Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hitting the Road

Tomorrow, probably sometime before noon, we will be hitting the road to Florida. My wife and I are helping once again to move one of our children. This will be, according to my wife's reckoning, move #19 that we have assisted with. There have been one or two we missed. My son is to begin graduate school in one of Florida's bastians of higher learning later this month. He has to get there a bit early as he will be not only learning, but teaching as well.

As with most such things we find ourselves doing this on a shoestring. As the two cars we own are a bit long in the tooth, we decided that driving either of them over a thousand miles pulling a trailer in the heat of summer would be risky at best. Renting a one way truck and flying back seemed, at first, a good option. However, the cost was going to be rather dear. We opted to rent an extended, 14 passenger van - removing 3 of the seats - that we will load to capacity, drive it down, unload, and drive it back, leaving our son to figure out where to put everything.

My wife and I can't dawdle as, when we are gone, our business is shut down. Any trip beyond an occasional week-end jaunt costs us both the actual cost of the trip plus the cost of any business we miss while gone.

We plan to drive to somewhere in Georgia - perhaps Valdosta - on Monday, stay the night and tool into our destination sometime Tuesday afternoon. We will stay the night and then hit the road back sometime on Wednesday, pulling back into Indy sometime on Thursday. We hope to pick up some business on Friday and/or Saturday.

Fortunately, my wife enjoys driving on the open road - in daylite anyhow. She actually drives faster than I do. But, we are accustomed to making the drive between Indy and Chicago - about 3 &1/2 to 4 hours. The trip to Florida amounts to somewhere around 15 to 16 hours of actual driving. This will doubtless take a toll on our aging minds and bodies.

We had the pleasure of having both of our sons home at the same time for about 10 days or so. Our older son, as noted prior, lives in Germany. He had a small break before he starts a 2 year gig at a small opera house north of Berlin later this month. We hadn't seen him since early January when we made a trip over there. Prior to that visit, we hadn't seen him for about a year. As an aside - he will be moving himself - without our assistance.

We enjoy our kids immensely. Having both of them home together is now a rare treat. Sending them back off to their respective lives gets tougher each time. Now our younger son will be significantly further away. His living in Chicago has been good. Over the last several years we made several trips to the Windy City which we usually enjoyed- the sometimes inclimate weather and often snarled traffic notwithstanding. The sites, the food, the culture. Chicago is a great town.

Our son will have to go through culture shock living in a small, semi-tropical community with little in the way of cultural outlets. He is used to having access to the Lyric Opera, The Chicago Symphony, Ravinia, the various museums, the plethora of ethnic and varietal neighborhoods, the big city night life, and so on.
He will now be living in a relatively small, southern town which is dominated by the school. I assume the school itself will offer some diversions, but it will still be a different ball game.

After my wife and I return, we will once again take up our day to day lives. We enjoy each other, and usually have things to do beyond the business to keep things interesting. But our lives will be diminished in some kind of ratio proportional to the number of miles separating us from our children.


As to the photo: More kids. All crawling around my basement. There's two sets of twins. Kinda scary if you ask me.

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