November 27, 2013: Road Trip

Sweet Baby Ky taking her turn behind the wheel
I went on a road trip yesterday with my brother and niece. The last time I road tripped with my brother, there were invisible lines drawn in the back of the Sedan. Seat belts were rolled and tucked into the crevices of the back seats and I followed the strict instruction of my brothers not to violate their space.

This trip was different. There was plenty of violating of space. And with no responding knuckle punches. Let me digress.

Last Saturday, I was carefully thinking through the upcoming holiday week. The plan was for me to fly to Denver Wednesday afternoon and leave Saturday night. The days would be filled with skiing, mountains, and planning a house move. A very nice way to spend Thanksgiving. And then I got a message.

My brother, Mark, now lives in Dallas with his family. In the voice message, Mark invited me to join the rest of my family in Texas for Thanksgiving. He knew that I didn't have my kids, but wanted to open the invitation.

It got my attention, but I already had made my plans before they made theirs. Tickets were purchases and Garrett and I were looking forward to spending time together in Colorado. Maybe next year.

And then I got a text from my mom. She and Dad were travelling to Dallas from Arizona.

Mom: "We R on the road!"

Me: "Be safe!! Send lots of pictures :)"

Mom: "R u going too?"

Hmmmm....

My brother Matt and his daughter were planning on spending Thanksgiving in Dallas as well. My brain started thinking about what I could do rather than what I couldn't do. Unsure on everyone's itineraries, I send a text to my niece asking when they were leaving.

Soon I got a text back.

"You should go. That would be great!!! Everyone would love that! My dad said that you could just ride with us down and then one way back."

Now I was hooked. How could I miss being with my family on Thanksgiving? Thinking back, it seems that only funerals have brought our family together of recent years. That's a bad trend. And a road trip with my brother and niece sounded spectacular.

The next call was to Garrett and another surprise came from the other end. I asked if he minded if I would fly first to Dallas and then make the second leg to Denver to spend with him. Garrett's response was that he would rather fly and be with me and the family. Denver wasn't a necessity of this trip. It was all about the Wagner's. Nice.

So yesterday, Matt, Ky and I were on the road bright and early. It took us a total of thirteen hours. There was stopped traffic in Oklahoma City that diverted us an hour and a half. And even with an iPad, lap top, navigation system, and three iPhones; we got lost leaving Emporia, Kansas. And we were in a rented Ford Fiesta. We were jammed in and cozy.

The delays were priceless. We laughed and laughed, and laughed some more. With our age, more potty breaks were required than years past. And purportedly, I only know every other word to songs and sing off key. But it didn't stop me. We ended the road trip with my blaring out the song "When Dove's Cry". Ky had never heard this rendition (off key).

I never knew that I actually missed road trips with Matt. It is nice that he doesn't punch me anymore. And he is a better driver than me. I will give him that. But I'm happy that my lack of skill on using the brakes gives him ammunition to give me a very hard time. Road trip bliss.

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