me that's the best way to get through the point between Cornwall and Whitby!

Actually, I LOVE road trips and the way the conversation just flows and meanders within the confines of the car.... and how the music is always really excellent.

I posted a new piece on travel tonight too.... I took a few shots during my walk today. I want you to know Carmi that I take my camera wherever I go now because of you. Thank you for the advice. :)

One day you'll have to visit Freddy town with your family and we'll go out for a photo jaunt..... lots of good stuff around here to see through one's lens.

http://mayfairplace.blogspot.com/2009/11/walk-around-block.html

David said...

once on a trip to Las Vegas we were inhaling something that obscured my vision ( temporarily) clearly an example of NOT THINKING...
I guess it is that some one else was taking he wheel for us ....
Thank G-d.

Rinkly Rimes said...

It's good that you're so conscious of appreciating the present. Children's lives slip through your fingers so quickly.

Linda said...

I think I was at that same gas station, just a few months ago. My friend from KS moved to Locust Grove, and was married in August. I was her matron of honor....

Middle of long journeys always get me thinking about the destination. Whether it is going TO or coming FROM. Will the kids have fun? Will we find things to do? Are there good places to eat? (those are all TO thoughts). Then...wonder how much mail there is? Will the mailman remember to deliver it? Did the paper get stopped? Do the flowers need watered? Ugh...laundry. Those are the FROM thoughts.

But I'd not thought about these trips as kid-related. You're right...someday, they won't be interested in these trips. They'll want something else, or start their own traditions with their families...

Mel Fraase said...

I really enjoy your take on these things, and you're so right. The kids won't be in the back of that van forever. I won't stop at the rest area with the park to stretch their legs anymore. Often I think our journey is just as good as the destination.
Thanks for this photo. (I am enjoying how clean your van is!) I think what always draw me to your photos is the reflection, in every sense of the word.