Tag Archive: car

Making the Trip Bearable

Our family just got back from going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house.  It was a 450-mile trip in our small sedan with three kids in the back seat.

 You can ask if we are crazy, you can wonder how much alcohol was consumed by the end of the trip. But as a parent who has done this many times over the years, I can tell you there are a few tricks to get this mode of transportation with kids to be successful.

Picture by Bethliebee

 1. Always have an activity bag with books and toys for each kid. Double check it to make sure the items are good for the car. My oldest plays his game boy, the youngest has stuffed animals and action figures. My daughter likes to read.

2. Bring along blankets for sleeping. I have a large number of baby quilts and those are the best size for in the car. You can always roll them up to be a pillow if the car is too warm to use a blanket.

 3. Have songs in your head when things are looking a little dicey. We were singing Christmas carols and Frère Jacques on the way down. At some point I had to ban Jingle Bells after the millionth time but the point is we focus on something besides the overwhelming length of the drive.

 4. Be ready with an “ABC” game of some sort. Maybe it is naming what you see or saying a word that starts with that letter or coming up with a word starting with the last letter of the last word said (i.e. “elephant” leads to “train”). This took up 30 minutes driving through one big town. The “last letter” game is a good one to play when it is dark out and the sites cannot be seen as readily.

 5. Have a kid-friendly restaurant planned for one stop. If you are driving several hours as we did, one blessing can be that fast food place that is a little different or has a play area. This time around we hit Cozy Drive-In that is located in Springfield, Illinois. They state they invented the corn dog. I can attest that the cozy dogs and hamburgers are very tasty. So was the bottled Route 66 Root beer.

Picture by Karpati

6. You might have to make other rest stops along the way. Pack in a Frisbee or, if you have space, a soccer ball or football. These are good ways to stretch those muscles and work off excess energy.

This is what works for my family. What works for yours?

The Big 100

This blog entry marks a special number.

Great "100" picture by Hot Black

It is my 100th blog entry.

100 opportunities of spewing my opinion and sharing the fun things of life. And this is how I celebrated.

Yesterday, on the way home from work I began thinking about what I would write. I wanted to keep from being too sentimental, too “yeah me,” too philosophical on what blogging life is for me.

I thought about waxing on how the numbers can get me going everyday, how glad I am to have gotten over 3000 hits, and that I wish more people would begin to comment. But then at the stop light there was this big pick-up truck with two teenage boys laughing.

I looked at them and they looked at me just grinning as the driver revved the engine. I didn’t mean to take it as a dare. But when the light turned green I opened it up and took off. I swear the car might have lifted and pawed into the air.

I was moving ahead of the pick-up when the boys realized what was happening. No self-respecting teenage boy lets a Saturn four-door sedan driven by a mom pass them up. So they kicked it a little higher and their engine growled a little louder. That is when I put the gas pedal to the floor.

I was still ahead of them when their engine made one last rumble. I knew it was over and they were going to pass me. Except a red light and a line of cars were in front of us. Neither of us wanted to play chicken with other people’s lives. So we slowed down and made normal stops.

It was a stupid and irresponsible act on my part. The guilt grew when a state police car started to follow me. Then I remembered that the headquarters for the state police was in the same direction I was going. Suddenly, I could not remember the speed limit. Was it 45 or 55 in this section of road that was not quite country, not quite city.

So I did what most moms do, played it safe at around 48 until he turned off to go back to headquarters. Yet, every part of me enjoyed that moment of feeling the car trying to go faster, move into another gear.

Quite frankly, that could be a metaphor of my life. I began blogging to make myself write after losing a job that I loved. I may have hated my boss and it was time to leave but the actual work I enjoyed. In blogging, I force myself to learn how to take and put up pictures, write on a variety of topics and explore other blogs.

Have a piece of cake to celebrate. Picture by Mensatic.

I have read other people’s work and read articles on how to attract regular visitors. I took cues from what people read the most and adapted some of my posts to those topics specifically.

So where does one go from here? In the words of Albus Dumbledore, one goes on. Who knows where that is or where it leads. I am ready to end the pity party, to move on, to get things in order to start something new.

Are you willing to come along for the ride?