Sued51's Blog

In the 1950s, it was called “cruisin’.”  It has also been called “Sunday driving,” and growing up in my family we called it “going for a ride.” (Some people still call it that to their dogs.) All those terms refer to driving around with no specific destination in mind, sightseeing, getting out of the house, and simply enjoying riding around and seeing other people riding around, which of course is especially popular in the nice weather.

My husband and I have always liked checking out new parks and towns and driving on roads we’ve never been on before, looking at scenery or finding new shortcuts.  When we moved to Tennessee for a year and a half we spent a lot of time driving around; because we didn’t really know anyone, that was our entertainment. I enjoyed it because it gave me a real sense of place and a feeling of familiarity and attachment. I soon discovered that this was not a popular past time for people who lived there (unless they owned a motorcycle).  In conversation, I found out we had been to towns that people who spent their whole life in Tennessee had never visited.  They didn’t waste money that way.

Even though I’ve lived in New England all my life, I still enjoy going to places I’ve never been and looking at the homes and architecture of the buildings — imagining what it would be like to live there. 

Gas prices going up will necessitate giving up that pleasure.  It seems like there’s not much left to give up.  Prices just keep going up and we have to keep compensating by cutting back on unnecessary things — no special coffees, newspapers, magazines, books, CDs, new clothes, specialty foods…the list goes on.

Still…we can live without a lot of those things and still be content, so we can live without riding around wasting gas.  We’ll have to bike and walk to close places, frequent local businesses. After all, people didn’t always have cars.

My husband and I have an ongoing disagreement—what’s the best way to get from here to there?  He always picks the highway.  Even if it is a longer distance, it feels shorter to him because the road is smoother and he can go faster.  I always choose the back roads.  It comes as a surprise to me if he proves that it is a longer distance, because it seems shorter to me.  Because I am constantly moving and not dodging passing cars, I feel like it is quick and comfortable.  The occasional “obstacles” like stop lights, and stop signs just make the drive more interesting to me.

My husband is goal-oriented and focused, but he has no patience with details or doing things carefully that involve a lot of steps.  I am always amazed at how fast he can perform computer tasks without making mistakes.  I often revel in boring tasks like washing the dishes; I don’t like to be rushed.  I get bored easily and need to switch gears often; I accomplish things a little at a time.  We are a good complement to each other because of our differences, and those differences are mirrored in our driving choices.

There are many times I wish I were more like him.  Sometimes even I get impatient with my slow and steady approach to life.  There are times when I am stuck at a broken red light or stuck behind a school bus and feel like I will never get to my destination.  I simply get lost or distracted on the way and a successful end eludes me.  The older I get, the harder it is to accomplish anything approaching things the way I do and the less possible it seems that I can change.  It feels like the world is constantly on my butt and honking at me, but it doesn’t make me go faster.  I simply pull over and let it all pass by me and wonder how I got here.

et cetera
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