Thursday, January 14, 2010


Last Sunday, as I made my whirlwind tour of four states on my way to Raleigh, North Carolina, I did what I often do as I drive.  I let my mind wander.
No, no – not wander enough that I wasn’t a safe driver.  But wander.
I started thinking about how much I love to travel.  I really and truly love to go.  By plane.  By car.  By ship. 
Not by bus.
But still, I love to go.
Then I started thinking about why I love to travel.  In my thoughts, I discovered that my love of travel is actually a love of the journey.  While I love the destination, my favorite part is the journey.
I love to drive.  Especially on back roads.  Through small towns.  Those roads are the ones where adventure is born. 
Then I started thinking about why I love the journey.  In that moment somewhere between Atlanta and Greenville, I figured it out.
It all started when I was 10 and my Mom began her battle with cancer.  We were in Memphis when her cancer was discovered.  Two of her sisters lived there.   So it made sense for her to stay in a larger town so she had access to better doctors and her sisters to aid in her care.
After the initial surgery, my Dad had to go back to work.  Each week we were in Tullahoma going about our life like normal – work, school, etc.  But every weekend, we drove to Memphis – a five-hour drive.
Bubbles was a teenager and was involved in school activities.  So she stayed in Tullahoma most weekends.  The Boss Man was just a baby and he was staying with another of my Mom’s sisters.  So every Friday night, it was just me and my Dad – taking a journey.
On those journeys, I would lay in the back seat, looking  out the window at the stars.  My Dad and I would talk.  About everything.  About nothing.  He would quiz me – usually geography (I think this was where my love of geography was born, too!).
In the midst of the craziness that was our life, we found peace during those journeys.  We found a calmness, a place of serenity in the midst of the storm.  And it was in the car.  On a journey.
Yes, I love a journey.


Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

What a great post Woody.
I think we are all on a journey.

Mental P Mama said...

What a wonderful, wonderful post. Happy trails.

T said...

What a wonderful way to remember your parents!

I think you, me and the T-town Ladies should take a weekend trip when I come down this summer!

big hair envy said...

What a sweet post!! I, too, have fond memories of traveling with my dad:)

I hope your wanderlust will lead you to Blog Fest '10 this summer!!!

Living on the Spit said...

Awesome heartfelt post Woody...yes, the journey...I am learning to like mine.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love that in the midst of all that was bad (with your Mom's health) you have fond memories,
my gypsy friend.

Tammy said...

I really enjoyed reading that! I love to travel by car too, on the backroads, leisurely. Unfortunately that doesn't happen very often.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

That's exactly how you developed your love of traveling, Woody... What a neat story. Love it!!!!

I like to travel also---and especially on the back roads. Hurrying on the interstates is not my way of having fun traveling. BUT--sometimes you just have to get there the fastest ways.

I will say though that the older I get, the harder it is for me to travel for too many hours at one time. Oh---it's just hell to get old... ha


smiles4u said...

I love this story. I am so glad that you have fond memories of this time with your dad during such a tough time in your life. I remember you taking a road trip and looking for a cemetary of some sort and I just remember all the gorgeous pictures you took along the way of various churches and such.

I am glad that you get to take these journeys of yours. :)

Jason, as himself said...

I'm afraid that I would have been too anxious during the journey to appreciate it! Sometimes I enjoy the journey, sometimes, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Grandma J said...

I love this post. I too love road trips,and yes, the journey is a tad better than the destination. I bet you have wonderful memories of your time with your dad on those trips.

Snooty Primadona said...

I am the same way. Love to travel as long as it isn't by bus. Not sure where my wanderlust came from since I hated moving as a kid. But, that's not the same thing.

You're fortunate to have had such a great Dad...