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About Magnificence in the Mundane

Bringing humor to the many challenges of parenting, driving a gigantic SUV full of smelly boys and their friends, letting go of the idea of perfection and tackling middle age all serve as my inspiration. We all have common experiences, I just share my take on the absurdity of every... Read more

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full truck

Day 8: Summer Song Road Trip

full truckAfter 16 hours in the car over two days, I was thanking the genius who invented Satellite Radio. There are like a bazillion songs in the universe and I think we heard each one at least once. I realized that many of this summer’s hits apply to the experience of traveling in the family truckster:

No matter how organized I am, it is always shocking how quickly we fill the back of our Yukon, one of the largest vehicles manufactured. And no matter how full that car is, I “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” that I’ve forgotten something the minute the garage door closes.

However, I had no choice but to “Let it Go,” and hit the road. A mere ten minutes in and everyone was complaining they are too “Close.” With the leaning tower of packing threatening to smack someone on the head any moment, I totally got it.

The only one silent was the dog, Murphy, who was smart enough to “Sit Still, Look Pretty” for the time being. Fortunately, the kids were soon engrossed in technology with headphones in place making the car the closest thing to a date my husband and I had experienced in a while. Since, “We Don’t Talk Anymore” we tried to take advantage of the moment but the Waze lady kept interrupting us with road conditions.

With the opportunity lost, I busied myself counting the miles until we got to Wawa. See, when you are held prisoner in your car with no leg room or snacks, “Cheap Thrills” like Wawa become necessary to survival.

After what seemed like an eternity I spied the orange and yellow Wawa sign in the distance. As we prepared to get out of the car for snacks, the dog barked as if to say, “Me Too!” My husband drew the short straw and walked the dog in the parking lot amid the exhaust fumes. I felt guilty. Sort of.

Fortified with sugar, I felt “Brand New” as we resumed travel. Had it really only been a little over an hour? The morning sun was high, streaming through the passenger window and baking my entire right side “Just Like Fire.”  And we still had a little over two hours to go.

When you routinely have hot flashes, any added warmth can bring out a “Dangerous Woman” alter ego.  So, when I began stabbing at the AC buttons and complaining, no one argued no matter how uncomfortable they were. I am sure eye rolls ensued behind my sweaty back.

Traffic began to slow as the “Ride” eked into the third hour. Murphy made several attempts to scale the center console to join us in the front seat but was too “Unsteady” to gain any ground. I was careful not to make eye contact with him because he is one unhappy pup when he can’t follow me “Wherever I Go.”

I counted on the boys to entertain Murphy and prayed, “Don’t Let Me Down” as we were almost at the beach.  I needed to focus on my husband who was totally “Stressed Out” by the back-up and taking it personally. Because, yes, honey the traffic is all about you.

Cresting the second bridge, we caught a glimpse of the Ocean City skyline and exhaled. Because “This is What You Came For;” the ocean breeze, sand in your toes and happy hour on the beach are in your sights.

Unloading the car, “Piece by Piece,” I marveled at how much we managed to fit in that car and not forget a thing.

Maureen Stiles

About Maureen Stiles

Maureen is the author of the blog Magnificence in the Mundane. You can read her monthly column at The Town Courier.

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