Have you ever watched the movie Michael? It’s about an angel who is on earth for one last assignment. Reporters want Michael to fly to Chicago with them, but he refuses to fly, insisting that they drive, because they need “time.”
On the trip they see various sites, such as the World’s Largest Frying Pan and the World’s Largest Ball of Twine. They also play Car Bingo. Car Bingo is like regular bingo, but instead of writing a number you write what you see as you drive. Michael tells the others:
Look what Pansy left us. Car Bingo. Dig the propaganda.
“The miles will fly and your
children won’t cry if you play…Car Bingo.”
Thursday we are heading up to Indy for my surgery on Friday. Since I’m going to stay with my in-laws in Mt. Carmel after my surgery, I’m trying to get the house ready for my absence and make sure I have everything I will need.
Traveling has certainly changed since I was a kid. Every summer when we were kids, we would pile in the family station wagon, with a cooler full of sandwiches and snacks, armed with books, crossword puzzles, car games and anything else that would keep us entertained for the eight hour trip.
When my kids were young, they had Walkmans and Gameboys. Nowadays, kids have DVD players built into the vehicles, cell phones and texting.
I remember holding the atlas and watching as we passed major cities, comparing them to the map to see how much farther we had to go. I remember my dad showing me how to watch the mile markers to determine how far we were from an upcoming exit and figuring when we needed to stop for gasoline, since there wasn’t a gas station available every couple of miles like there is now.
Now we have a GPS that we can program the address of where we are going and an audible voice tells us every turn we need to take. We can hit a button and it will tell us the nearest gas station, restaurant or any other information we might need.
I remember punching the buttons on our AM radio, trying to find a station as we drove through the hills of Missouri. Now we take CD’s or hook up our MP3 player and listen to whatever we want. There is never a time we have to go without music if we don’t want to. Of course, Jim is a big fan of talk radio and can always download podcasts onto his MP3 player, as an alternative to music.
There were certain sights I always watched for as we traveled that let me know how close we were to our destination. The waving Santa Claus on Hwy 41 told us goodbye and welcomed us home again. It was always a game to see who spotted the Arch in St. Louis first. Passing the Exotic Animal Paradise was another landmark we watched for. We never stopped when we were kids, but I took Derek and Craig through there on one trip to Oklahoma. I looked it up just now and found out that it has since been closed. How sad!
The Howard Johnson Restaurant that stretched across the Will Roger’s Turnpike was the last big landmark…we knew we were getting close. Once passed through Pryor and turned off the highway, we would watch for Grandpa’s silo. Going from Grandpa True’s house to our Grandma Gammel’s in Claremore, we would always stop at Blackies, a truck stop and fill up our pockets with penny candy.
Jim says our boys didn’t know how to get anywhere when they began to drive, because they never watched where we were going. Derek would fall asleep not long after leaving the house and Craig stuck his nose in a book or played his Gameboy. But they talk about the “long road” and the “tor-mado factory” on the way to Mt. Carmel. They watched for Stuckey’s, outside of Terre Haute or The Giant Peach farm market just north of Vincennes.
We are so dependent on our “gadgets” nowadays. Cell phones, internet, GPS. They make our lives easier…but in some ways, they take something from us as well.
For the next few weeks, I will be without internet access. No email, no Facebook, and no blogs. A hardship? No, of course not. A mere inconvenience.
So until we meet again…be well and be blessed.