Monday, January 30, 2012

I am Woman See Me Drive.......

We are home! In case you haven't been following my other blog Life with the Incredible Mr. David or aren't glued to my every post on facebook, then you may not know that I have been traveling. Last Wednesday we left for Shriners Hospital in St. Louis and today we made it home. That's right folks the old gray van has put an extra 1200 miles on itself in the last week.

As I was driving home today....first through St. Louis, then Columbia, then Kansas City, I was thinking back to a time when I never dreamed I would be driving anywhere on my own outside the Wichita area. I hate traffic and I hate driving in unfamiliar areas. I am horrible with maps and directions and all my friends know this. Berty and Thiry used to laugh and say...."If Lisa says go sure and go right!" I might have been offended if they hadn't been so scarily correct.

When I was young and we went on trips....I never wanted to drive. New places scared me and traffic petrified me. Even when I was on my own before Tim....if I could talk someone else into driving...I would do it in a heartbeat. After Tim and I were together....I was always more than happy to let him do the driving and me do the navigating. Okay...he drove and navigated. I slept.

When Tim died....I was left to both drive and navigate on my own. I hated it. Sadly though, if I ever wanted to get out of a six mile radius.....then I was left to my own driving devices. Then the unthinkable happened. My mother in law who lives just south of St. Louis wanted us to visit!!! Oh Lord help me....I so did not want to make that first trip. I did and luckily I was still in my auto pilot grief phase so I have almost no recollection of that trip at all. Over the next few years....she made a couple of trips west and suddenly this summer....the ball or should I say...steering wheel was in my corner again. I conjured up my courage and off we went. The trip was fine until I found myself in Deliverance country. I was sure we would never be heard from again. Thank God for cell phones. My mother in law was able to talk us back into civilization.

So here we are again. This time it wasn't just for a visit. This time it was for David and there is absolutely nothing I wouldn't brave for that child.....including my fear of getting lost in east hell. So I pulled up my big girl panties and off we went. I left at 3:30 in the morning hoping to miss a lot of traffic and the trip was going great until we hit hard rain outside of St. Louis. It was as if St. Louis drivers had never seen or driven in rain before. The 75 mph traffic slowed to 40 mph and the part of the trip that should have taken an hour and a half tops took us double that. Other than the slow going though.....we made it in one piece with no detours or wrong turns. The trip down was a thing of beauty.

Today on the way home we again left at 3:30 a.m. We zoomed from my mother in laws house and the small surrounding towns straight into St. Louis. The traffic was easy as no one else in the state was up yet. We hit Columbia before the sun was up and KC right after rush hour traffic. Not only was the trip smooth, but we made it in record time. It was my personal best....7 hours for an 8 hour trip. I have learned that music really helps the trips go faster! I am. Not only am driving places that are somewhat unfamiliar to me and doing it by myself (well technically Z and David were along for the ride)....but I am also trying to beat land speed records. Who would have thought it? Boy....have I come along way. It is amazing what we can do if we have no other choice. It sounds like I will be learning these roads very well as we will have more Shriners visits in our future. Good thing the iPod is full!!!!

As I was contemplating all of this on the drive home...I had a song going through my head that seemed like the perfect soundtrack for both my thoughts and the drive. I could hear Helen Reddy proudly singing I am Woman hear me roar.....only in my version it went more like: I am Woman see me drive!

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