Long Way Home

The 20s are all about reflection. How often do you take time to look back and see how far you've come. We're often busy trudging forward and intently focused on the future that we forget that our past has imperative information to share with us. History repeats itself often but things never happen the same way twice. When we take time to acknowledge progress or to point our mistakes, we can know that our steps have been ordered exactly how they should be. We're taking the long way home. 
Rolling hills, popping ear drums, and NPR discussion over the airwaves are some of my most vivid memories as kid taking scenic car rides with my dad. Sometimes he would just my siblings and I for a ride. We'd go to these hills that seemed vastly mountainous and we'd go zooming. I used to think we were going so far. "Wee," we'd squeal as we made our ascent in his red Volvo S70, and we reached the hill valley troughs "Haw!" we'd let out in our most exasperated voices. He'd turn back and smile at us. There we would go over and over, having the most simple of fun. He'd go out of his way to get us there, to give us that little bit of excitement in our lives. I'd be content for the rest of the day. We were taking the long way home.

Even when we moved to Ohio for a while that same sense of euphoria, where everything was okay, where I was safe, and where I was having fun in the comfort of a motor vehicle lasted. There were these winding, twisty, serpentine rounds that spiraled and meandered through thick forests of trees, crossed rushing waters, and gave glimpses of baby blue skies above. We would go to the public library would I would scour the stacks for Hardy Boys or Alex Rider books and we would take this road that was totally out of the way home. We'd descend and rise so fast that my ears would pop. It both scared and excited me at the same time. My appetite for reading was insatiable, and the effects of imagining the words of the stories were amplified in those few moments taking that road. And there were these other road by the prison that we would pass in going to I-75. Now those hills terrified me. We were would reach the zenith and stare out for miles in a phantasmagorical glimpse before going up and down on this single lane road. It was like a rollercoaster that puts your stomach in your throat and then sinks it right back down to brush again all your intestines. I will never forget to car rides. They did and still do mean so much to me. They remind me to take the long way home.

Taking the long way home means being conscious of past, present, and future. It's a admonishment that even though we may stray from our path, we will still make it home. What also gets me is that ours paths honestly do not have detours, if we weren't supposed to walk there, we would not go there. Even the detours that we think get us off track are part of our life roads. Taking the long way home may take a little long than we expect but you can't plan for life, life just ... happens.

Now more than ever I understand why my dad loves car rides. No one in my family is a car person. They get us from point A to point B. They're reliable, can be fun when you blast music in them, and keep you comfortable with air conditioning but that's it. I know pretty much nothing about cars and frankly I could care less. There are nothing more than a vehicle, literally and figuratively, to me. I do understand why people enjoy their inner workings, knowing every inch of their cars, and messing around with them. That's the way I feel about pop culture. I spend hours on Wikipedia, twitter, reading articles, and IMDB-ing the heck out of people, but I digress. My dad uses car rides to think. It also gives him a captive audience for his patented fatherly lectures that hit home even more closely since I am on the cusp of taking another big step in my life. He'll ask me to go with him, particularly some place where we requires no assistance like the car dealership, a grocery store, or a furniture. My dad knows and has researched almost everything we sets his mind on buying before doing so. He does not window shop. He does not splurge unnecessarily. He does not spend frivolously, it's always with purpose.  When he asks you to go with him, you do so not only to enjoy his company but because he speaks words of wisdom to the likes of which I have never from anyone else, save for my mother. We take the long way home.

This week had me returning home for my fall break finally. I hadn't seen my family in over three months. I can definitively say if I could do college over again I wouldn't have gone so far out of state and most likely would have gone to a different school that I was accepted to. Anyway, I've slept, eaten, and enjoyed the luxuries of being in my own house surrounded by the people who know me best. I have taken the opportunity to just sit and think. It's something that I do not get time to do very often. To sit in complete and utter silence and to just be. So many people have opinions on what they think I should be doing in life and even I, myself, have some of my own. This week in my roadtrips to Michigan to visit my eldest brother, sister-in-law, and my new niece, I had even more time to ponder the next moves in my young adult life. I rode the four hours with my mom and returned with my dad. Again these motif of detours, diverted paths, and roadblocks came up. I think the message is that our hearts, with help from Him above, will always guide us where we're supposed to be. It may seem like we're taking the long way home, but that's exactly how we're meant to get there. It's not the time the journey takes but the journey itself that matters.

My blog post question for the day is ... do you have any vivid childhood memories with your parents? Way too many. I remember my dad always loved when my sister would make him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They weren't even that good but because it was from her, he would act like it was the best food he had ever eaten.


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