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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Joys of Car Travel

Back when I was a kid, travel by car was a big deal:
Dads had to know lots about the inner workings of cars because they broke down a lot.
We used rope a lot to tie down all the stuff onto the roof of the car that wouldn't fit inside the car.
Luggage consisted of a 18 inch by 12 inch by 8 duffel, and anything that didn't fit into that got left behind.
For entertainment, we had books or coloring books. Or each other.
We didn't even worry about seat belts --they hadn't been invented -- because there were so many bodies stuffed into the back seat we'd probably stay put even in a roll-over. Not!
Parents showed overt favoritism for a specific child and he or she got to sit in the front seat. (Back then this favoritism wasn't grounds for a state investigation.)
The interstates didn't exist as yet; we took old highway 99 or route 66.
No air-conditioning, and the car heater rarely sent rays of warmth to the second row of bench seats.
No McDonalds or other fast food places.
We didn't dare eat or drink much because potty stops were few and far between, and anyway, Dad didn't believe in them.
Even if you wanted to eat, the offerings weren't too appetizing: stale cheese sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper. (Sandwich baggies hadn't been invented.)
Motels? Nope. Dad simply drove until the last of us dropped off into a sweaty, restless sleep. When we woke, sometime in the middle of the night, it was to the motion of the car being rocked back and forth by the whoosh of air as an 18-wheeler roared past our car. (When Dad finally got tired, he simply pulled the car onto the shoulder of the road for a quick nap.)
Still, we kids had heard our parents' stories of travel --or lack of -- back during the depression. And our schools had impressed on us during history class the perils and hardships of our pioneer ancestors.
We knew we were lucky just to be going somewhere. . . anywhere.

Flash forward about 50 years. My husband and I just returned from a week-long trip to California to see family. Except for a snow-storm in Wyoming, the trip was pleasant and quick.
We drive a Highlander Hybrid with great gas mileage.
It tells us when our fuel is getting low. Gas stations on interstate 80 abound.
Food, too. We have our pick of truck stops, fast food, nicer restaurants.
We know the route so well that we plan our gas and food stops accordingly.
The air-conditioning works and so does the heat.
The car switches into four-wheel drive if it senses snow or ice.
I can plug in my lap-top or charge my iphone.
We stay at nice, well-appointed hotels that include a hot breakfast.
I love this country.
Not only do I have the freedom to travel any time I wish, anywhere. But our government collects taxes to improve and upkeep roads so we can safely travel.
And our country gives bright entrepreneurs the opportunity to create and offer more food choices, more hotel choices, more services, more improvements to our vehicles, and more entertainment and technological developments.
What a great place to live.
Some changes and improvements are good. But I hope we don't "change" too much.
God bless America!

Note: In case you missed it, check out my first song recording (from Thursday, Nov. 24th blog). I'm still working on perfecting the use of my recording equipment, but hope to have it fully operational by January 2012. My goal is to offer my readers brief scripture songs that are easy to memorize.
Have a great day.


  1. Hi Dena :-)

    I agree some change is good but where the government is involved it must be kept to a minimum or they will tax and choke you to death.

  2. I love to travel, as long as it's not about "getting there." Gotta stop along the way to smell the roses.

  3. I think my husband is finally getting the message: car trips are all about the "roses."