It was a cold, dreary Sunday morning, one of the many we all suffered through this past winter/spring. My son, Jordan, and my daughter, Maddy, and I were sitting around the dining room table eating our bagels. This is an old tradition but so rarely practiced now by the whole family. The big table usually just has my husband and myself, as our kids are out and creating their own lives. We add more newspapers to hide the absence.
Jordan said that he only had four states left to visit and he can then proclaim he had visited all 50 before he was 25. I naturally asked which states. He said, “Alaska (I thought too cold), Hawaii (I thought too long on a plane), North Dakota and South Dakota (doable).” I said we should take a road trip to visit them. I haven’t seen this country west beyond Cleveland (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). I have flown to California but I haven’t actually seen this country.
Jordan turned and looked right at me and asked, ”Are you serious?” I had my out if I wanted it, but I too listed seeing this country on my bucket list and I really enjoy road trips with my kids.
A few years ago we traveled together checking out southern colleges for Maddy. I have great memories and it was a life-changing experience. I cried walking the campus of UVA (University of Virginia)—the what-if scenario for me. Maddy vomited at William and Mary. IHOP didn’t settle right. Jordan deftly avoided an accident driving my Prius when a large trash drum flew off a North Carolina sanitation truck. There is a reason Maddy and friends call Jordan Neal Cassady (skilled driver of Beat generation’s Jack Kerouac and others). The trip was on!
In the length of time it took me to eat a quarter of my harvest bagel, I had committed to a cross-country road trip with Jordan.
Within minutes the kids had to rush out to catch their train back to D.C. Jordan turned back and yelled through the pounding cold rain, “What car are we taking?” The Prius was my answer. “On the Road Again,” he jubilantly sang.