The View from My (Car) Window

A week ago I looked over at my husband as we were making the five hour jaunt home from one of our son’s house and said, “Did you ever think we’d spend so much time in a car?” Because I didn’t. Actually I’m still quite amazed (and sometimes dismayed) by how much time we’re on the road.

Not that the trips aren’t worth it. Most of our time away is spent with family celebrating wonderful events like births of new grandbabies, grandkids’ birthdays, college graduations, helping kids move (closer home, most recently), tailgating, etc. But I have to admit when the itinerary includes travel five weekends out of six I start to get a bit befuzzled.

“We were in Kansas City last weekend.”
“No, that was the weekend before. Last weekend was Des Moines. And three weekends ago was Champaign.” That’s what my dh and my conversations have deteriorated to, as we keep our eye on where we’re going the coming weekend.

There’s just no denying that kids keep you busy, in the most rewarding ways possible. When they were little it was all I could do to bundle them all into bed before I fell, exhausted, in after them. And then when they were in high school activities, we were on the road to sporting events…oh, for a couple decades or so.  Often my husband and I would have to split up in order to hit two events on the same night, sometimes in different towns.

There was one town in our high school conference that always seemed soooo far away (60 miles).  On the last trip home from there I nearly did a happy dance in the front seat. There would be no reason to ever travel *there* again.

Little did I know that those days were merely preparation for the future 🙂 .

Now instead of sixty minutes it’s five and six hour drives on Friday nights, then again home on Sunday, back to work Monday and do it all over again the next weekend.  I’m still falling into bed exhausted :). Already I can look ahead to the summer and count only four weekends out of twelve that we won’t be on the road.  I’m already tired!

Do you keep a crazy travel schedule or are you more of a homebody?  Any advice for how to pass the time while spending so much of it on the road?

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24 Responses to The View from My (Car) Window

  1. Sherrie Hansen says:

    My Mom has said many times that she thought she and my dad would have more time to themselves once “we kids” were grown and out of the house. Bzzt – wrong. According to her, their lives and schedules are more hectic than ever, and it only gets worse when you’re trying to keep up with kids and grandkids who are scattered all over the United States (and in her case, Brazil). I needlepoint or write in the car on my Alpha Smart when my husband is driving. Good luck!

  2. I think it’s wonderful you’re willing to drive to them. Too many times parents expect the children to come home to them and when that doesn’t happen, they are upset. (cue my parents!) It’s important (as a family) to stay close and it sounds like you’re doing your part.

    Now, go take a nap! LOL

  3. Kylie Brant says:

    You’re soooo right, Cyndi! My birthday is in the fall and my husband is in the field. Mother’s Day is in the spring and my husband…again…in the field. Now that there are no kids around those days I was feeling pretty sorry for myself on my birthdays. But the last couple bds I’ve just jumped in the car, driven 2 1/2 hours to my kids, had dinner out with them and then home again that night. And I don’t mind it a bit. It feels like I did something special for my day!

  4. cindy gerard says:

    I don’t envy you your travel schedule, Kylie, but I totally get it! We only have one son and bless his heart (and our Goddess dt-in-law) they’ve blessed us with 4 wonderful grandkids and we’re in the car on a pretty regular basis, checking out what’s happening in their neck of the woods. The kids are 9,7,5, and 3 now so soccer, t-ball, basketball are all in the mix. We have a LOT of games to attend :o)
    It’s fun and fortunately they’re only 2 hours away but these are the trips that make life special!

    • kylie brant says:

      Cindy it’s great that you’re close enough to catch all those special moments! I’m looking forward to that. 2 1/2 hours is lots closer than 5 so I’m counting myself lucky!

