Well, here we are at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. We traveled early this morning, instead of trying to fight Thanksgiving Eve traffic last night. And just what does a three hour trip from the Chicago ‘burbs to north-central Indiana look like? Here’s my view from the driver’s seat…
“Who wants to see my proboscis?” (Oldest Daughter, just out of the driveway)
“I’m sure glad we’re travelling this morning instead of last night.” (Me to Ordinary Spouse, as we made two effortless left turns where I’d normally encounter great volumes of traffic during my morning commute)
Six minutes into the trip, we get on the “fast road” (the general nickname for limited access road, which in this case is I-55). This is the signal for the girls to request a DVD. In goes Fraggle Rock.
About fifteen minutes later, we’re onto I-355 and crossing the “blue light bridge” over the Des Plaines River. McMansions overlook the valley on the south side. I spout opinions… “If I had half a million dollars to buy a house, I’d get something with more character than these boxes.”
Shortly thereafter, I remember my blog… “If I could live blog this trip, I would.” Instead, I ask ordinary spouse if she has paper and pencil. She anticipates my next request and writes, “My ordinary assistant will hand write the whole thing.” I comment that “ordinary assistant” will probably get replaced by “smart-alecky assistant” when the notes make it into print.
“Could you give me blana?” (Youngest Daughter woke up five minutes before we left and didn’t have breakfast. Now she wants a banana.)
All along, I’m sipping coffee. I’ve got a great thermos. Too great. The coffee is scalding hot nearly all the way.
Ordinary Spouse is cleaning out her purse. She finds a diaper.
From I-355 to I-80. The opening bars of U2’s “Zoo Station” (from the album, “Achtung Baby”) are playing as we’re exiting from one to the other. Makes for a nice transition.
We see a white flag with a red border and a blue star. Ordinary Spouse speculates that it’s a Czech flag. Turns out that it’s a flag displayed by the family of a member of the armed services serving in a dangerous location. We learned something new.
Shortly after getting on I-80, an alert Ordinary Spouse kept me from rear-ending another car. The road was nearly empty and there was no one in my lane, so I reached for my coffee. At the same moment, a car in the left lane braked and pulled into my lane. Then they proceeded to the right lane and accelerated again. Not sure what that was about.
We cruise through the IPASS lane when I-294 merges with I-80. It occurs to us that we have no idea how much toll we’re actually paying.
The billboards along the interstate near the Illinois-Indiana border are really classy. (“Gamble 30 minutes and get a free buffet” or “All of the liquor; none of the clothes”.) Ordinary Spouse comments on the first one. “Sounds like a gamble to me.”
We’ve removed Fraggle Rock, which didn’t seem to be a big hit. It’s been replaced by the Laurie Birkner Band. “This is like a rock star for kids,” says Middle Daughter.
Rain, rain, rain.
Onto the Indiana Turnpike (I-80/I-90). We immediately stop at a rest area. Coffee’s coming through.
We debate the spelling of “niece”. I comment on the weird spelling of “weird”.
We see a flock sheep walking in formation. Then we see a sheep dog calmly standing and calling to them. No running involved. Impressive.
We reached the end of “Achtung Baby”. I spout more opinions: what makes an album more than the sum of the parts, and why “Achtung Baby” is one of those albums.
We pass the pond with the big musical instruments. Time to exit the Turnpike. On to the bypass around South Bend. Ordinary Spouse phones her parents and tries to make them believe we still have two hours to go. Actually, we only have about 45 minutes – we’ll be just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
Michael Card’s “Starkindler” is now playing.
Ordinary Spouse and I discuss Richard Rohr and right brain/left brain duality.
Off of the bypass and on to US-33 toward Goshen.
In Goshen, we spot a couple running from their house to their car, carrying a turkey. They didn’t cover the bird. It’s raining.
And then, 150 miles and two and a half hours later, we’ve made it.
Thanks to God for every blessing in our lives. May the thanks we give today continue throughout the year.