Old Moon

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Road Trip

It's often said that we must keep on learning to keep on living. What you don't hear is that some of the lessons are a long way from what you want to know, while others are unexpected revelations or happy confirmations.
I've just come back from a trip to old stamping grounds with my children and grandchildren. In that first category is that I surely can't do what I used to. Keeping up with the younger generation in the family is hard enough; with the second generation down, there's no way!
Two great big graduation parties, one in lovely weather, the other in an unremitting downpour, both of necessity partly outdoors, were joyous affairs. I had to learn to drive to unfamiliar places without anyone in the shotgun seat or at the wheel for the first time in 22 years. A gracious GPS loan from a friend was twice a life- and time- saver, but I learned I'm probably getting too old for that.
Then there are the other little lessons--or maybe they aren't so little. Even when you know there will be changes in places you haven't seen for years, you're seldom ready for what those turn out to be. No matter how good you think your kids are at taking care of you, if you're lucky, you underestimate them. Don't expect not to be emotionally shaken by backward glances.
If you're thinking of subjects to write about as you decompress, you realize that ten days will provide material for essays, either serious or humorous, along with digital photos and programs -- a final bonus for the time spent in unfamiliar beds, trying to choose fast foods from backlit menus above the service counters, and hours on the highway.