Monday, February 6, 2012

"Point A" meet "Point B"

Whenever I take a journey, it's all about getting from point "A" to point "B." From my desk chair (A) to the kitchen (B) for a glass of water. Any maybe I'll take a moment or two to scratch the dog between the ears or pick-up some clutter, the journey I'm taking is still about getting from A to B, with no meaning in-between.

The distance between the two is of some relevance. There are all those sub-points between that offer distraction and eduction. Road trips are a good illustration of this. There are thousands of points between Vancouver and San Diego that might offer some distraction and that's exactly what my family might be getting into this summer.

Marshmallows should be eaten. They're
delicious! But not so delicious are
their offensive/defensive capabilities.
A number of years ago, we drove down to Los Angeles (E3) and Anaheim (that amusement park is there, slips my mind, the name of it) and that included all sorts of stops like the Red Wood Forest, Folsom Lake SRA (The Most Terrifying State Recreation Area in California ©), some sand dunes in Oregon, the constant wind off the ocean at Half Moon Bay outside San Francisco, and a lonely gas station on I5. All sorts of distractions to be had! It's on trips like these that the destination -- B -- becomes almost irrelevant except as it pertains to a turn-around point. It really does become about the journey and craziness that entails. Fighting two large raccoons in the middle of the night who have somehow managed to pry off the top of the Rubbermaid container with the dry goods in it. (Marshmallows make for poor raccoon repellent and even worse as thrown ammo for the line "Hey, get out of here, raccoons!") Or taking on LA traffic in a mini-van with extremely limited visibility thanks to camping gear piled to the ceiling. That particular issue was handled with white knuckles and the hope that anyone around us had seen the out-of-state, out-of-country licence plate and take pity on us. That and waves of profanity. ("Mom, what does blankity blank blank of a blank blank blank mean?")

I love those trips. In the heat of the moment it can be difficult to grasp that we were actually having fun but in remembering the events, places, and people we met, it seems that our lives are wealthier beyond measure for taking the trip. I think that's why I'm loathe to take a plane anywhere. There's no in-between. No bizarre roadside distraction, no palpable racism, no tension as we roll up to the booth on the Golden Gate Bridge as we frantically search the floor for change to pay the toll. (There's a certain level of panic too -- I mean, what do they do to out of towners that can't pay the toll? Just direct you to the a piece of road that launches you into the bay?) I don't remember flights. You sit in a tube, you get a pack of pretzels, in-flight movie, some pop, you land, life continues after seemingly being "paused" for a few hours. Road trips are an entirely different thing.

The road, it stretches out in front of you. Experience awaits!

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