If I were to list the number of times I've gone hurdling across the country with a car full of kids--my own or my students--I'd have a wall full. Yesterday's chase across the Midwest left the blocks in Michigan at 3:30, and finished right here in Siouxland at 2:30--that's a.m., of course. We stopped twice: once for gas, once for grub--to go. That's it. Otherwise, we were a fat, silver bullet van shooting across the country.
I drove, and we had zero problems. I didn't even get sleepy.
But somehow, this time, maybe for the first time, I was conscious of the fact that all such trips are not so safe or sweet. This time, maybe for the first time, I was really conscious of the fact that a silver bullet van flying across the country is a death trap. This time, I have to admit, I was conscious of my age.
But everything went well. Or did I say that already? It did. Nary a problem, nary a floppy eye. Good company.
This morning my thanks are not just, well, obligatory. This morning, I'm thankful to be home. This morning, after a long weekend and 12-hour jet aboard a van blowing across lots of open land at speeds that would be unthinkable to my grandfather, this morning I'm thankful, very thankful, to be back home safely, cargo intact.