This summer has taken me to five cities.
I have navigated through at least a part of each of them. Driving down roads and freeways. Up to this point in my life, I haven’t been the designated driver, so to speak. But divorce means nearly everything changes, travel included. So I found myself driving my kids during an outing to Cincinnati. And driving my daughter to Columbus for her foreign exchange orientation. And driving while the kids and I vacationed and visited family, taking us to Tulsa, St. Louis, and home via Louisville.
While the above travel through large metropolitan areas took place on busy city thoroughfares, I’ve done my share of country roading this summer as well. A gravel road in Missouri. A walk down a quiet country lane in Oklahoma, where the other travelers are wild turkeys and cows are mooing in the background. A stroll to dinner through downtown St. Louis and a quick walk back to our hotel after dark.
I’ve come to realize we don’t always know which road we’ll end up on. A year ago, I would not have dreamed I would travel as I have down some roads I’ve taken in 2014. And while I’m proud of myself for handling things, for mapping out a plan, scouting a way…… I’m also sad it has to be this way. And while there’s hope and excitement at what’s to come, for both myself and my kids, there’s also a deep seeded questioning as to why things are forever changed.
My daughter and I enjoyed our trip to Columbus in our rented Fiat. The three of us had a memorable time this August visiting family members who reside in Osage County, Oklahoma. [get it, August Osage County!?!] We discovered a really fun restaurant in St. Louis and hiked with my sister and her kids in Osage Hills State Park. It’s been a lovely summer.
It’s hard to face the next season. Kids off to school and abroad. Me here. Suddenly the roads I travel seem the old familiar. To work. Back home. YMCA. Grocery store. Church. A comfortable routine. Yet I must challenge myself to off road. To get off the beaten trail and discover a new place or places. A city, whether literal or figurative I’ve never driven to. A country road I have yet to walk down. I believe I am ready.