Hey, Let’s Talk!

Van Reech

Are We There Yet?

Every parent has heard this question from their kids especially on a long family trip. I believe the universal parental answer is, “No, we’ll be there when we get there…”. As an adult you handle the time better because you learn to pace the trip into segments or different terrains so that the trip is laid out systematically in your mind. But can you remember as a kid the intense tedious boredom of the long trip or the excited anticipation sitting up and looking ahead between your parents as you could sense you were near your destination? I think the poet James Zollar captured this in his poem “Wyoming 1952”:

(…) leaning on the front seat between my parents for all I knew I could be anything I might imagine aiming along the hood’s raised space down the straight black highway that opened into the future a mile a minute reaching all the way to a horizon always just a few more giant strides ahead.

I can remember my family’s annual Summer vacation trips to see our cousins in Mobile, Alabama and going down to the beach on Dolphin Island with them; the somewhat shorter trips to our grandparents in Bastrop and Farmerville, La. for holidays; or that fantastic trip to the newly opened Six Flags in Dallas, Tx. when I was 10 or 11. One long straight stretch of Texas highway on that trip my Dad told my Sister and me to turn and look to see that the overpass we had gone under was exactly a mile behind us. Funny how you remember little episodes like that.

My Mom, always the teacher, usually had little games planned to keep us occupied and help the time pass. There was finding different state license plates, spotting the then common Volkswagen Beetles, or seeing how many semitruck trailers had a “Made By Nabors Trailers” sign on the back door. My Dad would pitch in with a warning that the odometer was getting ready to advance to some significant large number with lots of zeros so that we would eagerly sit quietly watching until the promised roll over happened. That still kinda fascinates me with my own cars to this day … AND now during these uncertain times as we watch the calendar dates click by like the white stripes on Life’s highway we know we’re “not there yet” – we’re not at the end of all this stuff yet but we DO know that “when we get there we’ll be there”.

For fun take a minute and remember your family’s trips and If you could what family trip would you take again? Which would you choose where your Dad confidently had the wheel, your Mom had the maps and probably a snack or two, and your Sister or Brother had the imaginary but strictly enforced lines that marked your personal boundaries on the back seat? What trip were your parents were strong and wise and you were loved and secure? What eagerly anticipated destination – But be careful of your choice because on this trip getting there will be all the fun … so, which one?

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