I see the white horse! I win!

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


Kim said...

I confess I went to the library and rented the maximum SIX DVDs for our road trip that starts today. I remember road bingo games while driving across the country with my parents and sisters, too, though. And not being bored, though I was also a back seat reader.

Kathleen said...

We played the sign game, looking at road signs for all the letters of the alphabet.

Plus cows, horses, sheep, etc.

Kim said...

Oddly the kids didn't watch any DVDs on the trip up here. And at Dutch Village they were selling Travel Bingo boards!

Collagemama said...

My sons, although they will never admit it, used to have Creedence Clearwater Revival sing-alongs, then got frozen novelties at the gas stations on pit stops.

Genevieve said...

Another road trip diversion was the license plate game, which was similar to the alphabet game mentioned by Kathleen.

Back in the 1950s, in
Cherry County on Highway 20 in northern Nebraska, a heart-shaped sign every two miles gave the remaining milage to Valentine. Going away from Valentine, you had to turn around and read the sign to see how far you had driven. Highway 20's route through Cherry County is over 100 miles and the scenery is mostly Sandhill pastureland, so the heart-signs were relatively exciting. The funny thing is that now when I drive through there, I love the scenery and the miles fly by.

Collagemama said...

On drives to Grandma's house in Pierce we used to count the many blue boot signs near Seward, NE. I think the signs were for a shoe store or brand of shoes.


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