It would be an understatement to say that I was tired. It would also be an understatement to say that I was bored. (And I know how many people despise that word. My mother would be so disappointed to hear me say that.) But given that it was well after midnight on an oh-so-straight, neverending interstate full of nothing but pine trees with a snoozing baby in the backseat and a nauseated husband next to me, the brutal truth is, simply put, I was bored.
I enjoyed a few hours of Blue Collar Comedy on the radio. I sang my heart out to some Prime Country from the 80's and 90's. I switched it over to the regular 90's music and sang some more. There may have been a few delirious minutes where I had entire conversations with myself. (I mean, really, who can say for sure?) My crossword puzzle-doing, chatting buddy was writhing in the passenger seat and it just didn't feel right to strike up a conversation.
Amazingly though, I didn't feel sorry for myself. Ordinarily under the circumstances, I would be having a "Woe is me" moment. Despite the fact that Sam typically does the majority of the driving and the roles were reversed, my pity tank was empty because I'd used it all on my poor, sick passenger. I think this was a good thing. Because even in the midst of mostly dire conditions, I found it in my heart to make a list of things I was thankful for on a sheet of paper I found by fumbling through my purse in the darkness of I-95 south.
I didn't find the list until today, which is why two+ weeks have passed since the infamous trip home and I'm just now posting it. After a trip like that, you are so ready to not spend time in the vehicle in which you traveled, you don't even stop to empty out the trash for a couple of weeks. (Or maybe I'm just a slob. You decide. But that's rhetorical. I don't need to know.)
The list was an attempt at positivity. I think it succeded. Here goes nothing. (The original print is in bolded font, my parenthetical notes are just a bonus - lucky you!)
Things For Which I'm Thankful on this Long Trip Home
[A two year old bottle of] Zofran [prescribed to our three year old, but self-administered by my ailing husband. We think it worked, at least to stop the vomiting. I'm sorry, pharmacist friends. I know this is not good practice. Desperate times and all.]
Knowing where to find cheap gas [the answer is most anywhere but Maryland]
Finding unexpected bargains like gas being 20 cents/gallon cheaper 1/2 mile off the exit [while en route to a 24-hour Super Walmart for ginger ale, even if we weren't able to get gas there because for some reason they closed at 4:15am while Sam was purchasing said ginger ale]
Points of Interest in the GPS [for enabling us to find 24-hour Super Walmarts 1/2 mile off the interstate]
Hazard Lights [to keep us safe whilst pulled over on the side of the road]
Backseat sunshades [that allow my one year old to continue sleeping despite the daytime lighting conditions of 24-hour gas stations and Super Walmarts. Do they really need to be that bright?]
So little traffic I get to use my high beams on the interstate [it's a stretch, but flipping them on and off helped to keep me awake...and helped me look for deer on the sides of the road]
24-Hour Dunkin' Donuts [really, does this need any further explanation?]
Snack Bags [because if ever there is a time when it is appropriate to binge on Doritos & Twizzlers an overnight road-trip surely qualifies as one of these times]
XM Radio Comedy Channels [because "Here's Your Sign" and "You Might Be a Redneck" are even funnier between the hours of midnight and 6am]
So there you have it. A Top Ten list, inspired by real events en route to home on July 5th & 6th. They might not be the greatest blessings I'll ever experience, but they are blessings just the same. And I was very thankful for each of them that night.
From there to here, from here to there,