  5. Leanne Banks says:

    Kylie, your kids are lucky you are willing to travel so much to see them! Right now our kids are in town with no grandkids yet, but it’s still a challenge sometimes to get everyone together for just a meal! I have a busy Spring schedule — combo of family and fun. I love Spring and winter felt pretty claustrophobic, so I’m glad to BUST OUT!:)

  6. Kathleen says:

    Since I moved from my home town 8 yrs ago, I have spent more time travleing than I ever did… I am about an hour by car and that’s highway driving from where I used to live. And I am also about an hour from another family member, where I used to be about a half hour..
    And now that I cannot drive and have to take a bus into the city to see my mother who is in a nursing home now, it takes about two hours.. It’s like a milk run.. many stops along the way…
    Sometimes I wish that I could just stay at home, but life happens and I just keep on traveling…

    • kylie brant says:

      Kathleen, we are a mobile society, aren’t we? I remember when we moved back closer to my parents and my mom complained that the half hour trip to our house was soooo long! My dad still lives in that town and I make the trip twice a week, minimum!

  7. Michele says:

    Oh goodness, that travel schedule would kill me. I’m a homebody. Don’t like to go anywhere more than an hour away. Recently went to Bismarck for hubby’s parents’ 50th anniversary, and had to split the trip into two days because I hate sitting in the car that much. 🙂

    But go you, for making that long trip to see your kids!

    • kylie brant says:

      Michele, I’m not lying…I’m counting the time until I can stay home! Gone this weekend and then two at home (before another two away) but still…

      My two oldest just informed me that my house will be hosting the bachelor party (golf, bags and grilling) for their buddy and 22 others on Memorial Day weekend, LOL. That’s actually one of our weekends home…but it will be full, too!

  8. I think I’ve spent half my life on the road, starting with being a military brat. I remember driving coast to coast. The worst part was my tendency to get car sick. When we moved to and settled in MA, there was the driving to the VA hometown. Since then it’s been the long stretches of ND highway. We communted 72 miles each way to work for many years. Now that we live in MN, we know the road between here and Standing Rock intimately. And there are the research road trips westward. Those are fun because they’re more leisurely. Just hubby and me, and we make lots of stops to look around. Plus, we brainstorm. Several trips I’d like to take this summer if gas prices weren’t so d–n high.

  9. kylie brant says:

    Kathleen, I hear you on the gas prices. With all the moving we’re doing for our kids, every time our Suburban pulls the trailer we get **5 miles to the gallon**!!! Ouch!

  10. Keri Ford says:

    gosh, that traveling exhausts me. My mom lives abut 30seconds away. the inlaws, around 20minutes. husband and I are both pretty good homebodies. It would take something major for us to move away from our families.

  11. MaryC says:

    My family lives close by. The longest trips we do are to help move nieces/nephews back and forth from college. We generally listen to an audiobook on the drive.

  12. Helen Brenna says:

    Put me in the homebody camp. I’m sure I would travel to see my kids as much as you do, Kylie, but I’m glad I don’t have to. Yet! I have this feeling that if my kids move away from home, I’ll be having to fly to see them!

    • kylie brant says:

      Helen, at least you live in a big enough area that there’s a chance of keeping your kids close! But hey, getting one family from Kansas City to Des Moines is cutting our driving time in half so we’re celebrating!

  13. catslady says:

    My mom was spoiled, both my sister and I stayed within 20 minutes from home lol. My sister had a daughter who lived in N.J. for two years and Oregon for 10 (we live in PA) but she’s been back for 10 but in another 5 will be moving to CA or Oregon but her son stayed here. My daughter was 3 1/2 hours away at college and then moved about 6 hours away for a couple of years but came back close to home and my youngest just graduated from college which was only 2 1/2 hours away so all in all I am not complaining unless one of them moves away which is always possible.

    • Kylie Brant says:

      Catslady, you are lucky. There were six in my family and only two of us stayed in our home state. Others are in the west and on either coasts. So for us to have all five kids in Iowa (at least for the summer!) we’re counting our blessings. Upside is we can hit four of them in one city!

  14. I’m a homebody! Though I do like to travel, I so much like my home routine and my animals, etc. The in-laws have a beautiful house on a lake and a boat about 2.5 hours away. The dh & kids go more often than I do. I often stay home those weekends and work. Yeah, I could work there, but it’s much harder to concentrate outside of my home turf.

    I think it’s great that you visit with your kids and grandkids like this, Kylie. But man, how do you do it, and write, and work at your M-F job?

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