Do you know the John Denver song? It’s one of my favorites. Seriously, there’s no better medicine for the cold Monday morning blues than John Denver.
Earlier this month, I spent some time with my parents in the corn and bean fields of downstate Illinois. We did a lot, which I’ll be sharing this week, but one of the most relaxing days was on Wednesday when my dad and I cruised the country roads together. We went to renew my license, went thrifting, had ice cream and on the way home we decided to take the long way. My dad pointed out who lived in each of the farm houses, where people I knew lived, and we had a lovely chat. It reminded me of when I was a student driver and got my blue slip. My dad rode along with me on my first drive through the country. He put his seat back and was the most chill I’ve ever seen him.
I’d forgotten how relaxing driving can be. When I was a teenager (driving my 1983 Cutlass) we “cruised” along the “main drag” (Illinois Route 89) of our small town before and after school every day…and in the evenings, after homework and supper. (It was a very small town with nothing better to do. Riding along in each other’s cars was the equivalent of hanging out at the mall, I guess.) When the speed limit is thirty and there’s no traffic, driving is fun!
Now that I live in a more urban area, I would have to drive a long way and through a lot of traffic to get to this kind of driving. There is just something so soothing about cruising along the winding rural roads, going no place in particular, where you hardly see anyone except maybe an occasional farmer or the mailman.
Don’t get me wrong…I love where we live. I love being able to walk or take the train to so many different places (as opposed to having to drive for twenty-plus minutes to get groceries or to eat out), especially in snowy weather. (Gosh, I really don’t miss driving in that!) But sometimes, I wish we had a little country house to retreat to when the city gets annoying. Then when times got tough, I could just hop in my car, turn on some John Denver and drive my blues away.