A dad came into the library to check out the limit of seven DVDs. "You must be planning to hole up with air conditioning all week to beat the heat," I said.
"Oh, no. We are heading out on a family road trip," he replied.
"Gosh, when I was a kid we looked out the window and counted windmills," I said.
"Things are different now," he said, obviously sure that the differences were improvements.
And that is a big chunk of what's wrong with the world from where I sit. There's not much wrong with modern day families that couldn't be bettered by a long ride west on two-lane Highway 6 in a '54 Chevy with a few gravel road detours and the aromas of hot tar and cattle lots.
Kids learn pretty fast how not to push grown-ups over the edge with endless questions and bickering. They learn that annoying your siblings just makes everyone hotter, sweatier, and more stuck to the vinyl backseat. That's a big incentive to get along and to find pleasant diversions. Looking out the window observing the towns, fields, trucks, signs, and windmills might help build a connection to the landscape that might eventually become a sense of stewardship for the planet.
It's not the destination. It's the road trip. And if you see the first white horse, you win.
© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder