Do you have something that just makes you happier than a bug? Something that is so simple and so small but that it is just like the best thing ever? I do. And it is simple as this: driving right before the sun goes down. Nothing beats it. I have asked myself many times why this is so special to me, and I cannot come up with an excuse, it just does. And, it always has. And it is one of those things that I never really think of until I get in my car and go.
I have always loved this. I remember when I was first able to drive and had my old blue Honda with the winking “eyes” named George. I was in high school and living on Wilmington Island, where I was born and raised. For those not fortunate enough to have grown up on what is known in Savannah as “the island,” it is hard to explain…but it was a great place to be. But back on track, I would get in George, hand-roll all the windows down (since there was no power to anything in this vehicle) find a CD that would make my day (Indigo Girls, Counting Crows and Natalie Merchant were usually my top picks back in the day) and put it in the portable CD player that was hooked into my cigarette lighter. Then, I would drive. Just drive. Mostly I drove along the back of the Island, all the way down Wilmington Island Road until it became Walthour. Sometimes I would make my way to Oelmer Loop, and sometimes I would venture down Tybee Road. It was the freedom and the pure bliss from the wind in my hair and my fave tunes. Instant happiness. This was a guarantee to change my mood, and we all know how moody it can be for a high school girl.
Then I lived in Athens. For those who are not fortunate enough to have ever graced their presence with a trip to this town, please go. Do yourself a favor ASAP. I no longer had George after he suffered bad fate driving down the highway to Statesboro one night, but I had Greta. My red Honda. She was a fave of mine. I had moved up in the world and now had power windows, so I would get in Greta, pop in the Stewart & Winfield and go. One of my fave routes in Athens was taking River Road by the Sigma Nu and ATO houses. I don’t think they are even there anymore, but the road was so peaceful to me. Then, sometimes I would head out to the Shoals. With the bluegrass music as my soundtrack and one of the most peaceful towns as my road ahead, I could instantly forget about whatever was getting me back in those college days.
After graduating, I moved back to Savannah. This time I moved to the most amazing little farmhouse on Norwood Avenue. I loved that house. That is where Byron and I started our relationship. It didn’t have central heat or air, and the water smelt like boiled eggs, but that house was home to me. Loved that little place. Greta had been replaced with Clary, my black Honda and this time I had moved up to the power windows and sunroof. A new-found favorite of mine and now a must-have in a car. Well, I would load up my brown doggie, pop in David Gray and go. My new route, the Bluff. One of the most breath-taking places in all of America. Sometimes I would drive across town to take a trek down Victory Drive to see all of the palm trees in the center and gorgeous homes of the sides. Sometimes I would even venture on back down to Tybee Road. With Mallard slobbering out the window and sweet David singing to me, I was on top of the world.
Once I moved to Macon, I didn’t really have a good drive. I drove 30 minutes to and from school and on the days I didn’t have school, I worked 12-hour shifts, so I didn’t have much stand-alone good driving. I didn’t realize this until just now. How sad.
Now, here in Jackson, I have Remy. My SUV that puts up with a lot. 2 dogs, one of which is 130 lbs and a toddler. Poor Remy. But every now and then, Remy and I get some alone time. Like tonight, heading home from the grocery. Louisa was at Lowes with Byron, so it was just me. All the windows (except the one next to Lou’s seat since it has a stick-on sun protector, geeze) are down and the sunroof is open and I chose Damien Rice to serenade me down Lakeland Drive. With the wind blowing my hair, my smile is from ear to ear. But, I realize I don’t really have a good driving route here. Any suggestions?
What is this post about? You know, I am not sure. But I had such an urge sitting in my car on cloud 9 to share this small happiness that I was experiencing. I wanted everyone to know just one small thing about me that makes my day. As I sat at a red light listening to Damien ask if it was alright to give his gun away when it’s loaded while drinking a fountain Dr. Pepper from McDonalds (the best Dr. Pepper ever in my opinion) I wanted to freeze this moment in time. Is that strange?
I love when perspective is handed to me. I mean, it is humbling. I like to be reminded that it is the small things in life that are the most important. I sometimes am embarrassed that I have to be reminded of this, but sometimes life just gets crazy. I also love that although my family is the center of my life, it is nice to be able to find such happiness in the peace and quiet with just me. So, if you ever see me driving before the sun sets with my windows down and my music up, don’t think I am crazy if you see me grinning ear to ear. This is my “me time” and I am just loving life at the moment.
So, here’s to the small things and to driving blind. Which just so happens to be the title of my most favorite Stewart and Winfield song in the entire world. It is the BEST song to drive to. You should try it.
PS - ironically, as I was just about to post this...Louisa spilt an entire cup of milk all over the sofa and floor I just cleaned hours earlier. I am wondering if I can rewind time and be back in the drivers seat happy as a bug before I attempt to clean this mess. Grrrrr.