Nineteen short months ago I became the proud owner of a brand-new Prius C (what I call the “baby Prius,” because it’s the smallest of the brand). It gave me numerous freedoms, such as being able to drive outside the county, which I couldn’t before in my rattletrap 1996 Accord. Too risky. “Not if it will break down,” my mechanic told me, “but when. You need friends nearby who can pick you up.”
More than that, it allows me to affordably make the ten-hour drive to my mom’s apartment. That quickly became necessary following her surgery last winter, as well as later to easily attend her 80th birthday party. And a couple of other trips.
This week, I made the drive for my aunt’s funeral. It was important to my mom that I be there, therefore, it was important to me.
I’ve got the radio stations programmed. I know when to leave to avoid traffic in all three metro areas. I plug into weather.com before taking off for the outlook during the entire trip.
Best of all, I load up on Tab for my trip home. Long before Diet Coke, there was Tab, and it’s back. In a couple of states.
At first, I truly enjoyed the drive. Now it’s something to endure. Especially two of the last three hours, both ways.
Before I left this week I got two audio books from the library. The first had an annoying narrator, but the second I’m okay with. Not a book I would probably read, but easy to follow, even when I drift off. And a pleasant story. For a few hours.
There’s a part of the drive I love. Don’t laugh until you’ve been there. It’s the Lamoni, Iowa rest stop (northbound). It’s beautiful, and staffed by a woman in their tourist area who’s pleasant, talkative and informative.
Not just a latrine in the woods. This is special.
Of course that’s maybe ten, fifteen minutes, if I’m willing to give that time up. I at least stop in the rest room.
Gifts and acquisitions have their price. In this case, I get over that cost quickly — as soon as I open the door back home and desperately try to keep the cats from running outside. But I no longer look forward to the drive, and I miss that anticipation.
However, I do look forward to seeing that bright red Prius parked in front of my house each morning. So I consider those 20 hours on the road a blessing.