Posted by: DD | November 18, 2006

no. 320 – Roadtrip With a 6-Pack of Kool-Aid

Living in Nebraska (aka the Asshole of America) gives me certain advantages and that is I can travel in any direction for 200 miles and find myself…

.

.

.

…still in the Asshole of America.

OK. So it’s not a very populated area of the country, but being landlocked by an ocean’s vastness will never be one of my problems (even though Nebraska has the largest aquifer in the U.S.). Unfortunately if we want to go ANYWHERE or see ANYONE, it requires significant travel time. Last Friday, we did just that.

For a couple months now, attempts to make it up to see Erin and her family had been thwarted by this "cycle". Last week, even after I found out about Wolf, or maybe because of what was happening to Wolf, we knew it would be the right time. A box of X’s clothes had been sitting in our living room ever since we had had the garage sale. I had set aside the items that Nico would soon fit into and a few things for Michael, and our original intent was to mail them. Mr. DD surprised me by suggesting we deliver them ourselves.

Below is an approximate rendition of the drive between where we live and where Erin lives:

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Now…take that times 6+ hours.

And every moment was worth it!

Erin and her family welcomed us enthusiastically, instantly recharging the adult’s batteries. My son made quite the first impression as I literally carried him kicking and screaming into her house (he was a little cranky and add in his penchant for shyness and you get the equivalent of a unshelled egg in a microwave set at high).

You know how when you meet someone for the first time, you can tell whether or not you will click? I felt that click with Erin. She painted a very flattering (if not grossly exaggerated) picture of me, but I was in total awe of her. You all knew she was smart, right? Not kinda’ smart. I mean really smart. And funny! And kind! And real. The men-folk talked of manly things (diesel engines and super-sized machinery) and occasionally emitted some quiet grunting, Tim Allen style.

Fargo_trip_005Her boys are cuter than their pictures, if you can believe it. Michael is indeed a charmer, and if he had held still long enough I think I would have spent the entire afternoon just watching his face. Nicholas and X went gung-ho on trucks and coloring. Here’s a picture of one of the few quiet moments they had. The rest of the time they managed to keep the volume at a quiet roar.

Somehow we ended up talking into the evening, past the boys’ bedtime and even then I felt the day passed too quickly.

I count myself very fortunate to have made the decision at that time in our lives to make the trip. It reinforced in me the belief that we have more than just words of support or encouragement. When we can, we know that it’s sometimes just a matter of getting in your car with a tank-full of gas and driving. And certainly, our door is always open.

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Responses

  1. Glad you had a nice visit with your friends. But, 6 hours! Geeeeeeeeesh! I thought it was bad getting off of Long Island (2 hours.)

  2. That sounded like such a wonderful visit. I’m so glad that you had that opportunity, and doubly glad to hear that it helped ease your heart a bit. Sometimes time with a friend who truly gets it is the best thing in the world.

  3. Yes, I too am in the asshole of america, although not in Nebraska, but MN. When I leave my city neighborhood and venture out it can be kind of scary – for MANY reasons. I do a lot of travel about 6 hours in all directions recruiting for work and 6 hours can be a LONG time in a car on a flat road.

    I am happy that you were able to confirm a new friendship – that is always such a good feeling. It seems harder and harder to find good friends that share values and perspective as I get older, probably because I am becoming more defined by life experiences and I need to know others appreciate or share some aspect on which we can relate. What would we do without the internet? Shit, I’d be stuck having to be friends with the fertile hoe who lives next door.

  4. I’m jealous that you met Erin and that she got to meet you. Did you turn around and head right back for another six hours on the road or did you stay overnight? Anyhow, I’m glad you got some much needed TLC from someone who understands what its like.

  5. You’ve pretty much hit it right on with the asshole bit. LOL
    I live in NE too and have been subjected to the hours of drive time whenever we want to get out of town.

  6. Sounds like time very well spent! When are you coming over to drink tequila on my fence? Do you prefer one brand over others?

  7. Wow – after reading her description of you and yours of her, I want to hang out with you guys! Sheesh!

  8. Wow dude. I feel for you. I had the, um, pleasure of driving through Nebraska while moving to CA. All I can say is that it felt like an eternity driving through it and I wanted to leave a flaming bag of poo at the border when we finally left.

  9. Glad you had a good time. I live in the butt-crack of Japan so I know what you mean!

  10. DD–don’t forget about the Diet Coke! OHMIGOD . . . the Diet Coke.

  11. Sounds like you had a great time! Hey, even though it took 6 hours to get there it was obviously well worth the trip!

    Love the pic of the boys coloring.

  12. Time is relevant…or irrevelant based on the end results? Obviously the visit made the time well worth it!

    That’s one thing that peeves me…my stepmom (and Dad) drive 6+ hours nearly every month to visit her family 2 states away. (More recently it’s understandable because her mom passed away from Alzheimers and her dad has now been diagnosed with throat cancer..but they’ve been doing this for years)

    But they can’t drive 1 hour and 45 minutes to our house in the same state. When they take the kids for a weekend visit…she’d insist that we meet halfway. UGH!

  13. I didn’t have the chance to immediately comment on this post. Now it is lingering in Bloglines, but I love to scroll down through the ‘save as new’ posts so the map will fly by. Very clever, there. Original in its simplicity. Minimalistic. Have a good holiday.


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